Program Expansion, Recession, and Industry Partnering 1980 – 1989

In 1980 the JATC and Trust committee members were Chapter Manager Bob Burns, Bill Shird, Buzz Allison, Don Lewis, Business Manager Bob Hall, Herb Bohlmann, Mel Hasslen, and Ed Barnes. The committee had a separate apprentice rating committee. Work was good with about 300 apprentices either in the program or awaiting dispatch. The journeyman wage was $17.25 per hour.

The journeyman wage was $17.25 per hour.

With the increased workload at the Metro Training Center and the need for an apprentice liaison, the committee determined that it was time to hire an assistant training director.   After reviewing the qualifications of a number of possible candidates, the committee selected Ken Fry to fill the position effective June 1, 1980. By July 1980 the program had 273 apprentices and an additional 72 people waiting for their initial dispatch.

The committee was embroiled in a battle with the Veterans Administration over the granting of credit to new apprentices. The committee eventually was required to change the language in its policy for granting credit.

In the early 80’s, the apprentice policies and rules consisted of one page of basic rules. In October of 1980 the committee adopted a uniform grading policy for all apprenticeship classes.

The committee continued to be active in legislative issues; Training Director Dan Faddis was instrumental in making changes to the Oregon State Apprenticeship Law, ORS 660. There was also a move afoot to create a 2-year residential license. The Metro Committee went on record opposing the change.

Oregon was experiencing one of the worst recessions in decades. Unemployment among the apprentices continued to rise and the number of apprentices continued to shrink. By January of 1982 there were 221 registered apprentices with another 56 waiting for their initial dispatch.

The program was having difficulty working with the Oregon State Apprenticeship and Training Council and the Apprenticeship Division. Staff was directed to look into registering the program with the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. Preliminary approval was given by the State of Washington. Eventually the issues with Oregon were resolved so no action was taken.

Trust and JATC members continued to change.   Dick Bohlmann and Bill Larkins were appointed to the committee in 1980 replacing Mel Hasslen and Herb Bohlmann. Gary Price also moved from alternate to committee member replacing Don Lewis.   In 1982 the NECA Chapter hired Tim Gauthier as Assistant Chapter Manager. Later that year Tim replaced Bob Burns as Chapter Manager and was seated on the Trust and JATC. With the change in leadership at Local 48 in 1983, Jerry Bruce and Bob Palandech were appointed to the committee. Bob Hall stepped down as Business Manager, being replaced by Ed Barnes. Gene Heil and Ed Lannigan were appointed to the committee in 1986.

The continuing recession took its toll.     In July of 1985 the program was down to 117 apprentices; by late 1986 that number dropped to 85. Several steps were taken to deal with the crisis. Discussion began on implementing a scholarship loan agreement, the committee was looking at changing to a 5-year program, and an Industry Promotion Fund was established. By 1987 the contractors and the union were working together at joint industry meetings.   In the fall of 1986 the Assistant Director Ken Fry left the Training Center and went to work for Local 48 as a Business Rep/Dispatcher. He was also appointed to the Trust and JATC.

In 1987 both the scholarship loan agreement and the 5-year apprenticeship program were implemented.   Work was beginning to improve. Local 48 purchased property from the Training Trust to build their own union hall and offices.

Throughout the 80’s, there was a continuous effort to bring more women and minorities into the apprenticeship program. The B-Fit program at Portland Community College was formed to assist women in gaining entry into nontraditional occupations.

Throughout the 80’s, there was a continuous effort to bring more women and minorities into the apprenticeship program.  The B-Fit program at Portland Community College was formed to assist women in gaining entry into nontraditional occupations.By 1990 the industry was on the mend and the program had grown to 251 apprentices.

Contractors who were involved in the industry in the 80’s included: Pagel Electric, McKee Electric, Tmberline Electric, Horton Electric, Midway Electric, Baron-Sprecher, Howe Electric, Sunset Electric, Morrison Electric, Hauser Electric, Coburn Electric, Lewis Electric, Linnco Electric, Lambert Electric, Snow’s Electric, Farwest Electric, Harold Electric, Galbreath Electric, Empire Electric, The Dalles Electric, Noteboom Electric, Dryer Electric, Bohm Electric, Borland Electric, Race Electric, Wadsworth Electric, Frahler Electric, Sutherland Electric, West Side Electric, Jaggar-Sroufe, AB Electric, Delta Electric, Atkinson-Bell, Barbier Electric, Ability Electric, Sohler Electric, Nabco Electric, Dimitre Electric, McCoy Electric, Watco Electric, Builders Electric, Shaw-West, Colonial Electric, Willamette Electric, Lord Electric, Sirianni Electric, EC Co, Heil Electric, Allegheny Electric, J/C Electric, Sunrise Electric, A and J Electric, Maranatha Electric, Anmar Electric, Burke Electric, Allison Electric, Tice Electric, Friberg Electric, Howard Electric, Christenson Electric, NW Electrical Contractors, Holmes Electric, WR Grasle, Meeker Electric, Olson Electric, Jarmer Electric, G and H Electric, East County Electric, Electric Corp, Raineer Pacific, Atlas Electric, Ace Electric, Broadway Electric, Oregon Electric, Galloway Electric, Stoner Electric, Red Bird Electric, Rose City Electric, Brabham Electric, East Cascade Electric, Red’s Electric, Professional Electric, Power City, Alert Electric, Honeywell Inc, Maxwell Electric, Mel’s Electric, Commercial Electric, Hembree Electric, Adams Electric, A-Lectric, Holert Electric, Cochran Electric, Hertz Electric, Rosendin Electric, JimCo, Commonwealth Electric, Ajax Electric, Miklethun Electric, Hughes Electric, Hooper Electric, EZ Electric, Fischbach and Moore, Bob Reynolds Electric, and Cupertino Electric.

The 80’s ended with Tim Gauthier at the helm of the NECA Chapter and Ed Barnes serving the industry as Business Manager/Financial Secretary.  In addition to Tim and Ed, other apprenticeship committee members included Gary Price, Gene Heil, Bill Shird, Ken Fry, Bob Palandech and Grant Zadow.

Next month:  Growth, a new training center, and day school,  1990 - 2004.