In March of 1929 our apprenticeship program was formed through the efforts of The Electrical Contractors Association, IBEW Local 48, Portland Public Schools and the Oregon Building Congress. The apprenticeship committee was referred to as the Sub-commission for Electrical Workers and was given the following directives – “That the Apprenticeship Commission and Sub-commission of the Oregon Building Congress as now or later formed shall have complete control of the apprenticeship system”.
It is interesting to note that our apprenticeship program predates the Oregon Apprenticeship Law (1931) by 2 years and the Federal Law (The Fitzgerald Act – 1937) by 8 years.
The 5 year program started with 18 apprentices who attended class at Stephens School at SE 7th and Stephens (now the site of a substation) under the tutelage of instructor George Pettingell. Other instructors through the 30’s included C.W. Hayes, A.M. McLean (former City Inspector), and Guy Evans. Portland Public Schools paid the instructors and supplies and equipment were paid for through donations from IBEW Local 48 and the Electrical Contractors Association. By 1939 the program had grown to 45 apprentices.
School absenteeism was as much a problem then as it is today. The committee tried a number of disciplinary techniques including monetary penalties, committee appearances and letters of reprimand. Additionally, there appeared to be some question as to who really controlled the program – Portland Public Schools and the Oregon Building Congress or the Electrical Industry.
Contractors who were active in apprenticeship from 1929 through the 30’s included AR Johnson, M.J.Walsh, Huenergard Electric, Morrison Electric, Jaggar Sroufe, Hawthorne Electric, Harold Electric, Allison Electric, Sutherland Electric, Tice Electric, Greiner Electric, Kinney Electric (McCoy Electric), Hunegard Electric, W.R. Grasle, Grand Electric, Beaver Electric, E.L. Knight Electric, Paramount Wiring Company, Superior Electric, McMillan Electric, Friesen Electric, Montgomery Electric, Nepage McKenny, Electrical Products Corporation, National Electric, and Multnomah County.
The Secretary for the Contractors Association during this time period was J.R. Tomlinson. Mr. Tomlinson was also a contractor. (The Electrical Contractors Association changed the name to National Electrical Contractors Association in the mid 30’s) Local 48 Business Managers were Fred Ream (1929 – 1930) and Joe Lake (1930 – 1948).
The War and Post War Years: 1940 – 1949
Following the demolition of Stephens School in SE Portland, the Apprenticeship Program moved to a temporary home in the Atkinson Building at NW 11th and Davis (also referred to as the North School). In 1941 the Program, along with the other apprenticeship programs, moved to the Portland Apprentice School at 220 NE Beech Street. This school was originally called the Albina Homestead School; old-timers refer to it as the Beech Street School.
In February of 1940 there were 1000 “unlimited” electrical licenses in Oregon and 300 “limited” licenses. The apprenticeship program began training a new generation of electricians. Our program became a model for others; in December of1940 Local 659 in Medford requested help setting up their program.
After WWII began the program changed rapidly. Work in the shipyards overshadowed construction. By 1943 there were 116 people attending classes at the Apprentice School, largely shipyard workers. Since the shipyards operated on 3 shifts students attended school either Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7 to 10 PM or they attended Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
In 1942 the National Electrical Contractors Association, Portland Chapter was replaced by a new employer association – The Portland Electrical Contractors Association. WR Grasle was elected Chair and Jim Scudder, Secretary. In 1943 the Chapter re-established affiliation with NECA.
Many of the apprentices enlisted in the military to support the war effort; occupational draft deferments were available to apprentices who had 2 or more years in the apprenticeship program. During the war the apprentice wage rates began at 50% of journeyman’s pay and progressed to 95 % over the 5-year apprenticeship. By the end of the war, the number of indentured apprentices had dropped to 25.
The program changed dramatically after the armistice. Returning veterans filled up the classrooms at the Apprentice School. By December of 1945 the program had grown to 52 apprentices (34 were veterans). One year later the program had 101 apprentices (86 were veterans). Classes were overcrowded at the Apprentice School. Trade extension classes were also very popular.
Three significant changes to the program occurred in 1946 – 1) the program was changed from a 5 year program to a 4 year program, 2) IBEW Local 48 began indenturing apprentices (heretofore all apprentices were indentured to employers), and 3) the start wage for apprentices was lowered to 25% (veterans start rate remained at 50%). Un employment among the apprentices continued to increase; by 1948 many apprentices were either unemployed or working part time. In 1949 there were 104 apprentices in the program.
Classroom attendance remained a major problem. In March of 1948 the Apprenticeship Committee took action to cancel 51 apprentices for nonattendance.
During the 40’s, apprenticeship instructors included Alex Ebel, W. E. Roberts, Virgil Scott, Walter Scheef, Clarence Emmons, and O.T. Fugit.
Contractors who played a role in apprenticeship in the 40’s included WR Grasle, McCoy Electric, Bressie Electric, Webb Electric, Ajax Electric, AR Johnson, Ace Electric, Montgomery Electric, A.J. Hunergardt, Lloyd L. Bartlett, Sutherland Electric, KV Allison, Graham Electric, Friberg Electric, Tice Electric, Collins – Paulsen, Reiter, Jaggar-Sroufe, EL Knight, Electrical Construction Company, Faber Electric, Olson Electric, Roberts Electric, Greiner Electric, Peterson Electric, George Janin Electric, Gordon Nagel, Christenson Electric, Multnomah County, Tide Electric, Roper Electric, Hays Electric, Rochat Electric, Kenney Electric, Bjur Electric, Adams-Rankin, Delta Electric, Oregon Electric, Broadway Electric, Franklin and Moeller, Bartlett Electric, Began Electric, George Knox Electric, McNab Electric, Moffat and Britton, Sirianni Electric, Hollywood Electric, Harris Tigard, Krauser Electric, Watco Electric, Imlay Electric, Cascade Electric, Kadd Electric, VanDoozer Electric, Rose City Electric, and West Portland Electric.
The Business Manager/ Financial Secretary for Local 48 from 1930 to 1948 was Joe Lake. In 1948 “Hub” Harrison succeeded Mr. Lake as BM/FS of Local 48.
Laurence Rodgers replaced J.R. Tomlinson as NECA Chapter Manager during the 40’s.
A Decade of Growth: 1950 – 1959
1950 began with 155 people attending apprenticeship classes. Instructors included Ernest Millirpon, Roger Niedermeyer, Chris Klawa, Walter Scheef, O.T. Fugit, Clarence Emmons, Alex Ebel, Ray Miller, and Virgil Scott.
The quality of on-the-job training was of particular interest to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. In 1950 Labor Commissioner Norm Nielson wrote a letter to the Portland Electrical Apprenticeship Committee cautioning against sending apprentices to one-man shops. The Portland Apprenticeship Committee also had subcommittees in outlying areas including Forest Grove, Vancouver, Clackamas County, and Washington County.
Apprentices were scheduled to attend 180 hours of related classroom instruction per year; 144 hours was the minimum requirement. In 1953 a number of apprentices were working on The Dalles Dam. As a result, classes were held in The Dalles with Laddie Melvin as the instructor. Separate classes were also held in Vancouver.
In 1954 the Committee met with representatives of Benson High School to discuss moving classes from the Apprentice School (Beech Street) to Benson; the move was completed in 1955. Following 2 years of discussion a pre-apprenticeship program at Benson was formalized in 1957.
By 1959 there were large numbers of apprentices unemployed; employers were encouraged to contact the Local prior to indenturing any additional apprentices (apprentices were still indentured to individual employers or the union). The upper age for entry into the program was 26 years plus years of military service.
The industry recognized the need to promote itself. Contractors participated in trade shows such as the Home Show. The Apprenticeship Committee developed an Outstanding Electrical Apprentice award which later provided the inspiration to develop a statewide competition.
The industry continued to change and grow. Many contractors who began in the 30’s and 40’s were no longer around. Some changed ownership and some went out of business. Contractors involved during the 50’s included Rose City Electric, Christenson Electric, Bob Smith Electric, Greiner Electric, W.R. Grasle, Adams and Rankin Co., Watco Electric, McCoy Electric, Arrow Electric, Williams Electric, Ajax Electric, Electrical Construction Co, Heil Electric, Hanniff Electric, Neon Sign Service Co, Rutherford Electric, Brabham Electric, Beaverton Service, Bjur Electric, Hayes Electric, Sutherland Electric, Friberg Electric, VanDoozer Electric, Allison Electric, Morris T Nelson Electric, Post Electric, Mohlig Electric, Kaad Electric, Hagen Electric, Dimitrie Electric, Empire Electric, Bressie Electric, Franklin Electric, Broadway Electric, Graham Electric, East Portland Electric, Emory and Bohm Electric, Orient Electric, Sirianni Electric, T.N.T. Electric, Olson Electric, Pitman Electric, Midway Electric, Haskins Electric, Delta Electric, Beck’s Electric, Oregon Electric Construction, Cascade Electric, B and R Electric, Metro Electric, Montgomery Electric, Krauser Electric, Knox Electric, Reese Electric, Lord Electric, Bagne Electric, RW Goin Co, Bee Electric, JH Langley Electric, Oliphant Electric, Evergreen Electric, Grand Electric, Morrison Electric, AR Johnson, Azbar Electric, Jan Electric, Kilowatt Electric, Viner Electric, Ideal Electric, Owens and McIntyre, WP Scheller Electric, Huenergard Electric, Jaggar Sroufe, School District #1, Galloway Electric, Rocket Electric, Bair Electric, Newton Electric, Tice Electric, and Clark Electric.
Laurence Rodgers continued as Chapter Manager through 1957. In 1958 the Chapter hired Robert Burns to replace Mr. Rodgers as Manager. The Local remained under the leadership of “Hub” Harrison throughout the 50’s.
Decade of Change: 1960 – 1969
In 1960 the JATC was meeting at Benson High School; Allan Fragall, a PGE employee, was the chairman of the committee. Committee representatives were encouraged to visit evening apprenticeship classes. Apprentices turned in their monthly Work Progress Reports to their instructors.
Classes were still being held at Benson as well as in The Dalles and Vancouver. Apprentices who attended school at Benson paid tuition to Portland Public Schools. As a result of a levy failure tuition was raised from $7.50 to $11.00 per term. The instructor wage was increased from $4.00 per hour to $5.00 per hour (the first increase since 1947). In June of 1960 Local 48 adopted a resolution encouraging the legislature to pass a law giving workers compensation to apprentices while attending class.
Applicants for apprenticeship filled out applications at the Apprenticeship office of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. The applicants had to find their own employer and appear at the JATC meeting with the employer in order to be indentured by the committee. Applicants with more than one year experience were excused from taking the aptitude test. Apprentices were either indentured to the employer or the trade committee. Employers were not allowed to indenture new apprentices to replace recently discharged upper term apprentices; they were encouraged to hire a like term apprentice from the unemployed list at Local 48.
The relationship between the Oregon State Apprenticeship Council and NECA and IBEW continued to be close. In 1962 OSAC asked NECA and IBEW to act as friends of the court in a lawsuit against the Council.
Determining the number of apprentices to indenture each year was a challenge. Bud Taylor of Ace Electric suggested a quota plan for new apprentices to “avoid unbalanced relationship between apprentices and employment situations”. In mid 1963, there were 108 apprentices in the program with 28 unemployed.
Several major changes occurred in 1963 – a Training Trust was formed, new selection procedures were approved, and JATC and Trust meetings were moved from Benson to NECA.
In 1964 discussion began on combining all subcommittees into one JATC. The committee was advised to send request to Apprenticeship Council. The committee was also charged with providing classroom instruction to sign apprentices. It was determined that sign apprentices should attend the first 6 months of the inside program.
In the fall of 1964 the Trust hired Dan Faddis as Apprenticeship Coordinator. His office was at the NECA office. Dan came to the position with a long list of accomplishments – instructor in the apprenticeship program, electrical supervisor on several large projects throughout Oregon, and elected officer in Local 48.
In 1965 the committee adopted new minimum requirements which included high school graduation with 2.0 GPA, age limit of 18 to 30, passing aptitude test, and US citizenship (or applying for citizenship). The mid 60’s also brought changes to the selection procedure which required committee interviews and ranking of all qualifying applicants. Additionally, all apprentices would be indentured to the committee. In December of1965 the committee interviewed 44 applicants and accepted 31. 1965 also saw the committee name changed to “Metro”.
During the mid 60’s the industry saw an increased interest in Equal Employment opportunities for minorities at both the state and federal level. In November of 1965 the Oregon Apprenticeship Council adopted Equal Opportunity Standards. In 1966 the OSAC approved combining all subcommittees under the Metro committee.
The selection process continued to be refined, but not without complaint. In 1966 Stan Adams of EC Co registered a complaint with the committee regarding the new selection procedures. The committee continued interviewing applicants twice a year (the author was interviewed on Dec. 14, 1966 at 2:00 PM and was one of 24 people selected for the program)
The late 60’s saw continued growth in the program; in 1968 there were 184 apprentices indentured to the committee and by July 1969 the number had grown to 209.
From 1967 to the end of the decade the committee came under pressure to expand EEO efforts to increase the number of minorities in the program. The Metro Subcommittee on Minority Problems was created in 1967. The committee worked with the Urban League and the LEAP project to develop new approaches to create opportunity for ethnic minorities.
Employers involved in the industry through the sixty’s included Mel’s Electric Service, Viner Electric, Krauser Electric, Emory Electric, Reese Electric, American Electric, EC Co, Watco Electric, Allstate Electric, Noteboom Electric, Jaggar-Sroufe, McCoy Electric, Borland Electric, Adams Electric, Ajax Electric, Oregon Pacific, Hembree Electric, AR Johnson, Christenson Electric, Friberg Electric, Pitman Electric, JH Langley Electric, Cascade Electric, Graham Electric, Bohm Electric, Lord Electric, WR Grasle, Ace Electric, ABC Electric, Azbar Electric, Tice Electric, Dimitrie Electric, Broadway Electric, Reddy Electric, Franklin Electric, Campbell Norquist, Strauss Electric, Gateway Electric, Dryer and Sons Electric, Lambert Electric, Sirianni Electric, Harold Electric, Oregon Electric Const., Anderson Electric, Van Doozer Electric, Harmon Electric, Delta Electric, Frahler Electric, Weitzel Electric, All Electric, Becks Electric, Schulman-Anderson, Allison Electric, Heil Electric, Bagne Electric, Buds Electric, Jackson Electric, Electric Service, Wiring Shop, Faber Electric, Bair Electric, Gross Electric, Brabham Electric, RW Goin Electric, DeSau Electric, Westside Electric, Bee Electric, Liberty Electric, Lincoln Electric, Post Electric, Silver Star Electric, Rose City Electric, Tigar Electric, AB Electric, Builders Electric, Morrison Electric, Dickinson Brothers Cash Electric, Thunderbird Electric, AAB Electric, Haskin Electric, and AAA Electric.
Bob Burns continued as Chapter Manager throughout the 60’s. Business Manager Herman Teeple replaced Hub Harrison in 1963 and continued in the position through 1970.
Increased Outreach and an Industry Training Center: 1970 – 1979
In 1970 the Metro JATC and Trust committees were chaired by Business Manager, Herman Teeple. Bob Burns, NECA Chapter Manager, served as secretary and Dan Faddis continued as Training Director. Classes were being held at Benson High School under the umbrella of Portland Community College. The Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training was represented by Carl Sorenson, Charles Ganter was the State of Oregon apprenticeship consultant. In 1971 Herman was appointed as an International Representative for the IBEW; Art Bauder was appointed Business Manager.
A major topic of discussion in the early 70’s was the quality of related classroom instruction. The committee searched for tools to improve the preparedness of the evening instructors. Instructors were also hampered by lack of training aids and limited storage space at Benson.
In June of 1971 there were 234 apprentices registered to the committee. 1971 also saw the merge of the Clatsop County program with the Metro program. By June 1973 the program had grown to 275 apprentices.
Efforts to bring more minorities into the program continued; 8 of the 70 applicants for the program in August of 1973 were minority. The program was found in compliance with federal requirements.
In January of 1975 the program was at 289 registered apprentices. The industry was experiencing a recession. There were 79 apprentices and 70 journeymen out of work. By January 1977 the program had dropped to 237 apprentices. The committee had also taken action to merge the Tillamook program with the Metro program.
The program continued to experience problems with classes being held at Benson High School. In early 1977 the Trustees made a decision to buy an empty 15,000 square foot Safeway store in NE Portland (42nd and Killingsworth).
After dropping down to 195 apprentices in January of 1979, the work picture turned around. In May of 1979 the committee interviewed 720 applicants. By July there were 296 indentured apprentices.
As the 70’s drew to a close, Bob Hall replaced Art Bauder as Business Manager/Financial Secretary of Local 48. Bob Burns continued as Chapter Manager.
Committee members through the 70’s included Stan Adams, WR Grasle, Riley “Bud” Taylor, Bob Burns, Eric Christenson, Jr, Dick Bonillo, Bill Shird, Don Lewis, and Hugh “Buzz” Allison representing NECA and Herman Teeple, Don Larkins, Jim Gilmore, Herb Bohlmann, Art Bauder, John Fischer, Jack Gallagher, Mel Hasslen, and Ed Barnes representing IBEW Local 48.
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.
Growth, A New Training Center, and Day School: 1990 – 2004
The 90’s began with 191 inside apprentices and 38 residential apprentices. There were an additional 33 people waiting for initial dispatch in both programs. The JATC and Trust committee consisted of Ed Barnes, Business Manager of Local 48, Tim Gauthier, NECA Chapter Manager, Bob Palandech, Gary Price, Ken Fry, Gene Heil, Grant Zadow, and Bill Shird. Several events that would help the program occurred in 1990: instructors were sent to the first year of the NJATC’s National Training Institute in Knoxville, Dwight Page was hired as Assistant Training Director, the Industry Drug Testing Program was initiated, and the apprenticeship program instituted a tutoring program. In April of 1990 Jerry Bruce replaced Ken Fry on the committee; Mel Conner replaced Jerry later in the year. Apprentice rotation remained a contentious issue.
During the early 90’s we continued to see positive change in the program. The apprenticeship committee, instructors and apprentice class representatives participated in a planning retreat in July of 1991 to develop a blueprint for the future. In 1991 Bruce Zimmerman was hired as Assistant Director. The Limited Energy Apprenticeship Program became one of the Training Center‘s programs following the merger of IBEW Local 49 into Local 48. Additional hands-on training was scheduled for apprentice classes.
The residential apprenticeship program was very proactive in the 90’s; the residential apprenticeship program worked with the Gresham School District wiring a house each year built by the Gresham High students.
The program continued to participate in the Northwest States Electrical Contest. In 1992, now Assistant Training Director, Rod Belisle won First Place in the contest in Seattle. Jerry Bruce returned to the committee replacing Mel Conner. Later in the year Al Feller replaced Grant Zadow on the committee.
With the announcement of Training Director Dan Faddis’ retirement, Ken Fry returned to the Training Center and became Director effective January 1, 1993. In January of 1993 Bob Agee replaced Bill Shird on the committee. In ’93 the program took a number of steps to increase the retention of women in the program. A meeting with the JATC and all female apprentices and journeymen was held at the Training Center, led by Seattle’s Training Director Nancy Mason.
We continued to see large numbers of people applying to the program. In 1994 the inside program had 714 applicants which included 9.8% female and 17.2% minority. The committee quit using the GATB aptitude test that year. The committee approved a sexual harassment policy and scheduled another women’s panel discussion for the following spring.
With the increased emphasis on safety and the financial implications of unsafe job sites, the Industry made the decision that a joint labor-management safety director should be hired to work out of the Training Center. In late 1994, the Trustees hired Mike Murphy as Safety Director.
In 1995, Business Manager Ed Barnes retired and was replace by Business Representative Greg Teeple, Greg was appointed to the committee to replace Ed and Luigi Serio replaced Al Feller. With a booming economy, the committee indentured 60 maintenance electricians with advanced standing. The training center was running out of classroom space and parking. Additional classroom space was found at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus. The Trust also rented classroom space and parking at Whitaker Middle School across the street from the Training Center. The residential upgrade program (2+2+2) was causing an exodus of residential journeymen who were entering the inside apprenticeship program and was causing increased concern among the residential contractors.
In 1996, Business Manager Greg Teeple was appointed to an International Representative position within the IBEW and was replaced by Business Representative Jerry Bruce. Steve Shiprack was appointed to both committees and Bobbie Durdin to the JATC (Bob Palandech stayed on the Trust Committee). Additionally, Dwight Page was hired as Assistant Training Director. In 1997, Mark Zadow was appointed to the committee replacing Luigi Serio. The work continued at brisk pace creating additional growth in the apprenticeship program.
In 1997, the Oregon Legislature passed legislation causing JATC’s to no longer be a part of a state agency. While this had very little affect on the Metro program, it caused many other programs to be more accountable. By 1998 the program had 10.7% minority participation and 11.0% female participation.
With the tremendous growth in the program, the committee made the bold move of contracting to have a new training center built on NE Airport Way adjacent to IBEW Local 48. After a short construction period and a total investment of approximately $6,000,000.00 the program moved into the new NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center in March of 1998. As a result of the growth, the Training Center opened with no excess capacity. A decision was made in late 1998 to move inside apprentice classes to day school. In 1998, Dick Frahler was appointed to the committee to replace Bob Agee and Elias Campbell was hired as Apprenticeship Coordinator.
In 1999 the program had grown to over 650 apprentices, a basic skills class (boot camp) had been initiated and day school was underway under the guidance of Lead Instructor Rod Belisle. Rod was later given the additional responsibility of Assistant Training Director All apprenticeship committees were combined under one JATC. Work continued at a brisk pace until mid 2001 causing a decline in the number of apprentices entering the program.
Business Manager Jerry Bruce retired in June of 2000 and was replaced by Business Representative Keith Edwards.
In early 2002, Dick Frahler was replaced by Karl Jensen of Westside Electric and Jason Landon of McCoy Electric was appointed as an alternate.
In 2003, Business Manager Keith Edwards was appointed to an International Representative’s position and was replaced by Business Representative Grant Zadow.
As the NECA-IBEW Electrical Apprenticeship Program enters its 76th year we find the program continuing to adjust to changing technology and business environment. The Training Center is often referred to as the “Research and Development Department” of the NECA-IBEW Electrical Industry and continues to foster innovative ideas to help the industry. As we look back with pride on the past 75 years, we also look forward to the challenges of the next 75 years.