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Sponsor Feature: IBEW 625

Striving to have the most diverse and highly skilled workforce in Nova Scotia, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 625 (IBEW 625), has been a strong Techsploration supporter for nearly seven years; not only donating time and money, but sharing core values.

“Unions and construction have been male-dominated. For men, it’s always been an option; but for women, not so much. It doesn’t have to be that way,” says Barnaby McHarg, Membership Development and Business Representative at IBEW 625. “We still don’t have an equal division of men and women in the industry, but it’s better than it was 40 years ago, and it continues to get better.”

You may have noticed their commercials on television; men and women electricians promoting the benefits of apprenticeship, union membership and advantages of hiring unionized work. In addition, on their website, www.energize625.ca, you can find videos prominently featuring their female members describing their work at IBEW 625. Other videos highlight work the union does in the community, such as building with Habitat for Humanity, and A Brotherhood Building a Sisterhood, a video focusing on their support of Techsploration and women in trades.

“We were getting ready to launch a marketing campaign and wanted to focus on what we were doing as a union in our communities. Unions, in general, have an image problem—we wanted to show that we provide a value to the community,” says McHarg. “We support a number of community organizations and work hard to build and maintain relationships with them.”

Currently, IBEW 625 provides bursaries to students attending NSCC, scholarships to students studying nursing, and makes donations to Christmas Daddies, the Nova Scotia Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Police Association of Nova Scotia.

Proving their dedication in working towards a diverse workforce, IBEW 625 has also partnered with the Native Council of Nova Scotia to create an electrical training program. Three First Nations women are enrolled in this pre-employment program; when they finish this year they will be become registered apprentices, and then certified journeypersons within five years.

“Becoming an electrician can be an excellent career choice for women. It is detail-oriented, focused work and women tend to do very well,” explains McHarg.   

IBEW 625 is an excellent example of a forward-thinking organization with a hands-on approach to actively changing their workforce. Techsploration is proud to call such a proactive organization one of our sponsors and wishes to thank the union membership and management for their ongoing commitment and support.