By Eileen Purcell, IBEW 1245 Organizer
Redding retiree Mike Grandmain, a long term member of IBEW 1245, continues to be the leading standard bearer of IBEW 1245 Veteran’s Group in Redding, Ca.
The Veterans’ Group launched in late 2013 and is a member-driven initiative. Committee members from Lompoc and Fresno to Sacramento, Redding, Eureka and Reno have sponsored local activities that honor veterans’ service and support local programs that help vets transitioning from military to civilian life. The Union has also been working closely with corporate leaders to raise awareness about the need for quality job training programs for veterans.
In mid April, IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell and PG&E Tony Earley met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to promote the Power Pathways job training program sponsored by PG&E, SMUD and other business leaders.
Grandmain, who served in the US Navy for five years (1975-1980) as a HT2-E5 Firefighting/damage control/ship maintenance in San Diego/Long Beach, worked at the Bella Vista Water District for twenty three years before retiring. Moved by the desire to help others, he volunteered to build support for veterans in Redding by participating in the IBEW 1245 Veteran’s Group.
In Redding, Grandmain and fellow retiree, Phil Alleman, have worked with their 1245 Redding Unit to raise funds for local vets organizations. In addition to passing a motion to secure funds through the 1245 Community fund, they passed the hat, doubling the donation in 2014. They also organized a pancake breakfast/clay shoot, participated in panel discussions on Veterans and spearheaded the first IBEW 1245 contingent in Redding’s annual Veteran’s parade last November.
This year, Grandmain urged his IBEW 1245 Unit to adopt a motion to request $500 from IBEW 1245’s Community Fund to support the Redding Veterans Resource Group (VRC) for the second year in a row. Brad Long, the VRC’s site director,thanked IBEW 1245 for our monetary support. “Without the gracious support of organizations like the IBEW many veterans in our area would continue to struggle with maintaining adequate housing.”
Grandmain continues to volunteer weekly at the VRC and other local veterans’ organizations. Just recently, he helped two returning vets navigate their job search, steering them to the IBEW 1245 vets web site and coaching them as they figure out where to throw their hat in the ring. “If there’s one lesson I can share with other vets who are just returning to civilian life, it’s to hang on to the discipline you learned in military. Be on time, and show up ready to work. And don’t be afraid to assert yourself – and ask for help — when needed,” Grandmain said.