Active and retired veterans from IBEW 1245’s membership and staff met at Weakley Hall on Nov. 14 to launch an IBEW 1245 veterans’ group.
Brainstorming the new group’s mission and structure were IBEW 1245 members Jordan Bean, (1SG); Jeremy Carlin, 1SG, US Army (ret.); Walter Carmier, SSG (ret.); Casey Salkauskas, MM2(SS) USN; Josiah Sanders, Sgt, US Army; Shane Scott, US Army; Joe Sanchez, USMC; Eric Varela (Sgt., US Army); and Bob Dean, USN. They came from Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento, Eureka and Reno; their employers include PG&E, NV Energy, SMUD, Frontier and IBEW 1245.
The group hopes to become a “band of brothers and sisters,” vets who will support each other and support vets outside the IBEW. The group agreed that, “If we help one veteran, we’re a success.”
Ideas for specific activities included:
- Serving as a point of contact for vets transitioning out of active duty.
- Providing hands-on skills support, including resume writing, identifying companies that are hiring veterans, and providing assistance in getting benefits.
- Persuading more companies to commit to hiring veterans.
- Fundraising for local veterans groups.
The group considered the possibility of forming local groups that come together to brainstorm activities in their region as well as holding central gatherings.
The first step, the agreed, is to reach out to IBEW co-workers who are vets to share the initial idea and continue brainstorming. The group also plans to develop a Facebook Page, an outreach flyer, and begin signing up co-workers through one-to-one conversations.
IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell planted the idea of forming an IBEW 1245 veterans’ group after Erick Varela shared his experience at an IBEW 1245 Advisory Committee meeting last summer, telling how the union changed his life following his departure from active service.
Anyone interested in participating in the IBEW 1245’s veteran’s group should contact one of the members listed below. In the future the union will create a link on its website where veterans can sign up for the new union group.
Jordan Bean, NV Energy/Reno
Jeremy Carlin, SMUD, Sacramento
Walter Carmier, Frontier, Elk Grove
Casey Salkauskas, PGE Bakersfield
Joe Sanchez, PGE, Fresno
Josiah Sanders, SMUD, Sacramento
Shane Scott, PGE, Fresno
Erick Varela, PGE, Northern California
You can also contact IBEW 1245 organizers Jennifer Gray (707-410-7799) or Eileen Purcell (415-828-3731) for more information.