Union Plus Introduces Mortgage Veterans Grant

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Union Plus to Offer Grant to Help Offset Costs of Down Payment for Union Members That Served

The American dream of homeownership is far too often out of reach, especially for those who make significant sacrifices to protect our country. Union Plus wants to make the dream of homeownership a reality for hard working union members who have served in our armed forces.

Union Plus will begin offering the Union Plus Mortgage Veterans Grant November 1, 2014, to provide qualified union member veterans with a $1,000 grant that never needs to be repaid to help offset the costs of a down payment.

Only 33 percent of veterans report looking for a home within the first year of their return from active duty, citing the high cost of home prices and the inability to come up with a down payment as reasons that deter them.

Union Plus wants to make sure that veterans that have joined a union after their service time receive help in making their dream of homeownership a reality.

To be eligible for a grant, members must meet the following qualifications:

  • Finance the mortgage of their primary residence through the Union Plus Mortgage program on or after November 1, 2014
  • Be an active or retired union member of a participating union
  • Be a veteran of the Union States Armed Services
Applications must be submitted within 90 days of closing on a mortgage. Limited funds are available and will be awarded in the order eligible applications are received.

The Mortgage Veterans Grant will be live at UnionPlus.org/Mortgage starting November 1.

PG&E CEO Sits Down with IBEW Vets

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The IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee with PG&E's Tony Earley and Steve Rayburn

The IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee with PG&E’s Tony Earley and Steve Rayburn

Even though the IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee has only been in existence for less than a year,  the committee of “brothers and sisters in arms” has wasted no time growing and expanding their new program, which is focused on helping vets (both within and outside the union) find quality jobs and get help if they need it.

IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell kicks off the Veterans Committee meeting

IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell kicks off the Veterans Committee meeting

This month, the committee added three new veterans to their group; Vicki Bunag from Fresno, Alycia Brown from Bakersfield and Chip Chadwick from Reno. The committee came together on September 24 at the union hall to welcome their new members, plan upcoming activities and engage in a unique dialogue with PG&E CEO Tony Earley.

“There is no more natural constituency within IBEW 1245 than veterans,” said IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell as he opened up the veterans meeting. “There is no group within 1245 that is more motivated and service-oriented than veterans. And there is no cause that’s more noble than helping veterans.”

Word about the new veterans committee has been spreading, and when Dalzell told PG&E’s Tony Earley about the group, Earley requested the opportunity to come and engage in an open dialogue with the veterans on ways that the company and the union can work together to further the committee’s primary goal – more quality jobs for vets.

PG&E CEO Tony Earley answers questions at the IBEW Veterans Committee meeting

PG&E CEO Tony Earley answers questions at the IBEW Veterans Committee meeting

Earley himself is a veteran who served as an officer in the United States Navy nuclear submarine program. He recognizes that vets have many unique skills, coupled with outstanding discipline and commitment, which make them an asset to any workplace. He’s a big advocate when it comes to hiring veterans, both at PG&E as well as at other companies. At the veterans committee meeting, Earley discussed a number of initiatives PG&E has undertaken to help vets in recent years, including PG&E’s Veterans Employee Resource Group and the PowerPathways training program, which has a number of veteran-specific classes to give those job candidates a competitive edge.

“We’ve done a huge amount of veteran hiring over the past three to four years,” Earley told the committee. “I think we owe it to the veterans; they volunteer and serve and we need to make sure that when veterans come out they have a good career so they can support their families. They deserve it.”

Earley and the veterans engaged in a candid and interactive Q&A session, with members of the committee asking specific questions about ways they can help increase the number of veterans hired out of the PowerPathways program, as well as improving opportunities to recruit and hire vets into both physical and clerical jobs at PG&E.

“I’ve been spending a fair amount of time working with organizations that focus on veterans hiring,” Early said. “One of the big problems is trying to link up veterans with companies like ours that have positions for them.” He went on to note, “We’ve been working with the Department of Defense to encourage them to allow recruiters like ours to get on the bases and get access to people before they get out [of active duty] as part of their career development.”

Veterans Committee member Alycia Brown gives PG&E CEO Tony Earley an IBEW Veterans Committee shirt as a token of appreciation

Veterans Committee member Alycia Brown gives PG&E CEO Tony Earley an IBEW Veterans Committee shirt as a token of appreciation

The vets and Earley also had a lengthy discussion about what the union and company can do as partners to spread the message about hiring vets to other employers as well (something Earley has already been doing through the United Way in the Bay Area).  By the end of the discussion, Earley agreed to consider setting a new goal for the number of vets hired at PG&E. He also said he would look at the possibility of giving the IBEW a seat at the table in the PowerPathways training and hiring process and expanding PowerPathways to provide opportunities for clerical workers. Earley also said he would consider how to encourage other employers to establish or improve hiring preferences for veterans.

The committee agreed that the conversation was incredibly productive and will greatly improve opportunities for vets looking for work at PG&E and in the utility industry as a whole. They also took advantage of the opportunity to directly hand Earley the resume of a vet who is currently looking for work. “We helped a veteran out today,” said committee member Phil Alleman.

In addition to working directly to help vets, the committee is also seeking new ways to make their presence known within their communities. With Veterans Day just around the corner, the group is busy planning and coordinating “marching contingents” from IBEW 1245 to join this year’s Veterans Day Parades in Shasta Lake, Sacramento and Fresno. All IBEW 1245 members and their families are invited to join the vets for in these marches. To join one of the marching contingents, contact the committee members below:

Shasta Lake:

Phil Alleman 530-410-5175 [email protected]

Mike Grandmain 530-941-7757 [email protected]

Sacramento:

Pam Pendleton 310-227-2422 [email protected]

Walter Carmier 916-869-5195 [email protected]

Fresno:

Joe Sanchez 559-264-3262 [email protected]

Vicki Bunag 408-348-2637 [email protected]

 

Click here for more information on the Veterans Day Parades.

Lompoc Unit Donates $500 to Fallen Warriors Project

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IBEW 1245 members (from left) Shawn Wynne, Jaime Tinoco, John Daniel and Bobby Garcia present the donation to Fallen Warrior Project committee member Laurie Lane (center).

IBEW 1245 members (from left) Shawn Wynne, Jaime Tinoco, John Daniel and Bobby Garcia present the donation to Fallen Warrior Project committee member Laurie Lane (center).

IBEW 1245′s Lompoc Unit presented a $500 donation to the Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial Project. The funds will go towards construction of a new veterans memorial in Lompoc that aims to honor and memorialize veterans who died in the line of duty.

According to the Lompoc Fallen Warriors website, ” The Memorial will embrace the existing flagpole atop a rolling hill, at Beattie Park, overlooking the city. The peaceful setting will provide a place of solitude for those who wish to pay respect and reflect on the sacrifices of our local warriors.”

The committee still needs to raise more than $50,000 to reach their fundraising goal. IBEW 1245 member and veteran John W. Daniel said he hopes the IBEW’s donation will spur other local groups and organizations to pitch in and make the memorial a reality. “It’s a worthy cause,” Daniel said in an interview with the Lompoc Record.

Learn more about the project at www.lompocfallenwarriors.com.

Redding Veterans Resource Center & IBEW Local 1245 Raise More Than $1,000 at 1st Annual Trap Fun Shoot

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story and photos by Phil Alleman, IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee

On Sunday August 10, the Redding IBEW Local 1245 Veteran’s Group partnered with the Redding Veteran’s Resource Center to put on their first annual Trap Fun Shoot at the Redding Gun Club.  The event raised more than $1,000, with all proceeds going directly to assist Shasta County local veterans with housing and special needs.

IBEW Veteran Group members from the City of Redding, Bella Vista Water District, Western Area Power Administration and the City of Shasta Lake volunteered their time and labor to work the event.  Military veteran IBEW members cooked and served a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and juice.  Experienced IBEW trap shooters provided shotguns to novice shooters who did not own a shotgun and provided assistance to those novice shooters on the firing line.  Qualified IBEW members also worked as Range Safety Officers to ensure it was a fun and safe event for all.

Trophies were given to the Men’s High Score (Robert Wert 25 for 25), Women’s High Score (Julie Santos 9 for 25) and Best Competitor (Robert Dean 24 for 25).  Certificates were also given out for “Great Sportsman”, “Best First Time Shooter” and “Best Dressed.”  A raffle was held at the end of the shoot and many of those in attendance left with outstanding gifts and prizes donated by local Redding vendors.

The second annual VRC & IBEW Trap Fun Shoot will be held in May of 2015 and annually after that every May.  The weather was a bit warm on the firing line but shooters took it in stride and had a great time.  Many shooters commented when leaving at the end of the day how they are looking forward to attending next year’s Trap Shoot and plan on bringing a friend.  Brad Long, the Director of the Redding Veteran’s Resource Center, thanked all the IBEW members for their efforts to support the VRC (they had previously raised another $1500 for the VRC through a combination of Community Fund donations and other collections) and commented that the IBEW team effort helped to make the Trap Shoot a success.

My Story: Jordan Bean

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Nevada Air National Guard, 2003-present (Active Duty & Reserves)

1st Sergeant, Aerial Delivery

1st Sargeant Jordan Bean, Nevada Air National Guard NV Energy/Reno 775-247-7015 - thebeansrock1@gmail.com

1st Sergeant Jordan Bean, Nevada Air National Guard
NV Energy/Reno

I was deployed for almost four years straight, and I did tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Germany and Amsterdam. The most memorable part of my service was definitely all of the different places I got to travel; I probably would never have had the chance to go to any of those places if it wasn’t for the military. I got to spend nine months in Kuwait which was really memorable; the people there are great and the culture is amazing. Travelling is one of the greatest benefits of being in the military, and you get to meet so many different people from all over the place.

When I transitioned out of active duty, it was very tough. As active duty servicemen and women, we get so used to being in the military and having that military mentality, so used waking up every morning and knowing what we would have to do that day. When I got home from combat tours, I realized there was nothing for me to do. Transitioning back to being a civilian is tough for a lot of people, including me. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things and start looking for a good job.

Finding good work wasn’t easy. I took a lot of little jobs, here and there, trying to find something good. I didn’t really have a civilian career path in mind, because the career I wanted was to be in the military full-time, but that didn’t work out. I did the Reserve thing, and it took me years to settle down and really find a career.  Finally, I got lucky enough to become part of the NV Energy team, but it took me about three years to find that career. And that was really thanks to the friends I had who worked there; they told me, “Just keep applying and applying.” I would go to the website every day to check for new job opportunities and it finally paid off. I’m still in the Reserves, and NV Energy has been great in terms of letting me have the time off I need to fulfill my National Guard duties.

I definitely think the union has helped me cement my place in the civilian world. When I became part of the union, it felt like I found that same sort of brotherhood I had in the military. You have your union brothers, just like you have your brothers in arms, and many of my union brothers were also in the military, so they understood what I was going through, how I was feeling and the transition between the two.

When I was looking for a job, there weren’t any programs or groups or anything to help me out back then, and that’s what makes the IBEW 1245 Veterans Program so important, and that’s why I’m a part of the union’s Veterans Committee.

If there’s one piece of advice I could give returning vets who are transitioning back to civilian life, it would be to actually sit down and take the time to think about what you want to do with your life, and carve out a path that way, instead of trying to take a job that doesn’t fit you. Find a job that you actually want to do, and it will stick. Don’t give up, because you’ll never be happy if you do.

My Story: Jose “Joe” Sanchez

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U.S. Marine Corps, 1992-1998

Heavy Equipment Operator & Combat Engineer

Joe Sanchez, USMC (ret.) PGE/Fresno 559-264-3262 - Sanchez1and3@gmail.com

Joe Sanchez, USMC (ret.)

I served on the West Coast, at Camp Pendleton in Bakersfield, and on the East Coast at Camp Lejuene in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I also did a brief stint in Korea, at Camp Casey, neat the DMZ. I was there for three months.

For me, the best memory from my service was the camaraderie with my fellow Marines. Growing up, I had an older brother and a little sister, but I never had anyone the same age and with the same interests. In the Marine Corps, we came from all over, but we all had the same focus.

When I transitioned from active duty back to civilian life, it was kind of a culture shock. You come from something so strict and structured and disciplined, and suddenly, you’re just on your own. You had to wake up on your own, do physical fitness on your own, it’s all on you, and that’s not at all what I was used to after six years in the Marines. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of not wanting to do anything, so it took a lot of self-discipline to maintain that active lifestyle I had in the Marines.

Finding work after the military was even more of a struggle. I was a heavy equipment operator and combat engineer in the Marines, and I tried to follow that same career path in the civilian world, but employers kept telling me that my military skills didn’t carry over into the civilian jobs I was going after. I bounced around from bad job to bad job, but I never gave up. I always did what I was supposed to do, whether I was working in a food-packing warehouse or loading trucks for a window company. And slowly but surely, that discipline I learned in the Marines helped me to stand out at work. During my eight years at the window company, I started off loading trucks but ended up as the shipping supervisor, even though I had no previous experience in managing, other than leading Marines.

The military is like a family. In everything you do, you don’t want to let the person next to you down. I did my job to the best of my ability; I didn’t let anybody down. And I still feel that way now when I’m at work, I never want to let my co-workers down.

And that’s just one of the traits that’s stuck with me in civilian life. To this day, I still get up at 5am, and I’ve been out more than 15 years. It’s kind of embedded in me. That, and being prepared. My kids make fun of me when I say this at home, but it’s something I learned in the military – “Two is one, and one is none.” I always have a backup, no matter that it is, laundry detergent or what have you, I always have an extra, so I’m never out. It’s lead to some interesting conversations with my wife, and some creative ways to store the extra stuff, but we’ve never run out of laundry detergent.

If there’s one piece of advice I could offer young vets who are just beginning their transition back to civilian life, I would tell them, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” I was so used to being the big tough Marine who didn’t need any help. I was used to being the person others leaned on when they needed help. And so I bounced around from job to job because I was too prideful to ask for help. If I would have learned to ask for help, maybe I could have landed in a better job a lot sooner, and at this point I could have 18 years’ experience in my line of work, instead of nine. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned, to be humble, and to ask for help when you need it.

 

My Story: John Wayne Daniel

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US Army, 25th Infantry Division, 1975-1978

Combat Engineer, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

John Wayne Daniel

John Wayne Daniel

I was volunteer army, stationed at Schofield Barracks on active duty for 32 months. When I got out of the military, it wasn’t easy, and I was kind of bitter. My dad, a Navy Vet and Pearl Harbor survivor who served for 24 years, knew what I was going through, and he helped me out a lot. I went to the local Junior College, and there were veterans there to talk to, and that helped too.

Some of my friends who had really good jobs hadn’t gone into the military. Even though I had that army experience, it took me five or six years to find a real, quality job, and that was tough. But eventually I did get a job at the city of Lompoc, in the water department. I worked my way up, and now I’m a leagueman. I’ve been working for the city for 24 years.

When I got hired on back then, all the supervisors were WWII vets and Korean war vets, and they would hire other vets. But all that has completely changed nowadays. If you went to go fill out a job application for the City of Lompoc today, you wouldn’t get asked about your military experience at all, and that’s not right.  I think veterans deserve preferential treatment when it comes to hiring and jobs, because they put their lives on the line for our country.

That’s what I think about whenever I look at all the young veterans who are just returning home, and their families. And that’s why I like being a part of the IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee. It gives me a chance to help this new generation of vets. A lot of these young guys just don’t know about opportunities that are out there, and this program gives us a chance to help them.

IBEW 1245 vets present $500 donation to Veterans Resource Center

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IBEW 1245 vets Phil Alleman (left) & Mike Grandmain (right) present a Community Fund Check in the amount of $500.00 to Brad Long, Director of the Redding Veteran’s Resource Centers of America (center).

IBEW 1245 vets Phil Alleman (left) & Mike Grandmain (right) present a Community Fund Check in the amount of $500.00 to Brad Long, Director of the Redding Veteran’s Resource Centers of America (center).

On July 2nd, IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee members Phil Alleman & Mike Grandmain presented a Community Fund Check in the amount of $500.00 to the  Veteran’s Resource Centers of America (VRC) in Redding.  This donation will assist Redding Veterans with housing and special needs.  “The motto of Shasta County is ‘Where We Honor Our Veterans.’  The IBEW Local 1245 Veteran’s Group is proud to say we support that motto as well,” said Alleman.

On August 10, the Redding Veteran’s Group will assist the Redding VRC in a Trap Fun Shoot Fundraiser to raise additional donations to help Redding Veterans.  IBEW Local 1245 members will be volunteering to cook breakfast at this event for all those who buy a ticket, work as Gun Safety Officers during the Shoot and help give away some great raffle prizes.  Learn more about the shoot and sign up.