International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 38 President Mike Muzic gave an update on what Local 38 did with regards to member protection during the pandemic, how the apprenticeship program has been affected, upcoming projects in northeast Ohio and more on the Sept. 8 episode of America’s Work Force Radio Podcast.
Working during the COVID-19 pandemic
Muzic said IBEW Local 38 has done everything they can to minimize risk for their members while still allowing them to go to work.
Since Cleveland has some of the highest ranked hospitals in the United States, Muzic said there was quite a bit of work for their members to do throughout the pandemic. Many of these hospitals set up overflow areas to isolate COVID-19 patients, which all needed electricity.
In order for these tradesmen and tradeswomen to continue working in these hospitals and elsewhere throughout their northeast Ohio jurisdiction, Local 38 has purchased and distributed face coverings for all members.
Muzic then transitioned into the apprenticeship program. He said the program has carried on, continuing to develop the next generation of electricians.
He also mentioned that anybody in the Cleveland area looking to apply for an apprenticeship with Local 38 can now do so entirely online.
Northeast Ohio construction outlook
Muzic later talked about the work outlook within the jurisdiction. He highlighted some of the larger local projects and other happenings.
He talked about a new apartment structure being built. The building is unique in that it will be made from mass timber. The building is the largest of its kind being constructed in the United States at the moment.
Muzic also discussed a project that appears to be shelved for now. The work would have seen six wind turbines built about eight miles off the shore of Lake Erie. He said the project would have produced hundreds of jobs for IBEW members of various locals.
The project has been put on hold after environmental activists asked the turbines to be shut down during certain hours to protect wildlife. Muzic said the Local 38 membership wrote letters to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in an attempt to convince him to allow the jobs creating project to move forward.