The NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center held its annual graduation and celebration on May 5, 2017. It was held at the Portland Airport Sheraton and featured a wonderful meal, great speakers and recognition of 151 graduates.

The event was highlighted by positive remarks from Gary Young, Local 48 Business Manager. Tim Gauthier, Oregon-Columbia NECA Chapter Manager also provide thoughts on the immense impact the organized electrical industry and the impact it has on the local economy.

The keynote speaker for the evening, was IBEW Ninth District International Vice President, John O’Rourke. Mr. O’Rourke spoke of the leadership provided by the Organized Electrician’s and contractors in the NW and specifically about the leadership provided by Local 48 and the Oregon Columbia chapter of NECA. He also spoke proudly of his accomplishment of becoming a Journeyman electrician in his home state of California.

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Individual achievements were recognized also, as Jason Pluemke accrued an 88% GPA with perfect attendance leading the Limited Residential graduates, Erik Viken set the mark of 95%, as the top Limited Energy graduate and Nicholas Shefstad accrued 96 % GPA for the top Inside graduate award. All three received gifts and recognition from Industry partners, Klein Tools and Milwaukee Tools, who were on hand to present the awards. Connie Ashbrook was also recognized for her amazing accomplishments with helping women enter into non-traditional employment in the construction trades. Connie is responsible for Oregon Tradewomen Inc. and can be most proud of hosting the 25th annual Women In Trades Career Fair, being held at the Electrical Training Center.

The event wrapped up as the 151 graduates crossed the stage receiving their diploma’s as well as commemorative coins from the Electrical Training Alliance, gift cards from Platt Electric supply, Tools from Milwaukee Tool and coupons from Danner boots. The final act of the graduates was to pose for a group photo in their new NECA-IBEW jackets. The photo will be proudly displayed in the Training Center lobby, along with the many other graduating classes that have come before them.

The Organized Electrical Industry should be very proud of the great job they have done, having involvement in the training and maturing process of these many fine men and women of our community.