In order for the United States to be competitive in the 21st century, we must control our energy destiny and switch to sustainable, low-carbon sources of power. This massive economic shift will create new industries and will redefine the way traditional industries operate. Much of the old fossil fuel sector is made up of middle-class, union jobs. In making this green shift, we can’t lose our middle-class workforce. As cleaner technologies emerge, we need them to support union careers with skilled training, family healthcare, pension retirement, and excellent wages.
Today, there is much talk about the “new” green economy. In fact, many of the skills required to work with green technologies are skills IBEW electricians have trained on for years. In addition to our core curriculum, we have added new courses to address emerging technologies with an emphasis on sustainability and green principles. We were one of the first IBEW Locals in the nation to start training on solar technologies in 1999 and recently developed a state-of-the-art course to meet evolving energy efficiency standards. And, we don’t just train on these technologies, we practice what we preach. Our buildings are energy efficient and our San Diego facilities generate almost 90% of annual power from solar panels.
From our sparkling ocean to our beautiful backcountry and open desert vistas, our unique ecological features make San Diego and Imperial Counties a great place to live. Our members enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking and other outdoor activities. To preserve these resources for future generations, we support a transition to a low-carbon economy. This is why our Local recently helped organize a forum to educate labor leaders about environmental issues and led the passage of a new Environmental Resolution at the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council. IBEW Local 569 also hosts the San Diego Apollo Alliance and is a core partner in the Renewable Energy Leadership Institute.