User menu

IBEW 48 Looks Towards a More Diverse, High-Tech Future


Unions have been around almost as long as the United States itself. Originally created to protect workers from the unsafe conditions often found in industrial cities, the earliest trade unions were formed as early as 1827 in Philadelphia. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, then the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, arrived not long after in 1891. Since then, our organization has continued to grow and evolve in order to better meet the needs of members and help them achieve a higher standard of living and improve their quality of life.

Change is inevitable, and also necessary. Looking back at Local 48 just 75 years ago, you would find the somewhat stereotypical union member demographic - which is to say, lots of men in coveralls and boots! World War II proved the catalyst that would begin to change all that; at one point, Local 48 counted over 25,000 members working to support the war effort. Following the war, apprenticeships were increasingly available to women and minorities.

Fast forward to 2018 and you’ll see a dramatically more diverse IBEW Local 48. Today, Local 48 membership is made up of one in five female and minority members. We continue to work to create inclusive opportunities for all to build their skills, find fulfilling work, and enjoy excellent benefits and pensions.

A Changing Industry

Much like the demographics of Local 48, the electrical industry has also undergone seismic changes in recent years, as technologies evolve and renewable energy sources like solar power have become more popular. New technologies mean today’s electrical workers must also take on new advanced skills. With the help of Local 48, many of today’s electrical workers can also be considered high-tech workers, with computer skills joining more traditional hands-on skills like running conduit and pulling wire or installing electrical switch gear.

New Skills for IBEW Members

IBEW Local 48 is here to assist members in gaining these new skills. The classwork IBEW Local 48 offers through the NECA-IBEW training center is changing and growing too. Today we offer exciting classes covering topics ranging from basic electrical training to solar power to 3D Modeling of electrical systems using Building Information Modeling (BIM) from Autodesk.

View all of the latest courses now available at the NECA-IBEW Training Center.

IBEW Member Groups

But perhaps some of the most exciting changes we are seeing here at IBEW Local 48 are coming from our members themselves. Groups like RENEW (Reach Out and Energize Next-Gen Electrical Workers) are seeing huge growth, as more members join together to work on issues that are important to younger workers. It is highly rewarding to see the next generation of leaders building relationships and taking part in activities that truly represent the values of the IBEW.

As we look to the future, we are inspired to continue building, growing, and evolving to meet the needs of both our current members as well as provide the resources potential members need to get started on the road towards successful careers and longtime friendships at IBEW.

IBEW Local 48 News
Design by Fruition.