They’re electrical workers. We’re home builders. It’s a perfect match.
We count ourselves very lucky at Habitat Tucson for having such amazing community partners. Their work with Habitat truly exemplifies and puts into action the belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Time and time again, our community partners have stepped up to help with enthusiasm, dedication and heart. A shining example is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and Tucson Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training.
Habitat Tucson was first connected to the local IBEW chapter through Karen King, the training Director of the TEJATP. Through Karen, Joshua Swinney, Habitat’s Director of Construction and T. VanHook, Habitat’s CEO, met Jimmy Ciardulli, the lead organizer of IBEW. Through this meeting, an important working partnership was born.
Building homes, community and hope.
Passionate about their service, the IBEW Tucson chapter was looking for a way to utilize their professional talents as a way to give back to their Tucson community. Through their partnership with Habitat Tucson, they were able to direct their skills, energy and goodwill at the 2016 Blitz Build—a record breaking effort to build four homes in eight days! To say that the IBEW stepped up to the challenge, is an understatement. They were one of nearly 30 community partners who helped make this feat possible. Without their skills and expertise these four homes would have never come as far as they did in such a short time.
IBEW worked on all four houses. Ciardulli and his team arrived every morning with supervisors and apprentices ready to work together, alongside hardworking families dedicated to building a better life for themselves. These volunteers roughed and eventually trimmed the electrical work for every single home.
“They’re professionals so we really didn’t need to train them. They showed up and knew exactly what to do. I think they brought most of their union members!” says Swinney.
Not only is this partnership beneficial for Habitat Tucson’s mission to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter, it’s also giving participants of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program the opportunity to gain on-site, real-world training through volunteerism that will prepare them for their careers as electricians.
Habitat Tucson families who are now homeowners because of the blitz build expressed gratitude for IBEW’s dedication.
This partnership has left an impression on IBEW as well. Just last month IBEW, NECA and TEJATP presented Habitat Tucson with a generous donation to help build another safe, decent home in our community!
Community partnerships like these illustrate what we can accomplish when we come together to build physical structures that lead to so much more. Habitat Tucson looks forward to a long and collaborative relationship with IBEW, NECA and TEJATP.