ST. LOUIS – The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership hosted a special holiday celebration for families served by the justice system – one that also opens potential career opportunities. More than 100 families served by the United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri, Probation Division received holiday gifts as the Electrical Connection again supported the division’s holiday gift giving program. And like last year, the event was hosted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 at its union hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave. IBEW Local 1 and St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) partner to form the Electrical Connection.
The December 15, 2022 event was for families with a parent or parents awaiting sentencing or on probation in justice system. It featured a sit-down dinner for families, including about 300 children. The event included turkey giveaways, toys and warm coats for children, and a visit from Santa. But it also offered the potential of exploring a new career upon exiting the probation at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center next door.
“We were happy to host again this year, but we also wanted to plant a seed that with dedication and hard work we can offer a career pathway as a skilled IBEW electrician or communication technician,” noted IBEW Business Manager Frank Jacobs. For more than 75 years the training center has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other program in the state.
“Our annual holiday giving event is a celebration of the future as families served by our justice system are reunited,” noted Lisa White, supervising U.S. probation officer. “We are grateful that the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection not only hosts our families, but energizes with the prospects of a bright future in the electrical industry.” The Electrical Connection also donated $2,500 to support the holiday gift giving program.
“This is the fifth year that our IBEW/NECA partnership has supported the U.S. Probation Officers holiday giving program,” noted Kyle McKenna, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter NECA. “In an era that is witnessing the electrification of everything, we are changing the world through our training program and there are many opportunities for those inspired to be part of that change.”
The holiday giving event is part of the U.S Probation Office’s Family Program an innovative approach to rehabilitation. It is a holistic and family inclusion led by Lisa White and Clark E. Porter, MSW, an ex-felon himself, who is now a program support specialist for United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri. The U.S Probation Office offers substance abuse treatment, community service, employment assistance, and support for ex-offenders to reduce recidivism and reorient their lives to give greater purpose beneficial to society. Learn more about Porter and Project Re-Direct in this video.
Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.