U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm delivered a high-energy keynote address to the IBEW’S 2023 Construction and Maintenance Conference on April 21.
Discussing the importance of IBEW members in the buildout of renewable energy generation made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, “it’s going to mean jobs, jobs, and more jobs.”
As labor secretary, Granholm said she has had the privilege of meeting dozens of IBEW members, highlighting a member from Arizona and the high rate of pay she earns.
She called out the IBEW for its intensifying efforts to recruit greater numbers of women and people of color, emphasizing the need for electricians in the coming years and the sea change in the composition of membership. “The tide is changing,” she said. “Unions can offer ladders to just about anyone willing to climb them.”
“With the power of America’s unions and the commitment of the Biden administration, there’s nothing we can’t do,” Granholm said to enthusiastic applause from the 1,300 IBEW members from the United States and Canada in Washington, D.C. for the annual conference.