Infrastructure, Energy Laws Upgrade Arctic State, Put Members to Work

Infrastructure, Energy Laws Upgrade Arctic State, Put Members to Work

In June, Alaska Local 1547 Business Manager Doug Tansy and apprentice Jana Mabie attended a White House forum on how federal infrastructure dollars create jobs across the Arctic state.

Mr. Tansy is a Native leader who grew up in rural Alaska. He sees federal dollars as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize the utility grid in a state prone to earthquakes and extreme weather. The investments will connect rural villages by broadband and speed up the integration of renewable energy.

“As representatives of over 4,000 IBEW members in Alaska, the forum was our chance to tell the Biden-Harris administration how the infrastructure funding will help better connect us and offer long-term opportunities to the next generation,” said Tansy. “It will take skilled workers to build these projects and the IBEW can provide those workers.”

IBEW’s northernmost local, LU 1547, covers over 600,000 square miles of the most challenging conditions including limited road access and every type of weather. Despite these obstacles, Alaska’s location has made it important militarily. Several federally funded projects are taking place on the state’s nine military bases. 

Alaska is also an international transportation hub that connects North America to Europe and Asia. Capital projects like civilian ports, airports, broadband, and clean water systems are vital to this role. Billions of dollars in federal investments for these projects will employ IBEW workers while fostering economic growth, connected communities, and food security for Alaska residents.  

“We will meet with leaders at every level – anyone who is willing to work with us,” said Mr. Tansy following the June 6 White House event. It was the latest in a series that brings together union members, local officials, and other leaders to highlight the impact of Biden-Harris administration policies.

“As a telecommunications apprentice, I was proud to be part of the conversation representing our state and this union,” said Mabie. “It made me realize that each federally funded project we build is part of something bigger – a national movement to rebuild infrastructure everywhere. I was honored to be there.”

Photo caption: Anchorage, Alaska Local 1547 members Jana Mabie and Doug Tansy with Sen. Dan Sullivan June 6 in Washington, D.C. 

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