Two Minutes on a Massive Stage: IBEW Members Introduce President Biden

Two Minutes on a Massive Stage: IBEW Members Introduce President Biden

May 8 was not a typical day for Local 430 membership development coordinator Nick Fick in Racine, Wisconsin. 

Behind a makeshift stage, Fick had been dazzled to meet business, sports, and political VIPs like Microsoft exec Brad Smith, Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy, Gov. Tony Evers, and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. Fick would eventually shake hands with the leader of the free world.

Fick wondered: “What the heck am I doing here?” 

Then he took a deep breath, walked on stage, and entered the spotlight to introduce President Biden to a cheering crowd. Biden was in town to promote a $3.3 billion Microsoft AI data center project. 

A 23-year IBEW member and Racine native, Fink told the audience he had to travel to find work during the Great Recession. But not anymore.

“This site is Microsoft’s crown jewel: the biggest Microsoft footprint worldwide,” said Fick. “That means long-term work for hundreds of skilled, professional IBEW electricians for 10 to 15 years.” 

Today, Local 430 members are digging trenches and installing wiring for the project that will include four data centers.

Fick described Biden as friendly and easygoing. Of the whirlwind experience, Fick said, “I would do it again, in a heartbeat. It was the experience of a lifetime.”

Two weeks earlier, Syracuse Local 43 member Shannon Thomas, a second-year apprentice, introduced President Biden at a visit to announce additional federal support for New York’s $100 billion Micron semiconductor facility. The federal government will invest another $6 billion in the campus. More proof Biden is serious about bringing manufacturing jobs back. 

In his introduction Thomas celebrated the project that will be constructed by a unionized workforce, including thousands of Local 43 members. 

“President Biden promised to reshore manufacturing and good jobs, and Joe Biden keeps his promises,” said Thomas.

Thomas and Fick belong to an elite club of IBEW members who have introduced Joe Biden since his election in 2021. At least eight other members have also had the honor: 

  • Travis Brown, Washington, D.C. Local 26
  • Mike Fiore, Pittsburgh, PA Local 29
  • Shawni Davis, Syracuse, NY Local 43
  • Lauren Heitzman, Portland, OR Local 48
  • Lovette Jacobs Boston, MA Local 103
  • Alyssa Cruz, Chicago, IL Local 134
  • Johnny Le, Arlington, TX Local 220
  • Valentino Collado, Milwaukee, WI Local 2150

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