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IBEW Local 1

IBEW Local 1 Electrician Wins 2018 IBEW Apprentice of the Year

in Companies/News/People

Deaf apprentice Cory Davis pursues his dream despite language barrier

Submitted by SHERI GASSAWAY

IBEW LOCAL 1 PROUD: Cory Davis, a fifth-year IBEW Local 1 apprentice who has been deaf since birth, was named the 2018 IBEW Apprentice of the Year at the IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington last month, making his IBEW Local 1 family proud. – IBEW photo

Much to the delight of his IBEW Local 1 family, Cory Davis, a fifth-year IBEW Local 1 apprentice who has been deaf since birth, has been named the 2018 IBEW Apprentice of the Year.

Davis, who was selected among 400 nominations nationwide, received the award last month at the 2019 IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington. The 37-year-old father of four said he was shocked to learn he had won the prestigious honor.

“I want to say, ‘Thank you to Local 1 for getting me in and to my wife Rebecca for supporting me,’” Davis signed at the award ceremony. “I’m very proud to be a member of the IBEW.”

KNEW AS A CHILD HE WANTED TO BE AN ELECTRICIAN
Davis, originally from Alton, IL, knew as a child he wanted to be an electrician. His father worked at a telecommunications company and brought his scrap home and Davis would practice wiring.

After receiving his associate degree in electrical technology from Harper Williams College in Palatine, IL, he stayed in the Chicago area and worked for a company building control panels.

Eventually, Davis moved back to the St. Louis area, married and started a family. He knew that he needed to join the IBEW to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an electrician.

THE BIG BREAK

IBEW LOCAL 1 Business Representative John Kahrhoff (left), St. Louis Electrical Industry Training Center Director Dennis Gralike (second to left) and Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs (far right) knew from the very beginning that apprentice Cory Davis (standing left of Jacobs) had a bright future with Local 1. – Compass Communications photo

In 2014, he met IBEW Local 1 Business Representative John Kahrhoff at an air show. Davis and Kahrhoff, a licensed interpreter, struck up a conversation, and after learning about Davis’ qualifications and his goals, Kahrhoff knew Davis had a future with the IBEW Local 1 family and talked it over with Business Manager Frank Jacobs.

“John walked in with his credentials, and I said, ‘Let’s get him in here for an interview and make sure there is an interpreter,’” Jacobs said. “He came in for the interview and did really well, and he was selected into the apprenticeship program.”

The IBEW Electricians Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee committed to giving Davis full communication access through sign language throughout his apprenticeship training.

TOP OF HIS CLASS
“Cory finished the program at the top of his class and had the highest grade point average, and continues to receive outstanding evaluations on the job,” said Dennis Gralike, director of the St. Louis Electrical Industry Training Center.

Mike Hood, former vice president of Bell Electric who has bilateral hearing loss, took Davis under his wing and hired him in 2014. Hood has since retired, but still enjoys learning about Davis’ success on the job.

CORY DAVIS, a fifth year IBEW Local 1 apprentice who works at Bell Electric, is well respected on the job because of how good he is at what he does. – ibewhourpower.com screencap

WELL RESPECTED ON THE JOB
“The work that Cory does is impressive, and he is respected on the job,” Gralike said. “Even journeymen wiremen look up to him because of what he has accomplished and how good he is at what he does.”

Davis communicates with his co-workers via writing and pointing to blueprints. He attends union meetings on a regular basis and takes part in many his union’s community service opportunities.

“My advice to other apprentices or those considering an IBEW Local 1 apprenticeship is to just be yourself,” Davis said. “Show your knowledge of the industry and what you can do and work hard, and you’ll do just fine.”

ANOTHER NATIONAL HONOR
In August, Davis will be attending the IBEW National Training Institute in Ann Arbor, MI, where he will be recognized by the IBEW National Training Committee – which oversees the curriculum for the IBEW/National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) training program – as an outstanding apprentice.

“I imagine Cory will serve as an inspiration to the many instructors that will be attending the event,” Gralike said.

IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs Honored for Labor Leadership

in Associations/News/People

The venerable St. Louis Irish fraternal organization, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, is honoring IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs with its 2019 labor leader of the year awardJacobs will be honored on March 7, 2019 along with civic leaders and first responders at the “Judge James Dailey Wahl Memorial Hoses, Handcuffs and Hardhats” memorial at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Hall at 2319 Chouteau Avenue.

Jacobs, a proud 37-year member of IBEW Local 1, leads the more than 7,000 member Union which for 128 years has supplied the construction industry with the highest skilled and safest electrical and communications workforce.  Jacobs chairs the Electrical Connection, a partnership of IBEW Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Under Jacobs and St. Louis NECA Executive Vice President Doug Martin’s leadership the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership was honored in 2018 with an Inclusion Award from the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers.  It also earned the Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award from the St. Louis Regional Chamber in its 2018 Arcus Awards.  

Jacobs chairs the IBEW/NECA Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund, which oversees workforce training at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. He also serves on the board of the Regional Union Construction Center (RUCC), which helps minority and women owners of union construction companies grow businesses via a structured program that helps them improve their business skills.

In addition to workforce development, Jacobs and Martin help guide the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership in supporting economic development and a number of community betterment initiatives including Rebuilding Together St. Louis, Habitat for Humanity, STEM initiatives and more.  Jacobs is a Saint Louis Science Center advisory board member.

Jacobs’ service to labor also includes vice president of the St Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO; executive board member of the Missouri AFL-CIO; the St Louis Labor Council executive board; and the St. Louis Construction Cooperative governance board.

He served on the Ballwin Athletic Association executive board for more than 20 years and also served as the St. Louis County Athletic Association president.

The Ancient Order of the Hibernians is also saluting St. Louis Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly as its 2019 civic leader of the year and former St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, who has been named the grand marshal for the order’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

In addition the organization will honor Arnold police officer Ryan O’Connor, who was shot in the line of duty in 2017; St. Louis assistant chief Lt Col. Lawrence O’Toole; St. Louis County firefighter Sean Murray; and St. Louis city firefighter and Deputy Chief Ken Smith.

For more information on Ancient Order of the Hibernians, visit www.stlhibernians.com.

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