IBEW: Leaning into the Biden Jobs Agenda

Nearly 1,000 members joined President Biden’s White House team for a first-ever briefing on May 4.


The America Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan were among highlights of the virtual discussion hosted by IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson, and included top advisors to President Biden: Congressman Cedric Richmond, who directs the White House Office of Public Engagement; Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi; Office of Public Engagement Director for Labor, Erika Dinkel-Smith; and David Kamin, Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council.


“It is nothing less than transformational change that President Biden is trying to achieve,” President Stephenson said on the Zoom call. “Big change like this will mean big opportunities – but it also means there has to be true focus on rebuilding damaged communities with federal investments and good union jobs.”


The White House team fielded questions about labor standards on clean energy jobs, the importance of nuclear energy as a baseload source of 24/7 electricity and emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture technology to preserve existing power plant jobs.


“We need to ensure that we are not just keeping our existing nuclear fleet online but making sure that we keep our edge in new technology,” Zaidi said in response to a question from Deric Wilkins, Joliet, Ill., Local 176 business agent about protecting the nation’s nuclear plants from premature closure.






Nearly 500 IBEW members virtually roamed the halls of Congress on April 12-13 in pursuit of support for IBEW priorities from elected leaders. This effort came at a critical moment in the national conversation about the need for infrastructure legislation.


Scheduled to precede the Construction & Maintenance Conference, the Zoom extravaganza included more than 250 meetings with a clear-cut agenda: infrastructure, broadband buildout, the power grid and labor standards. Members also emphasized the need to include the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) in any legislation that provides federal support for construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the National Child ID Program, a community safety initiative

dedicated to protecting the estimated 800,000 children that go missing each year.


The event featured hundreds of meetings with members of both parties in the House and the Senate.


“Your work always pays off,” IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson told IBEW participants following the meetings. “If there is anything IBEW

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