The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College held their graduation Friday. Congratulations to all graduates! Whether or not that degree was important to you, it certainly was important to me. When I’m negotiating on your behalf, I’m not just representing highly skilled electricians, I’m representing a bargaining unit that also has college degrees. Harry envisioned it and made it a reality, and you are that much more valuable because of it. To see the graduates who may have never envisioned going to college, in caps and gowns, many with their families in attendance, and especially the single moms in our program, is quite gratifying. A special acknowledgement also to those members who utilized the benefits of the Educational & Cultural Trust Fund and went on to attain Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. You are to be commended because it’s everything that Harry had hoped for. We are especially proud as there were a number of the former Spectrum employees who are now in the “A” Division who attained their degrees. Congratulations to you as well.
The 74th Annual Scholarship Breakfast was held on Saturday morning, and another 45 children of Local 3 members were awarded $30,000 in scholarships. We are fortunate as an industry to continue to fund and provide those scholarships, with the hope that wherever those young men and women end up they will never forget what Local 3 has provided for them.
Then Sunday morning, union church at the LI Educational Center at Santorini with the DBM Division, which I represented for 10 years. With the implementation of Local Law 97, the moratorium on gas installations and the push for all-electric buildings, fuel cells and associated battery storage systems, and solar installations, these systems will all require maintenance and service. Not only will our construction branch benefit from the installations, but our DBM members will see enhanced work opportunities, as our city adapts to the use of renewable energy power sources.
Finally, with early voting for the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary in New York starting June 18 and Primary Day on June 28, I am urging all of our members who are eligible to vote for Tom Suozzi. He has distinguished himself as a middle of the road, common sense candidate with the executive experience to lead our state as Governor. He will beat Lee Zeldin or Giuliani or any other Trump Republican who could care less about our economic interest. Our endorsement and efforts to support Suozzi will ensure a strong voice and a seat at the table with a Suozzi victory. Do the right thing and let’s make this happen. There is too much at stake.