Electrical Workers Give a Plug for Smith Students
two years, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers (IBEW) union, Local 7, who wired electrical systems
throughout Ford Hall, had $1 per hour deducted from their
paychecks for a good cause.
Their dollars, when added up
over the duration of the Ford Hall project, would be used
to establish a scholarship to assist students in western
Massachusetts and others to attend Smith. By the end of their
contract work on Ford Hall, the union had contributed $40,000
to establish the IBEW Local 7 Scholarship Fund.
The scholarship will provide
financial assistance in the amount of $5,000 per academic
year for as many as three students, with a preference for
residents of western Massachusetts, then engineering majors,
and those with demonstrated financial need.
“Over many years Smith has reached out to the community,” said Bob Wilson, a
business representative for the union, which is based in Springfield. “What this
scholarship does is enhance the relationship between union workers and the college,
and will hopefully allow a couple local students to go to Smith.”
Some 40 IBEW Local 7 electrical
workers installed electrical wiring throughout Ford Hall,
for lighting systems, power and security. The union has a
membership of 520 workers, employees of 40 contractors in
The Smith scholarship is the
first such project initiated by the IBEW Local 7, said Dan
D’Alma, business manager for the union.
“Smith is deeply commited to providing young women with access to an education,
regardless of their financial circumstances,” said Carla
Byers, development officer, who worked with the union in
establishing the scholarship. “These union workers
understand the importance of educating young women of promise
and stepped up to the plate. We are pleased to have partnered