Q&A With Member Lane Stewart

Q: Can you start by telling us about your background and history with the union?

A: I’m a second-generation IBEW member. My father, Lane R. Stewart, was also a member and he’s retired now. He worked his whole career at what was once MGM, now Sony Studios. Growing up, my exposure was all about union pride and work. My brother-in-law, Juan Rodriguez, also followed this path and has made a successful career at Local 40.

Q: What has been your career trajectory since you joined IBEW?

A: I got into electrical work in 2011, starting in the apprenticeship program with no prior knowledge about construction or electrical work. I made it my goal to excel at my job and found a passion for it. After completing the program, I immediately pursued a leadership position and started running work as soon as I passed my state certification.

Q: You seem quite focused on leadership and training. What drives this interest?

A: I’ve always been interested in extending my education and stepping into a teaching role, similar to what my father did. Being a leader and teaching others about leadership and productivity in electrical construction excites me. I’m currently involved in the Foremanship Development Series to become more of a participant and an active member in shaping our workforce.

Q: What kind of work have you been involved with recently?

A: Lately, I’ve been managing projects that involve tenant improvements and advanced lighting systems for office spaces. Our shop is also getting into more specialized areas like soundproof rooms for post-editing production companies, including Netflix and Company Three.

Q: Could you elaborate on the Foremanship Development Series?

A: It’s a 16-module course in Oregon, and it’s comprehensive. We cover everything from the role of a foreman to job takeoff and bidding. It’s not just about technical skills—it’s about developing well-rounded workers with leadership, communication, and time management skills.

Q: How has being a union member impacted your personal life?

A: Being part of the union has provided me a solid foundation to build a successful career and a stable family life. It’s helped me become a more well-rounded person, able to communicate effectively and connect with others on various levels.

Q: What are your future plans with the training you’re receiving?

A: We are the first from Local 40 to attend this training. Our goal is to bring back what we learn and start teaching it to our journeyman wiremen and apprentices. We’re looking to develop a training program that’s directly influenced by what we learn in Oregon.

Q: Any final thoughts for our union members?

A: I think it’s important for everyone to understand the broader impact of our roles within the union and the construction industry. This training is helping us fill in the gaps that are sometimes missed through traditional apprenticeships, and it’s equipping us to better support our union brothers and sisters.

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