A&T Updates: Losses, Gains, and a Positive Outlook

IEC Loses Merit Shop Advocate

On December 23, 2020, the IEC family unexpectedly lost former IEC National A&T Chairman George Thess. He was 74 and leaves behind a legacy of 33 years to the industry.

In addition to his role as chairman, George was an integral part of the development of IEC’s Four-Year curriculum. He often described those weeklong working sessions in Mesa, Arizona, as days where “we’d lock ourselves in a room and just write until the work was done.” He helped build a strong foundation for the curriculum and supported its evolution.

He also championed new projects, such as the Certified Professional Electrician (CPE) credential, New Worker Program, and Limited Energy Program.

To say he was passionate about IEC apprenticeship and training would be a gross understatement.

In addition to his passion for IEC, many who knew him will tell you he was a trusted friend, mentor, father figure, family man, and one who was devoted to his church and community. He was also known for his storytelling and his analogies, namely “soup sandwich” and “like pushing a wet noodle.” (Smiling yet?)

To honor George’s legacy, the IEC National Education and Training Department will create a scholarship in his name. Details will be available in the coming months.

A&T Committee Welcomes New Leadership, Members

Dave Gilson of Tera-Byte Technologies has been appointed as the 2021 IEC National A&T Committee chair. He will be supported by two co-chairs, Blake Behr, Ridgeline Electrical Industries, Central Indiana IEC; and Jake Jackson, Juniper Electric, IEC Rocky Mountain.

“It’s an honor for me to be appointed A&T chairman. I feel the need to help improve the training of apprentices, and in the end, raise the level of expertise and quality of work,” said Gilson. “We’re working on a lot of projects this year, one of which is IEC’s Limited Energy Apprenticeship Program. In a few years, it will replace what exists now, which consists of content from other organizations. It’s going to be a great year for IEC apprenticeship and training.”

The committee also welcomed two new contractor members: Jerold Nichols, Amber Electrical Contractors, IEC Dallas; and Tom Seiter, Denier Electric Co., IEC of Greater Cincinnati.

Longtime A&T Member John Sayne Retires

The A&T Committee bid farewell to longtime member John Sayne, Denier Electric Co., IEC of Greater Cincinnati. Sayne celebrates 60 years of experience in the electrical industry this October.

During his tenure at IEC, he served on the National A&T Committee for 26 years, the National Safety Committee, and IEC of Greater Cincinnati’s A&T Committee for many years (11 as chairman). He is a licensed master electrician in three states and an authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer in Construction and General Industry.

In his retirement, Sayne is looking forward to pursuing his many hobbies – motorcycles, off-road UTVs, and a large collection of HO gauge railroad equipment – while listening to oldies and classic country music.

2021 A&T Committee Projects and Goals   

The A&T Committee will be busy in 2021 with curriculum updates and new projects. Below are some of its projects and goals for the year.

  • Update Four-Year curriculum and its safety lessons
  • Increase chapter participation in Apprentice of the Year
  • Provide an audiobook for supplemental curriculum material
  • Develop and beta test three Limited Energy modules
  • Finalize and beta test Crew and Foremanship Leadership courses
  • Update and revise the Level I Instructor Training CMS module
  • Add a new module to the New Worker Program

Instructor Conference
July 22-24, 2021
Eaton Experience Center

“We are excited to hold this event in July and thank our sponsors, ATP and Eaton, who value the education of our IEC instructors,” said IEC vice president of education and training, Paul Dolenc. “The virtual event we held last year was great, but don’t miss the opportunity to be face-to-face this year at the amazing Eaton Experience Center in Pittsburgh.”

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