Finding Yourself in the Trades

IBEW’s 2019 apprentice of the year shows benefits of an often-unconsidered industry

“Four years ago, my whole game plan was I was gonna become a pharmacist. I worked in pharmacy….it didn’t fit my soul. None of it fit my soul, none of it felt rewarding. I didn’t know what I was going to do, and then i learned about the trades.”

These are the words of Keefah Khalil, a young electrical worker and IBEW’s 2019 Hour Power Apprentice of the Year.

Keefah Khalil never thought she would be an electrical worker, be in construction or would end up working with tools. But looking back now, she can’t see herself in any other career.

As the award winner of the 2019 IBEW Hour Power Apprentice of the Year, Keefah’s old school work ethic, leadership abilities and passion for the job made her stand out from the rest.

“Her actions speak louder than words,” said David Mauro, Business Manager of Local IBEW 617. “She does a great job mentoring other apprentices on how to get involved, and takes great joy in helping people out following the purpose of the IBEW in any arena she enters.”

Keefah’s drive to succeed and go above and beyond for her local and the community was apparent in everything she did. Not only was she working in the field, but she was also going to school two nights a week for the pre-apprenticeship program and volunteering, all while trying to obtain her undergraduate degree.

The IBEW gave Keefah a purpose, a sense of belonging, community and support. All things that she plans to use both now and in the future, learning about herself and continuing to build on the skills she has learned during her apprenticeship.

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