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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164
205 Robin Road · Paramus · New Jersey · 07652
FACTS 2009

Description

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164 is dedicated to providing its more than 3,900 electricians and telecommunications technicians with integral services designed to elevate the level of training, expertise and quality of life for its members.

Local 164 includes electricians active in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties and telecommunications workers contracted throughout the state for residential, commercial and industrial projects. From its pre-apprenticeship programs for high school students, to the electrical and telecommunications apprenticeship programs and advanced skill improvement programs, IBEW Local 164 provides all of its members with a full continuum of professional and safety education at two state-of-the-art training facilities in Paramus and Toms River, N.J.

A leader in worksite safety, the Local launched the first Drug-Free Workforce Program in New Jersey. As one of the first in the New York metro area, the mandatory, random substance-abuse prevention program was implemented in 2008 to enhance the level of safety on construction jobsites throughout New Jersey. The ground-breaking initiative benefits workers, contractors, developers and end-users alike.

History and Philosophy

Established in 1891 when public demand for electricity surged, the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers sought to obtain an improved way of life for electrical linesmen whose death rate was one of every two hired. Without apprenticeship programs and safety standards, pioneering linesmen and electricians risked their lives for 15 to 20 cents an hour. Although its first convention in St. Louis was attended by only 10 delegates representing 286 members, the nationwide brotherhood expanded by 1899 to include telephone operators and territorial jurisdiction in Canada. With 40 locals,  the organization became known as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Founded in 1901, Local 164 remains dedicated to the IBEW's original objective and programs - to make life better for its members and those around them. Originally established with exclusive jurisdiction in Hudson County, Local 164 was expanded to include Bergen County in 1928 and Essex County in June 2000. Local 164 continues to focus on promoting reasonable methods of work; seeking a higher standard of living and security; and elevating the moral, intellectual, and social conditions of members and their families in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship. Local 164 also values and cultivates its partnerships with contractor management through a cooperative teamwork approach. In addition, the Local serves as a liaison with contractors to fulfill their ever-changing employment needs by providing highly skilled electrical and telecommunications technicians who have received extensive training in the latest industry advancements. Today, the IBEW includes 800,000 members worldwide.

Services and Programs

IBEW Local 164 offers members a wide range of services and programs specifically developed to meet the unique needs of today's electrical and telecommunications workers. These include:

Training

As a nationally recognized leader in the field of electrical and telecommunications training, Local 164's educational offerings incorporate the latest industry advancements. Classes are held at its 40,000-square-foot Training Academy in Paramus. Developed by the Local, the curriculum is taught by fully certified instructor/members who are graduates of the University of Tennessee/Knoxville National Training Institute. Local 164 offers:

  • More than 1,000 federally registered apprentices a five-year electrical or four-year telecommunications program that combines classroom lectures and labs with on-the-job, supervised training; the program is administered jointly by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee which is comprised of representatives from Local 164 as well as the Bergen-Essex-Hudson Division of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
  • A three-year residential program offering specialized training for wiring single-family homes and multi-unit apartment dwellings
  • A full range of more than 20 journeyperson skill improvement and safety courses, of which 10 have been approved by the New Jersey State Board of Electrical Examiners to satisfy electrical contractor licensure requirements
  • One of the first photovoltaic training programs focusing on the installation, repair and maintenance of solar technology and "green" control systems
  • Two accelerated baccalaureate programs for trade workers in conjunction with the National Labor College, based in Silver Spring, Md.
  • The first IBEW Cisco-certified training academy, offering exclusive instruction in this leading internet provider's equipment
  • Collaborative partnerships with leading manufacturers and distributors to enhance industry knowledge and provide hands-on training prior to new product roll-outs
  • A cooperative safety initiative that includes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Electrical Contractors Association/North Jersey Chapter


Wages and Benefits

Committed to negotiating in good faith on behalf of its membership to secure competitive wages, IBEW Local 164 offers one of the most comprehensive benefits packages for building and construction trade workers throughout the state. Benefits include:

  • Pension Benefit and Annuity Funds, Joint Apprenticeship Training Fund in cooperation with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), National Electrical Pension Plan and "off-the-job" disability plans
  • Health and Welfare Plan, which includes supplemental unemployment and long-term care benefits as well as mental health services


Community Outreach

Known as the "Union with Heart," Local 164 is committed to assisting those in need by donating electrical and telecommunications materials and skills for charitable construction projects. On-going efforts include Rebuilding Together in Bergen and Essex counties and Jersey City, N.J., and Habitat for Humanity in Bergen and Essex counties. In addition, service projects have been completed at Hackensack University Medical Center, Gilda's Club, a boy scout camp, private and public schools, churches, shelters and senior centers.    

In 1998, Local 164 established Project Grandma, an annual breast cancer fundraising campaign. To date, more than $500,000 has been raised to benefit support groups and programs for those diagnosed with cancer, their loved ones and children. Proceeds have benefitted research at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., as well as cancer support services and programs offered by the American Cancer Society and Gilda's Club of Northern New Jersey, also in Hackensack.

A leading benevolent organization, Local 164 has been recognized for its volunteer efforts with the President's Service Award, the nation's highest honor for volunteer service, sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and the Corporation for National Service; Bergen County Habitat for Humanity "Builder of the Year" Award; Trailblazer Award from the Zonta Clubs of Bergen County in recognition of outstanding contributions toward breast and ovarian cancer services; and the Archbishop's Business and Labor Award for leadership and service within New Jersey's business markets.

Key Management

Richard Dressel, Business Manager, has been overseeing all business-related activities throughout the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164 since 1997, during which time he has been a leader in securing electrical and telecommunications contracts throughout New Jersey on leading construction projects. A leading advocate for Drug-Free Construction Zones, Dressel spearheaded the development and implementation of Local 164's mandatory substance abuse testing program for all of its members as well as traveling electricians and telecommunications working within the Local's jurisdiction.

As a former member of the Meadowlands Redevelopment Stakeholder Committee, he was instrumental in selecting the Xanadu proposal, a mixed-use attraction incorporating family entertainment venues with offices and hotels. Currently, he serves on the Board of Commissioners of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA).

In addition, he serves as a delegate for the Building Trades Council in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties; executive board member for the New Jersey State AFL-CIO; board member for the New Jersey Board of Electrical Contractors; executive board member of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board; member of the IBEW Voice Data Video National Task Force; and a member of the Board of Trustees of Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J.

Dressel has been honored by Bergen County Habitat for Humanity as Builder of the Year; the Colleen Giblin Foundation as Humanitarian of the Year; the Borough of Oakland; and is a past recipient of IBEW's Life Saving Award. He also was honored at the Eleventh Annual Archbishop's Labor and Business Recognition Reception for his leadership efforts within New Jersey's construction industry.

John DeBouter, Training Director and President, oversees one of the largest electrical training programs in the nation as well as Local 164's Training Academy, a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, in Paramus, N.J. Additionally, he serves as President, responsible for supervising the Local's internal membership operations, including administration of the local's rules and by-laws, committee and trustee appointments and financial management.

Previously, DeBouter served as a business representative and assistant training director/instructor for the electrical division. He completed his apprenticeship training in 1987 and worked as an electrician for Local 164's signatory contractors for 11 years in various capacities, including foreman, shop steward, high-voltage splicer and journeyman.

A graduate of Glassboro State College with a bachelor of arts degree in personnel management/labor relations, DeBouter successfully completed studies and earned several industry training certifications at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville. He also holds numerous professional affiliations, including membership in the National Electrical Training Directors Association, and was honored as "Tradesman of the Year" by Rebuilding Together Jersey City, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to assisting low-income families rehabilitate their homes.

Thomas D. Misciagna, Assistant Business Manager, spearheaded the establishment of Local 164's telecommunications division more than 30 years ago and currently oversees its overall business operations. Since its inception, the division has grown from 12 telecom technicians to more than 1,300 members working with signatory contractors on projects throughout the state of New Jersey.

Misciagna also serves on numerous Local 164, community and industry-wide committees including the Bergen County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors; Bergen County Construction Appeals Board, of which he served as Chairman; Local 164's COPE Committee; the Northeast Planning Commission; and the Bergen County Construction and Trades Council where he served as Vice President and is currently serving as President. In addition, Misciagna has been a guest lecturer for labor relations at Rutgers University and Ramapo College and formerly served as a Councilman and Mayor of Hillsdale, N.J. He was honored with Bergen County's First Annual Labor Award and is a past recipient of the Hudson County Leadership Award and the Bergen County Central Labor Council's Labor Leader of the Year Award.

+ Bios

Richard Dressel, Business Manager, has been overseeing all business-related activities throughout the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164, based in Paramus, New Jersey, since 1996.  Since his initiation in 1970, Dressel completed his apprenticeship four years later and achieved certification as a high-voltage cable splicer in 1975. He also served as an instructor for Local 164’s Splicing Course. Within IBEW Local 164, Dressel has served as a member of the Executive Board, Recording Secretary and Business Representative. He also currently serves as a member of the Meadowlands Redevelopment Stakeholder Committee, where he was instrumental in the selection of the Mills Corporation/Mack-Cali Realty Corp. proposal for the redevelopment of the Continental Airlines Arena site. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority selected Xanadu, a proposed 4.7 million-square-foot mixed-use attraction incorporating family entertainment venues with offices and hotels, which will be overseen by representatives of the Stakeholder Committee.  Dressel has also been a leader in securing electrical and telecommunications contracts throughout New Jersey's leading construction projects, including the Goldman Sachs Building in Jersey City; the Secaucus Transfer Station in Secaucus; and the Newark Bears Arena in Newark.  In addition, he serves as a delegate for the Building Trades Council in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties; executive board member for the New Jersey State AFL-CIO; board member for the New Jersey Board of Electrical Contractors; executive board member of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board; and member of the IBEW Voice Data Video National Task Force.

John DeBouter, Training Director and President, oversees one of the largest electrical training programs in the nation that serves more than 3,900 member electricians and telecommunications technicians. He spearheads all apprenticeship and continuing education programs at the IBEW Local 164 Training Academy, a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, in Paramus and a satellite center in Toms River, N.J. Additionally, he serves as President, responsible for supervising the Local's internal membership operations, including administration of the local's rules and by-laws, committee and trustee appointments and financial management.Prior to his current positions, DeBouter served as a business representative and assistant training director/instructor for the electrical division. He completed his apprenticeship training in 1987 and worked as an electrician for Local 164's signatory contractors for 11 years in various capacities, including foreman, shop steward, high-voltage splicer and journeyman. A graduate of Glassboro State College with a bachelor of arts degree in personnel management/labor relations, DeBouter successfully completed studies and earned several industry training certifications at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville. He also holds numerous professional affiliations, including membership in the National Electrical Training Directors Association.

Thomas D. Misciagna, Assistant Business Manager, has been a member of Local 164 since 1959 and completed his training to become a journeyman electrician in 1964. Since then, he has been active within the Local as well as the community. In 1968, he was appointed to Local 164's Executive Board and served as President for a four-year term. Recognizing the future growth of the telecommunications industry, Misciagna was appointed Business Agent in 1977 where he was responsible for spearheading the newly-developed telecommunications division. Since its inception, the division has grown from its original 12 members to more than 1,300 members. In addition, he serves as Director of the Youth Transition to Work (YTTW) grant, a state-funded telecommunications pre-apprenticeship program for high school students. Misciagna has also served on numerous Local 164, community and industry-wide committees including the Bergen County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors; Bergen County Construction Appeals Board, of which he served as Chairman; Local 164's COPE Committee; the Northeast Planning Commission; and the Bergen County Construction and Trades Counsel where he served as Vice President and is currently serving as President. In addition, Misciagna has been a guest lecturer for labor relations at Rutgers University and Ramapo College and formerly served as a Councilman and Mayor of Hillsdale, New Jersey. Recently, he was honored with Bergen County's First Annual Labor Award and is a past recipient of the Hudson County Leadership Award and the Bergen County Central Labor Council's Labor Leader of the Year Award.

Keith Misciagna, Business Representative, has served Local 164 in this capacity since 1998 and is responsible for representing more than 1,200 telecommunications members working for over 170 signatory agencies throughout New Jersey. In addition, he serves as the grant coordinator for the Youth Transition to Work (YTTW) grant program. Prior to becoming a business representative, Misciagna was a senior project manager for Mehl Communications in Pearl River, New York, as well as an IBEW Local 164 Construction Journeyman/Foreman and Instructor for the Communications Division. A graduate of The Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, he is a member of Building Industry Consulting Services International, Bergen County Habitat for Humanity, Bergen County Building Trades and the Committee on Political Education. Misciagna holds numerous certifications including Cabling Distribution Designer from the Siemon Company, Installer for Ortronics Open System Architecture, and Fiber Optic Installer for terminations, splicing and testing from Siecor Corporation. He is also certified by AT&T Systimax, Thomas & Betts and Belden Krone. 


 

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