Community Investment

The NECA and IBEW Local 48 Board gave thoughtful consideration to the partnership’s mission and launched a new strategic plan to achieve its goals. The overarching theme is “NECA/IBEW is the electrical industry standard. We lead the industry through integrity, quality, skill, competence, and value.”

One aspect of this strategic plan is Community Investment: establishing and promoting a Giving Initiative to community programs, and promoting current community initiatives through newsletters and surveys, as well as increasing BALMCC visibility and reputation through public awareness campaigns.

Below are some of the different community organizations the NECA-IBEW Local 48 partnership has helped through its Giving Initiative.

Lower Columbia School Gardens Featured in VBJ

An article featuring the Lower Columbia School Gardens (LCSG) was published in the Vancouver Business Journal’s Philanthropy edition of the Business Quarterly Magazine on Sept. 30. As part of its initiative to give back to the communities where its members live and work, NECA-IBEW 48 gave a substantial donation to the LCSG and, through its marketing team, wrote the article.

LCSG connects kids and families with real food and hands-on learning through school gardens and cooking programs. Some of the produce grown in the gardens is donated to residents who are unable to leave their houses. Some of the produce is supplied to the community through Free Farm Stands.

The gardens are maintained by the students, where they learn about growing fresh food, soil health, and the relationship with worms, bees and other beneficial insects. Parents and other area residents are welcome to help in the gardens as well. The article features the Lin family, Fiona (age 6), Daniel (age 14), and their parents, Brian and Michelle, are regulars at the Northlake Elementary school garden in Longview.

The organization’s needs were brought to the attention of the Board by trustee Andy Busack, owner of Busack Electric in Longview. Andy noted that “Helping our community with food security issues is vital to me as a lifelong resident and a business owner.”

Back to School!

IBEW 48 Business Manager Garth Bachman and NECA Executive Manager Todd Mustard recently accepted recognition of NECA-IBEW 48’s sponsorship of Grow Portland. Grow Portland supports schools and communities by facilitating hands-on garden experiences that foster connections to food, nature and each other. Students returning to their gardens are enjoying the final month of summer harvests.

Grow Portland is currently partnered with 14 schools, providing 60,000+ square feet of outdoor spaces and gardens cared for, 4 Grow Portland Garden Educators (2 bilingual), 6000+ students receiving monthly garden lessons, 224 classrooms, and 15 Special Education/Life Skills Classes, and 7 PreK classes.

NECA-IBEW Local 48 is sponsoring the 2023-2024 Garden School Programs at the Harvester level for Vestal Elementary and Gilbert Park Elementary schools.

Raising Money for Children’s Charities with B.U.L.L. Session

The partnership has been a 32-year sponsor of B.U.L.L. Session and its annual golf tournament and auction. The dinner and auction was held Sept. 17, and the golf tournament was on Sept. 18. Funds raised from both events support Oregon’s children’s charities.

B.U.L.L. Session is one of the partnership’s largest annual contributions. NECA-IBEW Local 48 was a founding sponsor of the organization in 1991, participating in the golf tournament and silent auction ever since to raise money for local children’s charities.

The nonprofit partners supported by the B.U.L.L. Session include Albertina Kerr’s Crisis Psychiatric Care Unit, Gales Creek Camp Foundation, March of Dimes, Swindells Resource Center of Providence Children’s Health Foundation, Shriners Children’s Portland, and Wheel to Walk Foundation.

Kelso Rotary Funds Community Projects

Rotary Foundation of Kelso received a contribution from NECA-IBEW Local 48 for its annual Quacker 5000 event, which raised money for community service projects, such as: Dolly Pardon Imagination Library for Cowlitz County, Longview/Kelso Spray Park, and local scholarships. This year’s event was held Sept. 12.

Cornhole for a Cause

The Portland YouthBuilders (PYB) is another organization that received support from the partnership as a sponsor of the Cornhole Classic, which was held Sept. 14. PYB’s mission is to support young people who are committed to changing their lives to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the workforce and community. PYB serves over 200 students a year with programs for high school completion, vocational training, counseling, and long term support.

PIL Supports Student Athletes & Academics

Another sponsorship provided by NECA-IBEW 48 was for the Portland Interscholatic League’s (PIL) annual golf tournament. The PIL Open was held Sept. 27 at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, and raised funds to support Portland Public Schools student athletes.

The mission of PIL and its high school athletics is to promote participation and sportsmanship through a competitive interscholastic athletic program. Every athlete is provided with opportunities, positive recognition, and learning experiences that support and maximize the academic goals of the high school. Over the past nine years, the PIL has grown to providing athletic opportunities to over 13,000 students.

Empowering & Strengthening Black Communities

The partnership was also a sponsor of the Urban League of Portland’s Equal Opportunity Day Dinner. The dinner was held Sept. 28 and featured honoree and keynote speaker Rukaiyah Adams, CEO of the 1803 Fund. Adams shared stories from her career in finance and philanthropy and how we can all work together to strengthen our communities.

The Urban League of Portland’s mission is to empower African-Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life. Their programs work to empower Black communities through advocacy, services to seniors, family health and wellness, youth and workforce development.

Through this signature annual fundraiser, the Urban League of Portland raises vital funds for the Black community in Oregon and Southwest Washington in a continued effort to build equitable, empowered communities.

Supporting Economic Independence to Change Women’s Lives

The partnership was also a sponsor of the Oregon Tradeswomen’s Build With Us! 2023 Blue-Collar Gala & Industry Awards. The awards dinner was held Sept. 29, and recognized individuals nominated for a Woman on the Rise or Wanda Hall Legacy Award.

The event raises critical funds to support the life-changing programs of Oregon Tradeswomen. Oregon Tradeswomen helps transform lives by building community and economic independence through empowerment, training, career education, advocacy, and leadership development in the skilled trades. Oregon Tradeswomen’s commitment to help women achieve economic independence is integrated in its values, programs, advocacy, and direct service work.

Maurice Lucas Foundation Golf Event Sponsorship

NECA-IBEW Local 48 partnership was a sponsor of the 18th Annual Maurice Lucas Celebrity Golf Tournament on July 20at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Oregon. The partnership hosted a booth with snacks and party games and many attendees commented that it was “the most fun sponsor booth” of the event.

Maurice Lucas had a storied 14-year career in professional basketball with the Portland Trail Blazers, but off the court is where he built his legacy. Maurice gave selflessly of his time, energy, and mentoring ability to Portland youth and other charitable organizations.

The Maurice Lucas Foundation creates transformational opportunities for middle school, high school and post-high school students by providing a combination of school programs, experiences, and sport. Through positive interactions with program coaches, team members, and community role models, they help youth develop their cognitive, emotional, intellectual and social skills in a fun environment. Their youth programs develop personal and life skills, positive adult and peer relationships, and create a supportive environment of learning, teamwork, and autonomy.

The golf tournament helps to provide programming and transformational opportunities for Portland’s youth. The 2023 event was the biggest golf tournament to date, exceeding its goal and raising over $275,210.

BALMCC Invests in Community Wellness

The partnership has recently made significant contributions to several local organizations focused on addressing food security issues and health concerns in our community, including:

Community House Longview, a clean and sober homeless recovery center that exists to help individuals and families in Cowlitz County become self-sufficient by providing temporary and transitional housing for homeless individuals and families; a safe, clean housing environment; regular nourishing meals, emergency clothing and personal items; professional case management; and a working conduit with existing physical, mental and spiritual support services within the community.

Food Roots’s aim is to foster a resilient food system in which everyone in Tillamook County will be able to eat local food daily, and through which residents will better understand their role in the local food system, have the ability to grow their own food when possible, and have the resources to eat well.

Hopscotch Health Foundation’s mission is to provide healthy, nutritious snacks to students in the low-income communities within the Portland area. Hopscotch Health Foundation is teaching high school students hydroponic vegetable cultivation and nutrition education that will provide massive amounts of produce for the low-income communities surrounding Jefferson High School in Portland.

Juneteenth Celebrated by NECA-IBEW 48

NECA-IBEW 48 was a proud sponsor of the Juneteenth celebration in Portland this year (2023). The partnership hosted a booth at the Freedom Day Festival and members marched in the parade down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The Freedom Day Festival is organized by Juneteenth Oregon, a local Oregon-based nonprofit working to preserve and amplify the history and legacy of Juneteenth–founded by the late Clara Peoples, a beloved community leader who organized Oregon’s first Juneteenth celebration in 1945. Every year, the Juneteenth Oregon celebrations begin with a parade, followed by an array of festivities including live music and entertainment, art, food, educational booths, cultural exhibitions, community resources and a children’s play area.

Store to Door Receives Generous Donation from NECA-IBEW 48

The NECA-IBEW Local 48 partnership recently donated $10,000 to Store to Door of Oregon. Store to Door supports independent living for seniors and adults with disabilities by providing an affordable, personal, volunteer-based grocery shopping and delivery service in Portland, Oregon. “Thank you to NECA/IBEW Local 48 for your generous community investment grant awarded to Store to Door,” states Mark Fulop, Executive Director of Store to Door.

“We’re excited to leverage funds to expand our volunteer-driven grocery delivery and free food box delivery service to over 600 homebound seniors and adults living with disabilities across Portland. Equally important, your financial support will help reduce the social isolation of our clients and help us provide connections to other community services. Together, we empower those we serve to live independently. We have the deepest gratitude not only for helping build our program but for the work you members do every day!”

To learn more about this worthy charity and consider donating either money or time, visit Store to Door of Oregon.

NECA-IBEW 48 Volunteers Light Up Portland

For over a century, the members of NECA/IBEW Local 48 have been leading the electrification of Oregon and SW Washington. The Portland Winter Light Festival is just another example.

The Portland Winter Light Festival (PDXWLF) is an annual event of the Willamette Light Brigade, a non-profit arts organization. PDXWLF is presented to guests for free and builds community by bringing art and technology to inclusive audiences while invigorating Portland in the winter.

NECA-IBEW 48 electricians volunteer their time to install and maintain the electrical systems for PDXWLF. The PDXWLF can’t reach for the stars without electricity, or the people behind the installing and maintaining its electrical systems electricity, ELECTRICIANS!

iUrbanTeen Benefits from BALMCC Support

On January 16, the BALMCC partnership was a presenting sponsor of the iUrbanTeen’s 13th Annual MLK Jr Breakfast in Vancouver, Washington. iUrban Teen is a STEM+Arts education program that brings together underrepresented teens and young adults for career exploration and mentoring. They design and deliver highly sought-after skills training and experiences for teens and young adults in a variety of STEM industries, and pave pathways that lead students toward economic empowerment and sustainability. Chapters are located in Washington, Oregon, California, and Texas.

NECA-IBEW 48 Continues to Invest in the Community

In November 2022, the partnership contributed to these causes:

Labor’s Community Service Agency’s Presents from Partners event. LCSA has served 1,000 children in families of labor workers over the past two years and expects to do the same this year. It is anticipated that working families will be impacted vastly by the instability of our region. The partnership’s donation is expected to have an impact on over 500 children and almost 200 families. With the donation, LCSA will be able to provide these families with toys and gifts, a full holiday meal, stocking stuffers for each stocking given to every child, among other needed items and services.

The partnership will be the presenting sponsor for the 13th Annual MLK Jr Breakfast supporting the programs of iUrban Teen. iUrban Teen is a STEM+Arts education program that brings together underrepresented teens and young adults for career exploration and mentoring. IBEW Local 48 has sponsored this event just about every year since its conception.

IBEW Local 48 Volunteers Wire Up The Grotto

On October 22, IBEW Local 48 members volunteered their time and services to pre-wire the Christmas Festival of Lights at The Grotto. The lighting at The Grotto is one of IBEW Local 48’s largest volunteer projects of the year.

The Festival of Lights runs from Friday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Dec. 30 (Closed Christmas Day), 5:00-9:30 PM. At the door pricing is $18 for ages 12 and over, $8 for youth ages 3-11, and children 2 and under are free. Reduced pricing is available on value days or if purchased online in advance. The Grotto is located at NE 85th & Sandy Blvd. in Portland, Oregon.

NECA-IBEW 48 Supports Local School Supply Drive

As part of its mission to support the community, the NECA-IBEW 48 partnership sponsored the KGW School Supply Drive that ran August 2-September 2, 2022. The funds raised go to Schoolhouse Supplies, which supports public education in the Portland area by providing free school supplies to students in need.

NECA-IBEW Local 48 was a “Matching Grant” sponsor for one week during the drive period, matching contributions during the sponsor week up to $25,000. We are proud to announce that over $28,000 was raised in those seven days, making NECA-IBEW Local 48’s total contribution $53,000.

Saving Grace Maternity Home

The partnership is also a contributor to the Saving Grace Maternity Home, a residential home experience for single young homeless women in an unplanned or crisis pregnancy, between the ages of 18-25. The home welcomes women of all cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

The funds raised during the non-profit’s Annual Dinner and Silent Auction help to reach more  homeless, pregnant young women in need, and help in paying off the home’s mortgage.

NECA-IBEW Donates $50,000 to Local Food Banks

The partnership donated $40,000 to the Oregon Food Bank and $10,000 to the Clark County Food Bank in January 2022. Oregon-Columbia Chapter Manager Tim Gauthier and Local 48 Business Manager Garth Bachman delivered the donations personally.

The Oregon Food Bank works to ensure free food is available to anyone experiencing food insecurity in Oregon and Southwest Washington. They work on policies and programs to address the root causes of hunger, and to break down barriers that prevent equal access to housing, health care, employment and more.

The Clark County Food Bank is a regional food bank that distributes over 8 million pounds of food and 6.7 million meals a year to serve the 65,000 hungry individuals in Clark County. Its mission is to alleviate hunger and its root causes by providing emergency food relief to individuals and families, as well as implementing a preventative stance against the various causes of hunger.

NECA-IBEW Partnership Lights Up the Morrison Bridge

As a sponsor of the Portland Winter Light Festival, NECA-IBEW was offered the opportunity to light up the Morrison Bridge for a week. Leadership selected Memorial Day 2021 to celebrate our country, using a red, white and blue color scheme.

The Portland Winter Light Festival is an annual event of the Willamette Light Brigade held in February that builds community by bringing art and technology to inclusive audiences while invigorating Portland in the winter.