Volunteers Rewire Historical Society

May 23, 2012 at 10:54 PM


The work crew outside the DuBois Area Historical Society 

            The DuBois Area Historical Society can now be seen in a whole new light.

            Saturday, May 19, Hallstrom-Clark Electric Inc. of DuBois, through its IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local #5 apprenticeship program upgraded, improved and lit-up in a new way the DuBois Area Historical Society’s E. D. Reitz Museum and Nye Annexes at 28-34 W. Long Ave.

            Hallstrom-Clark was the contractor for the project with IBEW Local #5 Apprenticeship program providing free labor as a community service offering.

            “Our buildings are old and in need of updating and maintenance,” said Ruth Gregori, DuBois Area Historical Society President. “This was a wonderful community effort. Our organization operates with volunteers and IBEW Local #5 volunteered to help us. The Society thanks Hallstrom-Clark and IBEW Local #5 for all they did today.”

            Tom Rubritz, director of building and grounds for the DuBois Area Historical Society, echoed Gregori’s thoughts. “The Society buildings, especially the George Nye Annex was in need of rewiring. I approached Hallstrom-Clark about the project and within a month the Society had an offer that was too good to refuse.”

            Eric Beckes, Hallstrom-Clark Electric Inc., DuBois, said, “Hallstrom-Clark is interested in community-minded projects and this project was a good one because it involves the history of DuBois. This is phase one of the electrical upgrade with more to follow.”


            The work involved rerouting and installing new electrical lines; installing new light fixtures and switches; upgrading or installing new lighting in almost all of the display cases; and bringing all three buildings up to code. The historical society used $7,000 of current and past grant money and fundraiser money to pay for the supplies.

            Beckes, himself is a journeyman electrician with training from IBEW Local #5, explained that the majority of Hallstrom-Clark’s employees received their training through IBEW Local #5 apprenticeship program. “They are a good asset for our company,” he said. “I hope more young people give serious thought to joining the apprenticeship program.”

            IBEW Local #5 is the local union of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. It has between 2,700 and 2,800 members with its main office located in Pittsburgh and a satellite office in Clearfield, one of the 22 counties in its coverage area.

            “We offer a fantastic joint apprenticeship training program, all in house, and spend no public dollars to accomplish it,” said Jeff Miller, assistant business manager for IBEW Local #5. “We offer journeyman electrician upgrade and a joint apprenticeship training program with Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).”

            Apprentices take courses in mathematics, work place psychology, public speaking and customer relations at CCAC. If they wish, they can pursue a five-year associate of science program under joint sponsorship of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the IBEW Local #5.


            “This is a good project for us, because our first and fourth year students are working together,” said Miller about bringing the apprentices to DuBois. “It is bringing material and thought together for them. All of them know what to do and are getting it done.”

            “IBEW Local #5 considers itself to be part of the community and wants to give back with its expertise. The DuBois Area Historical Society is a non-profit organization trying to do great things. Its efforts mean a lot to the community and IBEW is proud to be a good neighbor.”

             The DuBois area will have its first opportunity to view the improved lighting when the museum will be open during the Downtown DuBois Revitalization’s First Fridays Block Party, June1 from 5-8 p.m., and during the Art Walk, Saturday, June 2, from noon-4 p.m.