Good Jobs Challenge – The first meeting of the minds for this initiative was on August 17th at Leeward CC. This is a federal workforce development plan that has allocated tens of millions of dollars to industry sectors in Hawaii. The goal of this program is to spend these funds on training programs to prepare Hawaii workers for quality jobs. GJC will pay for the trainer, the curriculum, course materials, the training facility, and will pay up to $2000 per person toward a paid internship. GJC can also pay for tools associated with the training course. They define quality jobs as having 3 qualities: living wage, benefits, and potential for upward mobility. Healthcare, Clean Energy, Tech, and Hospitality are some of the already established training programs that GJC has engaged with. There are 32 GJC programs across the US. We’re the only program with Creative Industries included. In attendance with me at this meeting were International Trustee Carlos Cota, L665 VP Lukas Seno, Sonny Julian, and Jess Cole. The administrators of this program had never heard anything in depth about our work prior to this. As a result of this meeting, they are heavily invested in learning more. I’ve been assigned to the steering committee for the GJC HI and GJC O’ahu programs. The first meeting of the steering committee is next Thursday, Sept 28th. With this program, they will pay for Live Event training and the OSHA 10 and 30 GES. If our members take these courses, you can get paid. If we take and complete these courses, the state is open to signing MOU’s for live event venues. Lukas organized a meeting with some of the DOE folks that we networked with at this event and I’ll let him speak a little about it.
Workforce Development Council – I volunteered for the state WDC after an AFL-CIO meeting. There was little information as to what the workload would look like and what the time commitment would be. But, it’s important for us to be at the table and be a part of the conversation when talking about federal/state monies used solely for the purpose of training workers. This council is a result of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and advises the governor on the statewide workforce development strategic plan. In early August, I took the state ethics training course and it was off to the races after that. I took a tour of the American Jobs Center near our office on Tuesday August 29th, upstairs in Dole Cannery. It’s an underutilized job center that could be a source of career pathways for the people of Hawaii. I believe there’s one on every island. We had a full Council “Retreat” on Saturday, Sept 23rd at IBEW 1186. Though “retreat” is misleading, it was a 5 hour workshop attended by all 41 members of the council – 17 from business, 8 from labor, and the remaining 16 ex-officio members from the counties and from the governor’s office. We are formulating the state’s strategic workforce development plan that’s due in March 2024. Topics of the brainstorm ranged from advocacy, to community outreach, to housing and childcare. As the work continues, I look forward to reporting on this endeavor.
New Mexico Film Expo – I attended the New Mexico Film Expo in late August. It was an incredible event that we need to mirror here. The expo was attended by around 4000 people, including the mayor of Albuquerque, the lieutenant governor, the NM District Attorney, and the chair of the Democratic party of New Mexico. It started with a queue towards a stage door. The audience filed into a viewing area of a fully dressed interior set about the size of our main hall. They were immediately behind video village and all aspects of the industry were on display – a fisher 10 with an aero jib arm, s60’s and other lighting panels, an actor dressed up as an alien, special effects pumping steam out of the engine of a car, 1940’s wardrobe, a little bit of stunts. The scene was also written by a WGA member. SAG-AFTRA actors participated in the volunteer effort. It was a tightly knitted vignette of our world on display for the community and for elected leaders. The exit led to production photos and specs, then to the prop truck, then to a tent where every craft had a booth to explain what they do. From there, the attendees had a few options – check out the giant tent with all of the educational opportunities, get food from the food trucks on the road, or check out the vendors. Of the vendors there, Pursuit camera cars, ProCam, Elation Lighting, Quixote with their green energy trailers, Cinelease, Universal, Prop shops, animal wranglers, Green energy generators, and much much more. This event has gone a long way toward educating the people of NM and their elected officials about the film/tv industry, the workers who encompass the industry, and the economic impact on the state. I shared this info at the most recent HFEB meeting and they seem really excited for the opportunity to mirror this event to educate lawmakers ahead of the next legislative session.
I also got a chance to tour their studio facilities and was shocked to learn that, even with their $1.5B economic impact to the state, that only 2 of their studios – Netflix and Santa Fe studios – are purpose-built. Everything else is a retrofitted building. Across 6 hours we toured 8 spaces from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. The most impressive of which was Cinelease studios. They took an old semiconductor factory and turned it into a studio with 4 stages – each with a footprint of 29,000 sq ft. We didn’t get a chance to visit Las Cruces, but what we saw was eye opening. We hope to partner with folks like Cinelease to retrofit a building out here. While they are obviously pausing new projects due to the ongoing strikes, what they’ve done is impressive.
GEB Chicago – Following the D2 convention earlier this year, I was asked by the IATSE Political/Legislative department to record a video for the National AFL-CIO endorsement event of the Biden/Harris administration. I didn’t expect it, but the video was played for the assembled leaders. The DEI committee report was well received. The DEI luncheon was the most attended event we’ve ever had. And the DEI solidarity event was so packed, an empty restaurant became standing room only in a matter of minutes. I was invited to a meeting of large stage locals by Int’l VP Barnes, though this is not to mean that we’re creating another Stage Caucus. It was really just 15 minutes to exchange contact information. Local 665 is continuously spotlighted at these events. These inter-local partnerships are crucial to our continued success.
Working Families Caucus – Rep Jeanne Kapela 09/18/2023 SNAP benefits and food availability for the food insecure. This informational session highlighted several Hawaii residents that are currently experiencing food insecurity and the hurdles they face trying to feed their families. Our hope is to remove the barriers to food access and increase food support for the people of Hawaii based on what we heard at this meeting.
Waialua Elementary Outreach – with Connie Alcinio, Hanna Geraghty, Bala, Kelly Kraynek. It was a fun opportunity to meet with students grade 4-6 to show them what we do and engage them in hidden career pathways. The next outreach opportunity is October 6th at Waipahu HS. Anyone, especially with ties to Waipahu HS, is encouraged to volunteer in this classroom presentation setting. We have space for two or three more volunteers.
Maui member spotlight – Thank you Joe Arias, Mike Carreno, Dave Reyes, Dave Dahlberg, Mike Anderson, Kaipu Seales, Kahi Logan, Victor Lozano, Local 1, Local 2, Local 52, Local 74, Local 600, W-D T-S fund, International President Loeb and the Disaster response committee for their help. Local 695 for Satellite Radios that really helped in the early days
Maui Ola – good fun to get motor grease on my hands again.Thank you to everyone from 665 who volunteered. The event raised over $1m in aid for Maui.
For individuals and business owners seeking relief after the West Maui fires, for those of us in a position to donate, and for those of us that have space to help with volunteer needs, these websites may prove to be useful:
County of Maui – https://www.mauinuistrong.info/ – For volunteer efforts, donations to various on-the-ground charitable organizations, this is a hefty info hub.
Hawaii Community Fund – Maui Strong – https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong – This organization is working with state/county entities, NGOs, Non-profits, and community members as the situation evolves.
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Kāko’o Maui Fund – https://www.hawaiiancouncil.org/helpmaui/kakoomauifund/
FEMA federal aid resources – https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4724
People’s Fund of Maui – adults who lost their primary residence in the Maui fires are eligible to receive up to $1200/month: https://www.eifoundation.org/peoples-fund-of-maui/
Locals that donated funds to Maui Relief – Local 1, Local 2, Local 52, Local 74, Local 80, Local 600, International President Loeb, the Walsh-Di Tolla-Spivak disaster relief fund
Support from Local 695 – donated satellite radios that were integral in the initial response. Communications before arms in all things.
International Disaster Response Committee coordinated response/relief effort
Employment opportunities – The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are ongoing, which has drastically affected our employment levels. We are, however, a true mixed Local. Live Events and Tradeshows are still part of our wheelhouse. Encore Hawaii has several openings across the islands looking for skilled A/V technicians. If you’re looking for work in our industry, visit https://jobs.encoreglobal.com/en/location/hawaii-jobs/6228/6252001-5855797/3.
If you’re looking for work, apply to Encore asap.
DEI – IATSE Census – It’s the culmination of several years of work. Initially, the DEI committee was told the best we could hope for across the IA was 10-12% participation. Our Local has been really active 42%. Thank you to everyone who participated. We’ll be receiving results soon. 51% of the International has participated so far. The census will conclude at the end of this month.
Take free online training NOW LiL If you’ve got some free time on your hands and are looking for work, there’s no better time to sign up for your free LinkedIn Learning account. It’s never too late to pick up new skills that will help you find work in Live Events and Tradeshows & Conventions. Go to https://www.iatsetrainingtrust.org/lil and submit your application. You’ll have access to thousands of different courses that you can take at your own pace. The TTF AV series, Audiovisual Readiness Training for Tradeshows and much, much more are available for you for free right now. The beauty of belonging to a mixed Local is that if you have the skills and willingness, you don’t have to stick to just one craft. Take advantage of the available resources and sign up to learn new skills today!
Strike Resources –
Entertainment Community Fund Emergency Financial Assistance– https://entertainmentcommunity.org/am-i-eligible-help
Motion Picture Television Fund – https://mptf.com/services/
For those under 65, please call the intake line at 323 634 3888.
For those 65 or over, please call 323 634 3866
Behind the Scenes Charity Grants – https://wp.behindthescenescharity.org/apply-for-a-grant-2/
Behind the Scenes Charity Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative –