The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1547 presented a gift of $10,000 in April toward completion of the exhibits, becoming the latest major donor to the Morris Thompson Center.
During the special gathering for the check presentation, IBEW’s Jay Quakenbush told board President Charlene Marth that IBEW has been a long-time supporter of the project and had given smaller donations in the past. However, “it was when local members toured the exhibits that that they decided to get involved in a more significant way,” Quakenbush explained.
“When we walked into the exhibits, a few jaws dropped,” said Quakenbush. “The exhibits reflect our members lives, the industries we work in, how we enjoy the outdoors, the hunting, fishing, snowmachines, boating, dog sledding to name a few. They felt it really captured the Alaskan way of life, and they wanted to do what they could to help get the exhibits finished.”
The construction trades played a significant role in the construction of the Center – a facility that was completed ahead of schedule and under budget in September 2008. The contract with GHEMM Company, the building’s general contractor, set a goal of 25% Alaska Native workforce during construction. The Fairbanks Building and Construction Trades Council committed to helping us meet that goal, and when construction was complete we exceeded our goal with a total of 37% Alaska Native workforce.
“Morris would have been honored by all those that worked together to make this project a success,” said Marth. “He would have been especially pleased to see the Alaska Native hire surpass our expectations. Working together – that was what Uncle Morris was all about.”