2014 has come and gone leaving us to reflect on the many positive accomplishments through the past year. Every working member deserves special thanks for your hard work and commitment to our industry. Through your personal efforts, the Local Union has once again reached or exceeded the membership and employment levels reached in the early nineties.
Despite a high rate of attrition due to retirements, the LU has realized positive membership growth. The 1% growth goal set by the International at the 2011 IBEW Convention was easily surpassed. The 8th District per capita growth averages are only met because of the success of our program.
Our jurisdiction has benefited from this robust construction economy. Coupled with the willingness of several hundred traveling IBEW members, these factors result in an extremely high amount of hours worked which in turn translates to record high values for our trust funds. Most important is the significant growth of the DJEATC, in reaching new start numbers not realized for several decades. Our apprentices, as always, represent the future of our industry.
The long overdue upgrades to the LU facility that were approved by the Building Association were completed through the course of the year. The best testimony to the LU success is the significant increase in attendance to our annual "Picnic and Holiday Event".
Our goals remain simple and consistent with the "Objects of the IBEW". All of the defined objects are more easily attained with a balance of sustained membership coupled with market growth. These items will typically correlate to employment and financial security for our members.
For many of our members December is a time of celebration, special time spent with families and typically the anticipation of the coming year. So during this Holiday season be encouraged to take the time not only to celebrate those closest to you, but to also take the time to recognize those we've never met, but who have touched and enriched our lives. Remember that each and every one of you, by virtue of the fact that you are an integral part of IBEW 68, have indeed made our jurisdiction a better place.
While we continue to face challenges as members of the IBEW, as well as our great nation, we must believe that our future is in our strength, creativity and the diversity of our members. On behalf of Local Union 68, we wish you a warm, peaceful holiday and a prosperous New Year.