Chelsea’s Yeymi Verde Kicks off Union Electrical Career as John A. Penney Scholarship Recipient

Chelsea resident, Yeymi Verde, 37, was awarded the first annual John A. Penney Memorial Scholarship, in support of her ongoing electrical trade studies at the Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center (JATC) of Boston. Verde was chosen for the award by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 union and the NECA Greater Boston electrical contractors.

Verde received $1,000 from the scholarship fund in recognition of her determination, and commitment to excellence in learning the electrical trade. The fund aims to further support access to education and job opportunities for new students at the Boston JATC, where students earn full pay and benefits while they learn the electrical or telecommunications trade.

“It’s an incredible feeling when your hard work is recognized and you are given an opportunity like this,” said Yeymi Verde, scholarship recipient. “I’m a mother of two, and was worried about the difficulties I might face in building a lasting career that allows me to support my family. I thank IBEW Local 103 and NECA for awarding me with the John A. Penney scholarship and look forward to what’s next.”

Verde began her first year as an IBEW Local 103 electrical apprentice, working for J&M Brown Company. She works in the field with J&M Brown four days per week, and attends courses (currently held virtually due to COVID-19) at the Boston JATC in Dorchester one day per week. Verde aspires to graduate from her five-year JATC electrical apprenticeship program in 2025 as a licensed journeyperson.

The John A. Penney Memorial Scholarship was founded in 2019 in honor of John A. Penney, founder of the John A. Penney & Co. electrical contracting company. The scholarship is intended to carry on Penney’s legacy of giving back to the union electrical industry, and the Greater Boston community at large.

“John Penney is fondly remembered as a pioneer of the union electrical industry, and as a great friend and neighbor. It’s very fitting that, through this scholarship, we can help welcome the newest generation of electrical professionals in his memory,” said Kristen Gowin, NECA Greater Boston executive manager.

“IBEW Local 103 and NECA electrical contractors strive each day to ensure that anyone who wants to work hard, learn a trade and build a great career in the electrical construction industry has access to do so,” said Lou Antonellis, IBEW Local 103 business manager/financial secretary. “The John A. Penney scholarship is one more way we’re trying to open our doors to as many people as possible, and create a more equitable construction industry.”

The goal of the John A. Penney Scholarship fund is to continue his efforts to make education and job opportunities in the electrical field available to all who have the drive and determination to work hard and learn the skills to become an electrician.

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