Electrical Connection’s Sylvester Taylor earns diversity award from St. Louis Business Journal

SYLVESTER TAYLOR, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Electrical Connection, an IBEW 1 member, has been named a “Champion for Diversity and Inclusion” by the St. Louis Business Journal.

The St. Louis Business Journal has named the Electrical Connection’s Sylvester Taylor one of its “Champions for Diversity and Inclusion.” Taylor is director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).   

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the “Champions for Diversity and Inclusion” showcases individuals who, through their work, are truly championing the cause of making St. Louis a more inclusive place to live and work.”

Taylor and other honorees will be saluted at a Sept. 9, 2021 luncheon at the Chase Park Plaza.   

In saluting Taylor, the Business Journal noted that he “works to chart a path for more minorities in the electrical industry. When Taylor entered the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Program in 1990 as a union apprentice, only two women and two African-Americans were selected yearly for apprentices.  Today, approximately a third of apprentices at the training center are minorities, and it has sustained that number for the past 10 years.”

Taylor is recording secretary for IBEW Local 1 and, for the past 17 years, has been the voice of minority workers as co-founder and current president of IBEW’s Electrical Workers Minority Caucus.

Taylor has used that voice to help shape the Electrical Connection’s diversity goals, leveraging the modernization of infrastructure –– including engineering and installing renewable energy, smart infrastructure, EV charging stations, integrated communications and traditional electrical and communication needs –– as a recruitment tool in underserved communities, using the Electrical Connection partnership’s significant resources, including:

  • Workforce development at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center, which for 80 years has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any education program in Missouri – all free of charge in an apprenticeship program where students earn a living with benefits while they learn.
  • Engagement of local residents in electrical industry careers through project partnerships that allow them to learn skills on the electrical and communications improvements made by Electrical Connection contractors in their communities through paid pre-apprenticeships. The hands-on work fortifies needed skills to apply for a full apprenticeship at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center, providing a springboard for participants to launch careers in the electrical industry.
  • Active engagement of the Electrical Connection in volunteer outreach programs, including support of Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, Ferguson Shop with a Cop and others.  These programs also introduce careers in the electrical industry in communities with significant minority representation.

For the last six years, Taylor has served as a mentor for the Missouri Division of Youth Services, providing guidance for those the agency serves and encouraging young people to consider a career in the trades. This year, a coat drive initiative launch by Taylor when he co-founded the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus in 2004 will present its 18,000th coat to youth in need. 

Outside of the electrical industry, Taylor serves as treasurer of the Hazelwood School Board, is chairman of the St. Louis County Fire Safety and Standards Commission and has served on the board of the Black Jack Fire Protection District.

From 2010 to 2014, Taylor also served as state representative for 80th District in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Learn more about the St. Louis Business Journal’s “Champions for Diversity and Inclusion” program and all of its honorees at https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2021/08/05/meet-2021-champions-diversity-inclusion-honorees.html.

To learn more about the Electrical Connection, visit www.electricalconnection.org.

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