New York, NY – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 25 are the Electricians of Long Island. They are a 2000 strong union, composed of men and women working in the unionized electrical construction, maintenance, and telecommunications industries on Long Island, among other professions.

Apprentice Eric Seelin, IBEW Local 25, grew up in New York, in Long Island, Stony Brook, where he still lives. Currently 32 years-old, he started his apprenticeship in 2022, and is currently wrapping up his second year in the five-year program.

Seelin came to his trade after serving six years in the Marine Corps and going through the program Helmets to Hardhats, which is a non-profit joint labor-management driven entity that connects transitioning active-duty military service members, veterans, and others in the field with skilled training and real careers in the construction industry. They have partnered with fifteen international construction trade unions such as IBEW and SMART to help these men and women successfully transition to civilian life and work.

Seelin is just such a success story. He says, “I was a Sergeant in the United States Marines Corps, stationed out in California Camp Pendleton for six years. I was a canine handler. I had two dogs while serving. My first dog was combat tracking dog Jade-V327 – a Belgian Malinois, and my second dog was specialized search dog Pow-Y362, a black Labrador. I accomplished lots of missions and traveled the world with my two dogs and served on two deployments with them. After my military career was over, I got to adopt my first canine, Jade-V327, who currently lives with me as I pursue my apprenticeship.”

The kind of commitment and service he had learned in the military surely prepared Seelin for what was to come. Seelin told LaborPress about the apprenticeship and the kind of learning and work that is involved, which is considerable. “There is a minimum of 8,200 hours to complete the program, with at least 40 hours a week. Throughout my apprentice time in Local 25 IBEW I have learned about AC and DC theory, codes and standards, codeology, building construction, blue prints, residentials wiring, lighting protection, grounding and bonding, transformers, motors, and construction traffic safety. In Local 25 we get lots of opportunities to work with all aspects of electrical equipment: anything from low voltage fire alarm systems to 3 phase pad mounted transformers with 13.2kv, and everything in between. Pipe bending and switchgear have been my two most enjoyable things I have done in the field, however, every day is a new learning experience for me.”

He adds, “In striving to be the best electrician I can be, it was a bit challenging at first since I had no prior experience in the electrical field. But between classroom learning from highly experienced teachers and field training from the most elite electricians Long Island has to offer, my capabilities as an electrician have grown immensely since I began the program.”

As apprentice programs require, Seelin is on the job as part of his learning. He told LaborPress what job he is currently on, and how another intertwined with his military background. “I am working at Carle Place Amazon distribution center with Bana Electric Corp,” he says. “I am currently working at least 40 hours a week. We are installing about 100 vehicle car charging stations. I’m learning how to wire up transformers and charging stations. Another job that excited me was working in West Hampton at Gabreski Air National Guard. Because of my background in the Marines, being able to work on a military base excited me. We were renovating a hanger for a c-130 aircraft.” 

When asked why he chose this particular career path, Seelin answered, “I was always someone who worked with my hands. I had a friend who recommended me to go check out Local 25, which led me to joining the union and taking the test to join the apprenticeship.”

Fascinatingly, when asked if he had any family members in the union that influenced his decision, Seelin said, “I didn’t know until after I got into the union, but my mother then told me that my great-grandfather was in Local 3 as an electrician in New York City.”

For his future direction, he says, “I am very interested in my Electrician trade to grow after graduation and to become a foreman. I am also very interested in the testing department.”

LaborPress asked Seelin if he had any thoughts about Green Building and Renewable Energy on Long Island, which has been expanding and is a field in which his Local is involved, to which he answered, “I find Renewable Energy on Long Island very interesting. I would like to be able to work on the windmills one day. It’s a creative, smart way for us to get renewable and efficient power to Long Island.”

Finally, we asked this former military man why he thinks he was chosen for this award by his Training Director.

“Because of my life experience and background I gained a strong work ethic. I became a strong leader from my background in the military as well as being the Assistant Chief in the Stony Brook Fire Department.  I am a very humble person and supervisors, foremen and journeymen can always rely on me wanting to learn and be taught new skills and tactics to accomplish any job or task.”

Eric Seelin


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join Our Newsletter Today