Tom Cole Joins UWUA Executive Board

The UWUA Executive Board recently welcomed Tom Cole to its ranks.

Cole brings a wealth of experience to the role. He’s a 34-year veteran of the electric industry, with three decades in power generation. A welder by trade, he spent the past 20 years working at Consumers Energy’s Ludington Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Plant. Cole is also a long-serving trustee of the Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A).

He’s been active in the UWUA for the past 28 years. He started at Local 388, changed jobs and became a member of Local 124, where he served in various roles ranging from steward to local president. In 2015, Cole was elected Michigan State Utility Workers Council (MSUWC) vice president and then four years later, its senior vice president. This past January, he won election as MSUWC’s executive vice president. In April, the UWUA Executive Board elected him to a member-at-large position, and he was sworn in on May 2.

“I’m excited to help the UWUA tap the current pro-union momentum we’re seeing across the country to organize new members and bargain stronger contracts,” Cole said of his new board position.

Cole also looks forward to promoting the P4A training model. He sees particular potential in the P4A’s Department of Labor-accredited renewables apprenticeship program and the promise it holds for members who work in coal and other fossil fuel generation. “I want to see ‘just transition’ go from being a mere buzz word to something tangible for our members. Through P4A, our members can get the training they need to move into the generation of the future, including wind, solar and battery.”

Cole lives in Western Michigan with his wife and twin 16-year-old daughters.