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Trailblazer for path to Black leadership in the trades dies

Edward Powers created pathways to advance Black Boilermakers into leadership roles.

It is with great sadness that the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers has learned about the death of Edward Powers, who, in addition to his dedication as a shipyard Boilermaker, rose as a leader and worked to create pathways to advance Black Boilermakers into leadership roles. Brother Powers was 88 years old.

Powers, who retired from Electric Boat in 1992 after 40 years of service, began his career working on the USS Nautilus and quickly proved himself as a visionary leader on the job. He was a steward and lodge officer at Local 614 (Groton, Connecticut) and attracted the interest of the Metal Trades Council for his forward-thinking and tenacity. The Metal Trades Council supported Powers’ efforts to establish a biracial committee to create opportunities and mentoring programs to position Black Boilermakers for supervisory roles in the trades.

As his tribute reads:

Edward applied his desire to think ‘outside of the box’ and belief that all things are possible, to strengthen his administrative skills to affect change and provide voice and opportunity for men and women of color. Edward was perhaps himself the best example of a mentor, rising through the ranks from welder to methods analyst to engineer to senior engineer. Earning engineering certification from the University of New Haven, he designed complex product prototypes for naval projects in the Washington, D.C., Newport News and San Diego shipyards and all the while, continued looking behind. Him, eager to help lift the proteges of color who admired him.

Read Brother Powers' full tribute here: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theday/obituary.aspx?n=edward-farnswor...