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January 30, 2023

IBEW Local 98 Business Manager Mark Lynch shares his vision for the future


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Limited - IBEW Van All Electric Rick Kauffman/For PhillyVoice

IBEW Local 98's all-electric van at the 2023 Philly Auto Show.

It’s no secret that the last few years at IBEW Local 98 have been challenging, but the membership has remained united and incredibly resilient. It’s now been over a year since Mark Lynch was elected business manager and pledged to move Local 98 forward with optimism and a renewed sense of integrity and purpose. So far, his performance has earned him welcomed support from the Local 98 membership and many other business managers in the Building Trades.

Here's more about Mark and his vision for the future of Local 98, in his own words:

Mark’s Background

“I was born into a union family. My father was a respected IBEW Local 98 Foreman on many iconic construction projects in the city, including the Pennsylvania Convention Center. I can remember talking with him about Local 98 around the kitchen table ever since I was a kid. Unionism runs in my blood. I’ve been a Local 98 member for nearly 20 years, most recently serving as our Safety Director during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic before becoming Business Manager. That experience - having to deal with anxious developers, governmental regulatory agencies, health organizations and our understandably concerned union members - was invaluable and taught me how to maintain progress and remain calm while under extreme pressure.”

“As for my home life, I’m happily married to my wonderful wife, Ashley, and am a loving father to our three children, daughters Briella and Aislinn. and our son, M.J. Finding a good life-work balance remains a challenge, but I’m working on it.”

How supply chain issues have impacted Local 98 and other Building Trades

“As far as supply chain problems, yes, we and the other Trades have been adversely impacted for the past couple of years. Unfortunately, many electrical component parts that our signatory union contractors use frequently are manufactured overseas and have been increasingly hard to come by, due to the COVID pandemic and other factors. The supply chain issues that have hit the construction industry and other markets underscores the need for the U.S. to manufacture more goods right here at home. The old adage ‘Build union, buy American’ has never been more apt and timely.”

The work outlook for Local 98 in 2023 and beyond

“The work outlook for Local 98 and the other Building Trades for this year and beyond is promising. Two massive new data centers are planned in Chester County, which will require a great deal of complex electrical work. The Navy Yard here in Philadelphia is continuing to expand and will employ many of our members. There’s also a great deal of commercial development planned in 2023 for the Schuylkill Yards area in University City. Perhaps the most exciting work prospect for Local 98 and our IBEW brothers and sisters across the country is the electrical infrastructure build-out that will be needed to meet the rapidly approaching Electric Vehicle revolution. To put our money where our mouth is, Local 98 recently invested in an all-electric cargo van that we’ll use to deliver food and supplies to the many non-profits we support. We customized the van with our name and logo, so it will also double as a mobile “brand ambassador” for the union.”

Limited - Mark Lynch, Jr. Business Manager - IBEW Local 98

Mark Lynch, IBEW Local 98 Business Manager

“President Biden set an attainable deadline of 2030 by which he wants at least 50% of all Americans to be driving EVs. In order to accomplish that goal, the nation’s electrical grids must be significantly updated and expanded to handle the increased demand. That’s where IBEW electricians will factor in. Not only are our highly experienced Journeymen and Journeywomen Electricians trained and ready to meet the EV challenge, but so, too, are our IBEW Apprentices. From their first year through their fifth and final year in our Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry (ATEI) program, these young men and women are provided with high-tech, in-classroom EV infrastructure training, as well as hands-on experience out in the field with our veteran instructors. IBEW Local 98 is more than ready to meet the EV challenge.”

Mark’s thoughts on the principles of leadership that will help guide this proud 123-year-old institution into a bright future

IBEW Local 98 is powered by the membership and always has been. I was raised in a union household and learned at the earliest age the value and power of being part of a union. ‘Strength In Numbers’ is more than a saying, it’s the truth. I am honored to be the current leader of this proud union at this time of renewal and rededication to being regarded as one of the finest, most honorable and most successful Locals in the entire IBEW. Our members are the best-trained, hardest working electricians and technicians in the industry. Their happiness, safety and success - for themselves and their families - are my priorities and always will be.”