All The Latest News from NECA

Aug 30

Guest Post: Kristen McDonough Offers Some Insider’s Tips to Her Hometown

by  Kristen McDonough, NECA Director, Legislative Affairs

I want to be the first from NECA to welcome you to Boston, just as you have welcomed me to NECA! As the newest member of NECA’s  government affairs team, I am so excited that my very first NECA convention and trade show will be in my hometown of Boston.

Over the past few months, I have been learning about all the incredible activities, workshops and exhibits that will be available for you. The endless opportunities at this year’s convention are bigger, better and more edifying than ever before — Lake Coulson has assured me of that!

(Lake has also had me busy helping him put together two new management workshops, based on your requests for updates on two vital legislative issues affecting our industry: FASB & the Multi-employer Pension Plan Liability Disclosure, on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 8 a.m., and our Government Affairs Update on Fall Elections, Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 8 a.m.)

In particular, I am looking forward to the First-Timer Orientation and the Grand-Slam party at Jillian’s (the real  Red Sox hot spot for Bostonians), with the President’s Reception for our ECPAC contributors and PLC members. And take it from me, you DO NOT want to try to drive or taxi to Jillian’s on a game night! Plan now to take advantage of NECA’s police-escorted shuttle bus service from the seaport hotels for those events!

Oh, and one last thing … I am sure you already know about the historic Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, but the last series of the regular season between these two adversaries is the weekend of our NECA convention, so there’s also a chance to make it to the game on Friday night. Now is the time to request some tickets. (Don’t tell anyone, but Beth Ellis has THE connection for tickets.) I know I will be there on Friday, sporting my Red Sox gear from head-to-toe. Don’t worry, I have plenty of extra Red Sox attire for anyone who wants to root for the winning team!

I can’t wait to show you the great things about my hometown and what NECA and the PLC are doing for our members! See you in Boston!

Aug 24

Just Announced! Labor Relations General Session Will Focus on Market Recovery Initiatives

There are many changes coming this year for labor relations. The IBEW has embarked on a nationwide campaign to recover the work that the unionized electrical construction industry is currently not doing. Monday’s general session program at NECA 2010 Boston is about illuminating those changes to make you, the NECA/IBEW contractor, more competitive in today’s marketplace.

The program will open with a roundtable discussion including NECA President Rex Ferry, NECA CEO John M. Grau and IBEW President Ed Hill on the competitive issues and changes that are taking place in our industry. The discussion will be followed by a presentation featuring four NECA members from around the country who have successfully put these new “market recovery” programs to work. Don’t miss it!

Aug 19

Guest Post: Green Energy Challenge Finalists Offer a Glimpse of the Future

by Russ Alessi, President, ELECTRI International

Competition is a great way to learn and focus student careers on electrical construction.  So it was a real a nail-biter when we convened the first round of judging for the Green Energy Challenge last month to select the three finalists teams that will present their designs at NECA 2010 Boston.

Last year, University of Washington took first place. UW will be returning as a finalist this year, but they will be joined by two teams new to the competition — Milwaukee School of Engineering and Youngstown State University.  We had 13 teams enter the competition this year — nearly double the number of teams that entered the 2009 Green Energy Challenge!

Teams were asked to conduct an energy audit of a local a manufacturing facility. They had to do provide information for everything from a PV analysis to a financing plan.

It’s so great to see the kind of work and attention to detail that the students put into their reports. I am fortunate to get to see first hand what kind of talent we have entering the industry.

Now that we know who the three finalists will be, I can hardly wait to hear what they have to share about their projects in Boston. The suspense and enthusiasm is great for the industry. I hope you’ll make plans to hear what these talented young people are planning for their future in it!

2010 Green Energy Challenge Finalists’ Presentations
Saturday, October 2
2 p.m.
Room 52A and B, BCEC

Aug 12

Guest Post: Do Red Sox Count as PPE?

by Michael Johnston, NECA Executive Director of Standards and Safety

Amazing how fast the 2010 NECA convention is approaching. It’s hard to believe it will be here in just a couple months. What always impresses me about the NECA convention is the amount of valuable information for our members and the industry, on top of some of the best social events and networking opportunities in the industry.

Being born and raised in the New England area, I maintain a continuous following of the Boston Red Sox and wouldn’t you know it, this convention has been coordinated to allow attendees to experience a contest between old rivals – the NY Yankees and Red Sox ! The opening reception at Jillian’s should be a great time for all with plenty of entertainment, food and drink, and yes, cheering on the Sox next door with a great view of all the action at Fenway Park.

Being so active in electrical safety and training related to codes and standards, I was totally impressed in the line-up of offerings put together for this NECA convention. It seems NECA just builds on this year after year.

What is really exciting is the expansion of programs being offered that address the outside line industry. I’m really looking forward to the programs on the ETD Partnership Best Practices, EEI’s Electrical Contractor Safety Initiative Program and NJATC’s Outside Line Construction Training Program. Wow! NECA is even providing an OSHA 10 course for the outside line workers. So not only will these attendees get to take in the excellent trade show exhibitors, they can gain training credits needed by completion of this training program.

The 2011 National Electrical Code® is scheduled to be published in September of this year. NECA has left no stone unturned as far as bringing the latest and greatest information that provides exceptional educational value for attendees. I’m so excited to be teaming with Jim Dollard to provide a 4-hour session that highlights the significant changes that have been accepted in the 2011 NEC.

The general sessions are outstanding this year and promise to provide all the inspiration one could manage. The undersea exploration presentation by Dr. Ballard and the sharing of Michael Durant’s experiences will intrigue us all. Based on past experiences, the labor relations session once again, promises to take on difficult issues and provide valuable insight into ways to meet the challenges we face in daily operations.

I mentioned the social events, keynote speakers, training events, and networking opportunities, but I was also really blown away at entertainment provided at this NECA convention closing celebration. A tribute to the Beatles music couldn’t be more appropriate or popular, in my opinion, but then again, I love Beatles music! The Fab Four: A Tribute to the Beatles will be performing at the NECA and will certainly provide all the musical entertainment that the all can relate to.

Without question, NECA has pulled out all the stops as far as assembling the functions for this year’s convention and trade show. I’m so excited to be part of it and look forward to seeing you there at the NECA Show!

Aug 11

You Gotta Have the Stamp: OSHA 10 Hour Course at NECA 2010 Boston Will Deliver It

OSHA’s 10-Hour safety course has been the standard for general industry and electrical safety for years, but only recently did owners and general contractors begin demanding to see stamped cards verifying a worker’s successful completion of the course.

We know you don’t have any time to waste, so we’ve gone the extra step to ensure that you get everything you need by participating in an educational session at NECA 2010 Boston – including the stamped OSHA 10-Hour course card at our pre-convention workshop, OSHA 10 for Outside.

OSHA 10 for Outside is a two-day pre-convention workshop for high-voltage line contractors and workers. The workshop will begin Friday, Oct. 1, from 1-5 p.m. and continue Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., with an hour-long lunch break at noon. The cost for both days is $300. And yes, participants who successfully complete both days will receive their much-prized stamped OSHA 10-Hour card by mail shortly afterward!

>>More information about the pre-convention workshop “OSHA 10 for Outside”

>>Register for NECA 2010 Boston NOW!

>>Already registered, but want to add the pre-convention workshop “OSHA 10 for Outside” to your registration? Here’s how!

Aug 05

Guest Post: Connecting at NECA 2010 Boston

by Nate S. Oland, National Account Executive, Federated Insurance

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming convention in Boston! It sounds like NECA has some great activities planned, and I intend to participate in as many as I can.  September 15, 2010, marks the one-year anniversary since Federated was chosen as an Official Partner of NECA. We’re very proud of our relationship with such a respected organization.

One thing I especially like about NECA 2010 Boston is the “Connecting the World” tagline that was chosen for this year. The electrical contracting industry is constantly evolving to keep up with the latest technology and regulations.

At Federated, we recently introduced Federated’s Shield Network, an online resource which is designed to help our clients connect to the latest in a wide range of risk management tools and services. Stop by our booth #1101, whether you’re currently insured with Federated or just looking for more information on our programs or Federated’s Shield Network. We want to connect with you!

Aug 02

New at 2010 NECA Show! The Construction Zone Sponsored by Rexel

We’re thrilled to announced that our first-ever NECA Show Construction Zone will be sponsored by Rexel, a leading distributor worldwide of electrical supplies .

The Construction Zone will be the prime location for catching your breath and taking in all that’s available on the NECA Show floor. This central networking lounge will be decked out in the familiar signs of a working jobsite, but the Construction Zone will actually be the best place at NECA 2010 Boston to take a break.

“We’re very excited that Rexel is making the Construction Zone a reality for NECA Show-goers this year,” said Beth Ellis, NECA executive director, convention/exposition. “It’s going to be great for people to have a place to catch up on business or just relax and catch up on the Sunday game scores.”

The Construction Zone will be the perfect spot to grab something cool to drink at the cash bar, check email with free wi-fi, have a quiet conversation, catch up on the scores from Sunday’s NFL games, or tweet about your favorite NECA Show booth. During exhibit hours on Monday, Oct. 4 and Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Construction Zone will display product DVD’s, demos  and other excellent features.

Rexel is making a splash with their sponsorship of the Construction Zone at the 2010 NECA Show, returning as an exhibitor after several years and requests from Show-goers to share their latest services. Rexel will also have a full display at NECA Show booth #141.

“NECA contractors are extremely important to Rexel, and the Construction Zone is a great way to demonstrate our company’s commitment to the work they’re doing,” said Doris Chumley, marketing projects manager for Rexel. “Rexel is focused on providing innovative electrical solutions and equipment to improve comfort, performance, and energy efficiency, and our customers are professionals who understand their clients’ demands for excellent electrical construction. We’re looking forward to making new connections and renewing old contacts at the 2010 NECA Show.”

>>Learn more about Rexel at the 2010 NECA Show