All The Latest News from NECA

Sep 28

Latest Newscast Shares What You Can Expect at NECA 2016 Boston

The NECA Convention and Trade Show is right around the corner. And it’s not the first time it has been held in Boston. “We’re really excited to be back in Boston because the last time we were in Boston was in 2010, and we had a great show,” said Katie McCormick, NECA Director of Meetings. McCormick said she thinks it will be a different experience for everyone because of the area where the convention will be held – new shops, bars and restaurants – and location on the water. “We have about 250 vendors on the trade show floor, and we’re pretty close to selling out,” McCormick said. “This is going to be a pretty dynamic show this year. See you in Boston!”



It’s also important to note that the schedule for the convention has changed this year. Everything has shifted forward a day – to Saturday-Monday. The Board of Governors Meeting will be on Friday.

Sep 29

NECA 2014 Board of Governors

The NECA Board of Governors met on Saturday, September 27, at the McCormick Place West, Chicago, Illinois. During the meeting the board approved the 2013 meeting minutes and several items of association business including committee and officer reports, standing policies, ordinary proposals and bylaws amendments were reviewed.

5 Vice President Officer Elections were presented and approved:

  • Dan Walsh, replacing Greg Stewart for District 2
  • Jerry Schulz (second term) for District 4
  • Gloria Ashford, replacing George Adams for District 6
  • Bob May (second term) for District 8
  • Tom Halpin, replacing Gary Tucci for Distrct 10

NECA Secretary-Treasurer Traci Pickus reported that there are currently 119 US chapters and 14 international chapters, 4 new international chapters were added in 2014 including: British Columbia, Ontario, Ecuador and Greater Toronto.

NECA has also approved several new student chapters in 2014, including: Wentworth College, Stark State College, University of Toronto, Dunwoody College of Technology and Illinois State University, bringing NECA to 33 total student chapters.

NECA CEO John M. Grau updated the board on his top priorities including the current skilled worker shortage, calling it a “Recession Hangover,” resulting in a lack of trained apprentices. He also believes this is due to the recent industry growth of the Oil and Gas industry.

Grau also notes that keeping up with technology in the field is becoming an issue, stating that gadgets are no longer gimmicks and have become a staple in the workplace. It’s a growing trend in the field as well and how we deal with this going forward is going to be important.

NECA COO Dan Walter reported on NECA’s services, including an array of new mobile apps like the NECA Safety Meeting App, News App, Advocacy App, PPE Selector App, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine monthly issue app and more.

During the meeting new academy inductees were honored, along with past presidents, premier partners, and the recently deceased Tom Glavinich.

Outgoing President, Dennis Quebe gave his last report to the Board of Governors and President-Elect, David Hardt shared plans for his upcoming term in office and presented Quebe with an honorary membership at NECA, handing him a silver gavel in honor of his dedication and service to the association these past 4 years.

There were no votes this year. Complete information about the Board of Governors agenda and roster can be found on NECA’s website,

Aug 20

Labor Relations Special Session Topic Announced; Education Focus

The topic for the Labor Relations special session at NECA 2014 Chicago has been set. It will be “Technology, Training and Addressing the Worker Shortage.”

The session will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept 29. Leaders in the electrical construction industry, including IBEW President Ed Hill and Electrical Training Alliance Executive Director Mike Callanan, will join us to showcase our new state-of-the-art training and delivery systems.

They will discuss how we can use these assets to attract and train more qualified workers to meet the projected growth in our industry. The IBEW has made organizational changes to increase their emphasis on organizing and recruiting new apprentices, skilled electrical workers and contractors in emerging markets.

For more information on NECA 2014 Chicago visit »

May 21

Invest in the Full Registration Package; Invest in Your Career and Your Business

Why Investing in NECA 2014 Chicago is a Smart Investment for Your Future

As an attendee of NECA 2014 Chicago, you’ll want to experience the total package, including this year’s can’t-miss networking and special event offerings, technical resources and track-specific education and the largest industry trade show of its kind, the NECA Show. So, how can you take advantage of everything there is to offer at this all-inclusive event? Sign up for the NECA 2014 Chicago convention & trade show full registration package: your all-access pass providing you with the information and power you need to shape your future.

Explore Chicago’s past with NECA as we transform Chicago’s historic Field Museum into a lavish Roaring ‘20s scene for the NECA 2014 Chicago opening reception. Dance to the swinging sounds of the Z Orchestra or showcase your own talents at karaoke surrounded by prehistoric finds and modern-day discoveries and snap a picture with the most complete and preserved Tyrannosaurus-Rex in the world.

Be sure to attend this year’s General Sessions, where attendees will join opening general session speaker, Chris Gardner on the subject of the blockbuster memoir and film “The Pursuit of Happyness. We’ll learn how he worked through homelessness and single fatherhood to gain an internship at Dean Witter Reynolds and later became one of Bear Stearns’ top earners. In 1987, he established Gardner Rich & Co. in Chicago. Today, he is a multimillionaire, international businessman, philanthropist, and motivational speaker, sharing what he has learned and why passion is prerequisite for success. Catch his passion at our Opening General Session. Gardner will sign his book in the NECA booth on the Show floor after he speaks. Books will be available for purchase.

Our closing general session speaker is former leader of Navy SEAL Team Six, Rob O’Neill, who has kept America safe having been deployed more than a dozen times and held leadership roles in more than 400 combat missions in four different theaters of war. In his talk to NECA conventioneers, he’ll translate his elite SEAL training and combat experience into high-impact, actionable insights on leadership, decision-making, operating in uncertain environments, and becoming the “best of the best.”

This year’s Labor Relations Special Session is all about Workforce Development. Workforce development continues to shape our evolving industry.  NECA will take a hard look at the labor relations issues that matter to our members in a special session, bringing together the leaders that make decisions and tough choices that keep our industry moving forward.

Though, the most exciting part of attending NECA 2014 Chicago would have to be the expansive offering of educational sessions, pre-convention and technical workshops geared to prepare you for today’s ever-evolving industry. New this year, educational programs will be separated into tracks or, job-specific categories, that are designed to align with an attendee’s education focus including: business management, estimating, executive management, leadership and communication, project management, standards and safety, line construction, and technology, process, and innovation. We are opportunity to help members further their company and the education of its employees. As if that’s not enough, NECA will be providing 19 technical workshops on the trade show floor giving attendees even more opportunities to gain knowledge while in Chicago.

While there is certainly enough during the convention to keep attendees occupied, there will be other events to enjoy as well.  This year’s lifestyle program will feature a visit from the world famous Second City comedy troupe.  During the convention attendees will have the opportunity to experience some of the restaurants that make Chicago universally known as America’s best food city. Chicago is one of the most exciting and architecturally unique cities in America and NECA 2014 attendees get to see this first hand with an architecture river tour down the historically significant Chicago River.

NECA 2014 Chicago boasts returns of fan-favorite popular events as well, including: the business development meeting, safety roundtable, and Women in NECA (WIN) roundtable, along with an exciting first-ever Job Fair, providing NECA’s 30 student chapter teams with a forum to meet with NECA members and prospective employers, providing employers with an opportunity to look toward the future of their business.

This year’s Showstopper Showcase will give attendees a select sampling of some of the latest electrical product innovations to help keep your company up to date.  This full-access pass will give you three days of the NECA Show including lunch to make sure that you get the opportunity to experience all that the 2014 NECA Show has to offer.

Those who like their rhythm & blues seasoned with a whole lot of soul and a Memphis sound are in for a treat at our Closing Celebration. Celebrate a successful week with NECA at the Chicago House of Blues where you can enjoy good friends, good fun, good food — and great musical entertainment provided by actor, comedian and singer Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band.

Registration Opens May 29 — Mark Your Calendars and Take Advantage of Early Rates!

Oct 14

Affordable Care Act Panel at Labor Relations Special Session

This year’s Labor Relations Special Session was especially timely with its panel discussion on The Impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on NECA Contractors.

“Let’s start with how we got into this mess,” said Marco Giamberardino, NECA executive director, government affairs. “This is legislation that has completely spiraled out of control because no one really knew what they were getting into. Now the Tea Party has used this to partially shutdown the federal government, and even the full faith and credit of the U.S. is on the line.”

Geary Higgins, NECA Vice President, Labor Relations, and Trustee of the NECA/IBEW Family Medical Care Plan, moderated the panel which included Tiffany Downs, Attorney at Law, FordHarrison LLP, and Travis Smith, President, Foster & Foster Actuaries.

“Bigger plans are going to be better very soon,” Smith commented, when asked about how the ACA with affect the Family Medical Care Plan. Smith outlined several compliance issues for local multiemployer health and welfare plans.

Downs addressed the moving-target of ACA reporting requirements. “One reason the Obama Administration delayed the plan for a year for businesses is that they couldn’t get the requirements to line up. However, multiemployer plans aren’t necessarily a part of that extension.” Downs gave a checklist that NECA contractors and local plan trustees can review to assess their burden and responsibilities.

Giamberardino offered what NECA is doing to attain relief and reform of the ACA. He mentioned NECA and IBEW’s joint letter to all Members of Congress about how the ACA was a direct threat to the tradition of healthcare insurance signatory contractors had offered their employees since WWII; the letter was cited in two separate Congressional hearings on the ACA in late summer. “The President promised us that if we liked our doctor, we would get to keep our doctor. Now we find out that’s not going to happen for all multiemployer plans. That’s not right, and we have to get it fixed.”

Jul 12

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on NECA Contractors at Labor Relations Special Session

For over 60 years, NECA contractors have provided quality healthcare coverage to 26 million electrical workers, retirees and their families. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) would dramatically change how these plans are offered and administered.

Not only would the ACA affect the healthcare plans provided by NECA contractors, but the law itself continues to haphazardly morph in large and small ways, like the Administration’s recent decision to delay the mandate for employer-provided health insurance until 2015. The Labor Relations Special Session at NECA 2013 Washington DC will focus on how the Affordable Care Act will affect the multiemployer healthcare plans using the most up-to-date information available.

“Impact of the Affordable Chealthcare-reformare Act (ACA) on NECA Contractors” will be presented on Monday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. by a panel of experts. They will cover the most crucial issues surrounding the ACA for multiemployer plans for those employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, as well as employees outside the bargaining unit.

Multiemployer healthcare plans have not been part of the contentious debate over the ACA; rather, their concerns have been drowned out by more vocal opponents. The Labor Relations Special Session at NECA 2013 Washington DC will be your opportunity to learn how the law could affect your plans and your employees. Make plans to be there in person by registering for NECA 2013 Washington DC.

FREE WEBINAR: Get a head start learning about how the ACA could affect your business by joining NECA for a free webinar on July 16 at 2 p.m., ” What Electrical Contractors Need to Know About the ACA.” This is the first of a series of webinars on health care reform and will feature Tiffany Downs, head of the Employee Benefits Practice Group for the Ford Harrison labor and employment attorneys. Register now!