All The Latest News from NECA

Oct 04

Education Pioneer Sal Khan Talks About His Global Vision for Learning

Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a global nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education to “anyone, anywhere” in the world, shared his vision for learning at the Opening General Session NECA 2015 San Francisco on Sunday.

The impetus of Khan Academy started about 10 years ago, when Khan heard from an aunt that his cousin was having trouble understanding certain math concepts.

“She had become convinced she didn’t have the math gene,” Khan said.

Soon, after he got off work, Khan started doing lessons with his cousin through instant messaging and she started to improve. He started tutoring other cousins as well. Scheduling conflicts led Khan to posting lessons on YouTube and it grew from there.

A hedge fund analyst with degrees from MIT and Harvard, Khan ultimately decided to quit his job and pursue his work in education. But it wasn’t without doubts. He received $100,000 from a key backer early on, which helped him get things off the ground.

Then, he got noticed by Bill Gates. And Google reached out. That momentum enabled Khan to get office space and start building a team.

Khan said Khan Academy is set up similar to the way you play a video game. You have to master one level before you can move to the next, and you can’t ignore the gaps in knowledge.

Khan Academy’s website now provides self-pacing software and unlimited access to over 5,100 instructional videos on its YouTube channel covering everything from basic arithmetic to college-level science and economics. It’s the most-used library of educational videos on the web, with 10 million unique users per month, more than 300 million lessons delivered, and over 1.4 billion exercises completed.

Khan Academy is based in Mountain View, California, with about 100 full-time engineers and educators. Some students have become interns and, in some cases, full-time employees.

“In a bizarre way, we’re solving our own labor problem,” Khan said.

Khan said he feels like the world is at a special time in history. Education, he hopes, is becoming more like food and shelter, a “fundamental human right.”

Before Khan took the stage, conventioneers heard from NECA President David A. Hardt. Hardt said leaders have made a lot of progress moving the industry forward and told those in the audience to ask their chapter governors for updates.

Hardt also mentioned the Value of Membership Task Force and the important work it is doing.

“NECA provides tremendous value, but many of our members don’t knoe what’s available to them,” he said.

He added the greater participation will ensure that members’ needs are met.

“We’re a great association,” he said. “Thank you for your support.”

Former NECA President Dennis F. Quebe later provided an update on the Academy of Electrical Contracting and its recent progress. Thirteen new inductees were introduced and installed.

Alex Owen, chairman of NECA’s Political Leadership Council, also shared remarks and encouraged members to be engaged to make sure their voice is heard.

Sep 22

Looking for a place you can go for everything you need to know about NECA 2014 Chicago?

There’s an app for that.The official app of NECA 2014 Chicago is now available for mobile devices to download from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

The free app, sponsored by NECA Premier Partner Graybar, is a one-stop shop for information on the association’s annual convention, September 27-30 in Chicago, IL.  Features include: a list of exhibitors, complete schedule of events and the ability to sort by educational track or topic, speaker bios and a detailed NECA Show floorplan.

There is also a function for planning. Users can make lists of “My Exhibitors” and “My Itinerary” to maximize their time in the Windy City. A directory of products will direct convention goers to the right booth armed with the information they need.

Finally, attendees can stay connected via Facebook and Twitter and catch up on the latest convention buzz. Information on hotels and restaurants and a walking map of Chicago can be found on the app as well.

Download the free app today for all your NECA 2014 Chicago needs.


Search for “NECA 2014 Chicago” or “NECA” via the iTunes or Google Play app stores to download from your mobile device.



Learn more about NECA 2014 Chicago »


Download for iPhone or iPads in the Apple app store »

Download for tablet or phone via the Google Play store »

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 »

Mar 17


Make the most out of your 2014 Chicago attendee experience

All sessions for NECA 2014 Chicago are listed on the schedule by related topic, or “track” category. Each track is filled with hours of content. Attendees can customize their agenda by selecting sessions in each track that fit individual and business needs, tracks include: safety, estimating, executive management, ET&D and line construction and more!

NECA course instructors are the leaders in the industry, with unique insight and expertise to customize seminars to the management and business needs of professionals working in all levels of electrical contracting. Their presentations are geared to providing strategic and practical solutions for electrical contractors. If you want to grow your business, make sure to bring additional key personnel, so you can cover all the bases. Streamlined tracks will allow NECA to better serve the ever-evolving needs of the industry.

  • Business Management

  • Estimating

  • Executive Management

  • Leadership and Communications

  • Project Management

  • Standards and Safety

  • Technology, Process, and Innovation

  • Line Construction

View schedule >

Learn more about customizing your education experience at NECA 2014 Chicago >

Oct 04

Got CEUs? Need Handouts? Get Them Online!

Thanks for supporting our efforts to make NECA 2012 Las Vegas as paperless as possible. Your CEU certificates and session handouts can be found online.

Continuing Education Units
Most pre-convention workshops, management seminars and technical sessions at NECA 2012 Las Vegas offered continuing education units for attendees who had their badges scanned at the start and end of the sessions.

Retrieving your CEU certificate of completion can be done online. If you don’t receive an email prompt for collecting your CEU certificate, you can go to and enter the information from your badge to pull up your record. You will need your member ID, your badge number or your first and last name from your meeting registration to get your record.

If you think there’s a mistake, simply complete and submit a CEU Change Request Form. Directions can be found on the CEU retrieval site.

Not all courses offered at NECA 2012 Las Vegas will meet your state’s CEU requirement for continuing education credit. Check with your state authorities to confirm eligibility.

Most presenters at NECA 2012 Las Vegas have made their session handouts available online, either through the archived session schedule or the convention app. Both formats are indexed by session date and title.

Go to “Education” under “Schedule” on convention website to view sessions by date and description; handouts have been uploaded as PDFs with the individual session descriptions. You can also easily access handouts via the NECA 2012 Las Vegas app by clicking on the “Handouts” icon. Make sure your app is synched to get the most recent upload of handouts.

Oct 07

Savings for NECA 2011 San Diego Safety Track Programs

Did you know that you can register EXCLUSIVELY for the NECA 2011 San Diego Safety Track programs, without any additional registration or event costs?

Safety professionals can now build on the knowledge they gained at NECA’s first Safety Professionals Conference with a dedicated education track focused exclusively on the training, regulations and policies they need to do their jobs—all for just $500 (price does not include pre-convention workshops).

The Safety Track at NECA 2011 San Diego is an affordable and accessible way NECA supports our inside and outside electrical safety professionals. Safety Track courses at NECA 2011 San Diego include pre-convention workshops, management seminars, technical workshops, and the Safety Roundtable.


OSHA ET&D 10 Hour Train the Trainer Course
Friday, October 21
8 a.m.–5 p.m., PW-3
(Two-day course continues Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.)
Instructor: Joe Branco, Corporate Safety Manager, Quanta Services

OSHA ET&D Supervisory Leadership Skills Outreach Train-the-Trainer Course
Friday, October 21
8:00 am–5:00 pm, PW-4 (Three-day course continues Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 23, 8 a.m.–12 noon)
Instructor: James A. McGowan, Director, Safety Training, Quanta Services

Changes in the NFPA 70E 2012
Saturday, October 22
8 a.m.–12 noon, PW-8
Instructors: Palmer Hickman, NJATC Director of Codes and Safety Training and Curriculum Development; and James Dollard, Jr., Safety Coordinator, IBEW Local 98


OSHA’s Regulatory Update Impacting Line Contractors
Sunday, October 23
8:00–8:50 am, M-1  •  9:00–9:50 am, M-8

Surviving the Changes to the Crane Standard
Sunday, October 23
8:00–8:50 am, M-2  •  9:00–9:50 am, M-9

Surviving Today’s OSHA
Monday, October 24
8:00–8:50 am, M-3  •  9:00–9:50 am, M-24

OSHA Partnership: What are the Benefits of the OSHA Electrical Transmission & Distribution (ET&D) Strategic Safety Partnership for All Line Contractors
Monday, October 24
9:00–9:50 am, M-20


Workplace Efficiency and Safety: What Contractors Should Know about NFPA 70E and Insulated Tools
Sunday, October 23
12-12:50 p.m., Room 1, ET-1

Line & Truck Grounding for Today’s Lineman
Sunday, October 23, 2011
1–1:50 pm, Room 1, ET-2

Understanding the Arc Flash and NFPA 70E
Sunday, October 23, 2011
2–2:50 pm, Room 1, ET-4

Arc Flash Mitigation and NEC Code and Compliance
Sunday, October 23, 2011
3–3:50 pm, Room 2, ET-6

>>Still unsure about attending NECA 2011 San Diego? The $500 Safety Track flat rate is STILL open for registrants! Register now!


Jun 13

NECA 2011 San Diego Registration Opens June 14

Online registration for NECA’s annual convention and trade show, Oct. 22-25, in San Diego, opens Tuesday, June 14. Early savings for NECA 2011 San Diego events, pre-convention workshops, and the all-new Energy Forum and weekend packages will be available until August 29. Attendees can also make hotel reservations when they register for the meeting.

NECA 2011 San Diego features all the great education and networking events the industry expects from our annual convention and trade show. We’ll have management workshops focused on best business practices and market development tactics, inspiring messages from Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Steven Farber, and hands-on technical workshops right on the NECA Show floor. Popular sessions like the Green Energy Challenge finalist presentation jury, NECA Women’s Peer Group Open Forum, and the NECA Safety Roundtable are also included in the NECA 2011 San Diego full registration package.

Contractors and industry pros who want to pack in as much education with minimal time away from the office can choose from two new weekend packages. Both packages include the all-new Energy Forum on Sat., Oct. 22, and the Opening General Session with General Stanley McChrystal on Sun., Oct. 23, plus Sunday, Oct. 23 management seminars and technical workshops, the grand opening of the NECA Show and the Showstopper Showcase, tradeshow lunch and Sunday daily prize tickets.

For $100 more, weekender registrants can choose the package that also includes the Opening Reception on the USS Midway.

Registrants can fully customize their time at NECA 2011 San Diego with the new ala carte menu which enables you to register for specific events (pre-convention workshops, Energy Forum, opening reception, management seminars, and/or the NECA Show.)

Pre-convention workshops start as early as Friday, Oct. 21 and are priced separately. Registrants for pre-convention workshop are also entitled NECA Show admission, Oct. 22-25, including all technical workshops and access to the Showstopper Showcase.

NECA Conventioneers who stay through to the end will enjoy the waterfront Closing Celebration with Al Jardine and the Endless Summer Band.

Explore NECA 2011 San Diego>>   Register Now!>>

Sep 24

Guest Post: BlueVolt’s Tips on Getting the Most from Online Training

by Lisa Bordeaux, BlueVolt

The 2010 NECA Convention and Trade Show features opportunities to discover new products and services, learn about best practices, network with your peers, boost your company’s productivity, explore new markets, and enjoy the best of Boston.

One of the best ways to boost productivity is through online training. Before you attend this year’s conference and after you’ve returned home from Boston – and for those of you who can’t make it this year – be sure to check out BlueVolt online, This is a great way to keep up with the latest training courses available in your industry. NECA’s Management Education Institute, the NJATC and many NECA exhibitors use BlueVolt as their vehicle to get training out to NECA contractors. This is our seventh year exhibiting at the NECA Show, and we’re excited to hear connect with our users face-to-face!

The term “online training” can conjure up images of complicated technology or installing confusing software programs. The truth is, contractors don’t need extensive experience with technology to start training online. BlueVolt hosts NJATC and NECA authored courses which you can take in the comfort of your own home. Now you can earn your state-approved CEUs in your slippers!

Here are some tips from BlueVolt on how to get the most out of online training:

  • Set a goal for yourself. What do you hope to accomplish by taking this course? You may wish to add a marketable skill, like green building, or improve safety on the job.
  • Understand your learning style. Put what you’re learning into real-world situations. Most importantly, go at your own pace. If it takes you longer to retain information, take the time to think about what you’re seeing. There is no race to the finish line when it comes to online learning!
  • Eliminate distractions around you. Aim to complete your online course in a quiet room with minimal distractions. Close other programs on your computer so you can focus on the course. The sooner you complete, the sooner you can go back to emailing or browsing funny videos on YouTube.

NECA and NJATC Universities’ online courses are powered by BlueVolt. We strive to make online learning so easy, that all a contractor needs to update his CE/CEUs, or learn about a new product online, is a computer and an internet connection.

This fall, BlueVolt is offering several courses for NECA members, including LEED certification, Grounding and Bonding, green building and an introduction to using NECA’s Manual of Labor Units. I hope you will come by our booth at the convention to learn how you benefit from online training.

And with the 2011 National Electrical Code changes just around the corner, it is the perfect time to start learning online. BlueVolt is teaming up with NECA and the NJATC to offer online courses on Significant Changes to the NEC.

With technology continuing to advance, contractors cannot afford to fall behind. Major changes in the 2011 NEC are expected to incorporate green technologies and alternative energy. For many in the electrical business, the NEC changes can ignite panic, confusion and, at best, annoyance. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

About BlueVolt

Portland, Oregon-based BlueVolt connects and advances participants in industries through its leading online Learning + Marketing Platform, its comprehensive, quality learning catalog, and its talented professional services team. Platform participants include manufacturers, associations, distributors, contractors, and skilled professionals in the electrical, plumbing, flooring, welding, and HVAC industries. The Platform enables online training and learning experiences including social/collaborative, blended, on-demand and live multi-camera webcast with enterprise-level functionality and performance. BlueVolt’s unique approach to training encourages learning with its proven reward program that is valuable to both content consumers and content sponsors. As of August 2010, BlueVolt delivered over 734,000 courses to over 95,000 registered users.

About NECA Management Education Institute

NECA’s Management Education Institute (MEI) is the best education resource for all stages of an electrical contractor’s career – from estimator, to project manager, to executive with corporate responsibilities. MEI’s programs are developed with leading industry researchers and skilled instructors. NECA chapters work with NECA’s national office to deliver programs locally to their members.

Sep 12

Learning How to Perform an Energy Audit

One program that’s generating some early buzz in Seattle was yesterday’s pre-convention workshop on how to do a facility energy audit. Participation swelled, forcing the workshop to relocate to a larger classroom.

Energy Audit: A Portal to Green Projects offered contractors their first look at a brand-new resource developed just for them by NECA – a step-by-step guide to evaluate the energy conservation, efficiency and alternative power opportunities for an existing building.

“The first step to winning a green energy project is proving to your customer that you understand their energy needs anEnergy-Audit-Workshop-1d that you can do the work to meet their green building goals. When an electrical contractor does a facility energy audit, he shows he can meet both needs,” said Dick Nogleberg, chair of NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force. The task force was the driving force behind developing the audit tools and training.

Owners tell us that the firm who does their energy audit is usually the same contractor who creates their green energy project and controls the work. Energy audit expertise is a highly valuable addition to a NECA member’s green energy business and profit development toolkit.

Future energy audit training will be available through MEI.

Sep 11

Welcome to the NECA 2009 Seattle Live Blog!

Hi everyone!

I’m Beth Margulies, NECA’s director of public relations, and I’ll be live-blogging NECA’s convention and trade show in Seattle this week on

I hope you’ve been reading the blog to keep up with new sessions and special offers, but now with everything in full swing, we’re shifting our coverage on-site, with daily reports on sessions, speakers and scenes from the Show floor. If you see something you like here, use the Social Media tools on each post to share it on your own Facebook, Twitter or MySpace page.

But this blog isn’t the only way you can keep up with everything that’s going on in Seattle.  You can become a fan of the NECA Convention on Facebook to receive important updates before the events and while they happen.

Or follow us on Twitter, for quick updates about new blog posts, room changes, and raffle drawings.  Ginger Wilson has already tweeted tons of pictures and reports from pre-convention workshops and as the Show floor takes shape. If already on Twitter, you can tag your own tweets with #NECA09 to let your followers know you’re tweeting about NECA 2009 Seattle.

For NECA 2009 Seattle attendees who aren’t familiar with everything social media can offer electrical contractors, you might want to attend the management seminar I’m leading on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 8 a.m., What is Social Media and How it Can Help Your Business.  Details about NECA’s own social media can be found on our website, too.

There won’t be a lot of time to spare in Seattle, so take advantage of NECA’s social media for event updates and to stay in touch!