William Atkinson

Distributed Generation: A Huge Market Opportunity for Contractors

Demand for distributed generation, also known as distributed energy resources (DER), is growing for a number of reasons – unexpected utility power outages, planned rolling blackouts, power quality problems, increases in the overall cost of power, mid-day price spikes, and much more.

Expanding Into Industrial Work

Electrical contractors that specialize in residential and/or commercial work experience a lot of challenges, but also a lot of rewards. For those “intrepid” contractors who are looking for more, both in terms of challenges and rewards, industrial work may hold the answer.

Attracting, Hiring, and Retaining the Best Employees

These days, hiring people is all about quality, not quantity. In decades past, companies hired large numbers of people, especially during lengthy periods of economic growth. Then, when the economy tightened, many companies had to let people go. Then, the process started again. In recent years, most companies have learned their lessons: Rather than hire large numbers of average employees and then downsize them later on, savvy employers are now judiciously hiring a smaller number of employees, focusing on the highest quality they can get, and then working hard to retain them.

IEC's Emerging Leaders Initiative

A recently launched initiative by IEC, called Emerging Leaders, is already reaping benefits. At the national level, the program is informal, consisting of a number of courses and programs being offered by IEC at conventions and other conferences. However, the program is already being formalized in at least two IEC chapters: IEC Rocky Mountain and IEC Atlanta.

The Uniqueness of Solar Projects

Dominic Ballesteros, operations manager for Jokake Electric in Phoenix, Arizona, began working on solar projects almost seven years ago. He eventually met Jorge Garcia, CEO of Jokake Electric, when they were working on a project for Arizona Public Service - the Deer Valley Mission Critical Operations Center.

Implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

An August 8, 2012, Mercer press release, based on a survey of over 1,200 employers on the potential implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on their businesses, reported that 60 percent of employers expect some increase in cost, with one third expecting an increase of five percent or more. One reason is the requirement to provide coverage to a larger percentage of employees than many employers had provided before.

Online Apprentice Training: Working in IEC Chapters

A number of IEC chapters have been implementing online apprenticeship training. While such endeavors always present challenges, they can end up being highly successful. IEC Atlanta and IEC-Dakotas are two such examples.