Chapter Corner

Insights Magazine: January/February 2017

Giving Thanks

Thank you to Joe Hovanec for his leadership over the last year. His dedication to IEC is second to none, which was witnessed by many as we saw him involved in as many of the chapter events over the year as he could fit in. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has put their trust in me to follow in Joe’s footsteps and continue to steer this great ship. I will do my best to make the right decisions along the way that contribute to bringing the most benefit to our association and its dedicated members.

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Terminations - Devil's in the Details

Terminating conductors may seem to be a menial task, but make no mistake – it is important. Mistakes here could cause hours of troubleshooting or other types of problems after continued hours of use and aging of the installation. NEC 2017 has recognized the importance of this task as well. Let’s explore this topic further and shed some light on what many think can be left to the most inexperienced on the job. I think you may see that this task deserves closer attention.

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Where We Were and Where We Are Now

Looking back at the mid-2000’s, workforce development was the main focus at that time, then the Great Recession happened and survival became a way of life for the next 6-7 years. Let's fast forward to 2017. Now that the economy has rebounded – although different from prior years’ – workforce development is back as a top concern of most electrical contractors.

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Winds of Change and the Event Horizon

The “Winds of Change” is a discussion surrounding Agile Construction®, and specifically leadership of an Agile business. Agile is a business model that is capable of adaptation to meet changing needs, both in the short term and in the long term. Short-term Agility surrounds the needs to recognize and meet the needs of customers and vendors at the project, division, and overall business levels, while still maximizing the available profit opportunity. This requires effectiveness and efficiency throughout the business system. Longterm Agility comes from leadership. Leadership must recognize and respond to changes in the business environment. These changes are detected by knowing what to watch for in the “wind.” Rapid detection and early action based on these “Winds of Change” is effective leadership and the only way to ensure Winds the long-term success of any business.

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State of the Labor Shortage and 7 Recruiting Actions for Today

It is the unpleasant reality that skilled labor is in short supply, with 300,000¹ Boomers retiring², lack of CTE education³, negative perceptions about blue collar work⁴, college track pressure⁵, and historic economic dips⁶ contributing to the shortage. These factors, combined with a projected industry growth of 14% over the next 10 years⁷, indicate that the challenge to find skilled workers is not going away anytime soon⁸.

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BIM & Estimating

Building Information Modeling (BIM) was originally designed to create architectural 3D renderings of a project before construction began. BIM quickly became an excellent tool for contractors to coordinate equipment interferences or clash detection for better collaboration between trades. In either case, BIM's objective is to create a 3D computerized model of a project to work out construction designs and conflicts prior to incurring construction costs to ensure that budgets, schedules, and quality are maintained once construction is underway.

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How the Trump Tax Changes Will Affect Your Exit and Your Business

Early November 2016 saw the end of one of the most contentious political presidential elections in quite some time. Each candidate had distinctly different plans for the direction they wanted to take this country.

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Industry Outlook: Why 2017 Is the Year of Prefabrication, Safety, and Innovation

Every year for the last four years, forecasting experts have mistakenly predicted that the demand for new construction would accelerate. And every year for the last four years, the increase has been more gradual than expected. Now that the election is over, a more drastic industry turnaround is long overdue, and I predict we will experience it in 2017.

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