Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: April 2017

Marina Safety

Another swimming season is upon us, and so I must dive again in to a discussion of marina safety. As electrical professionals, we are in a position to help make marinas a safe place to work and play. Marinas can be quite a dangerous place when it comes to electrical hazards. Let's break the ice with some thought-stimulating information that you can build on during your next marina project.

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Contracting is a Great Small Business

Unlike other small business construction contracting, the electrical contracting industry requires more than a few "good guys" to start. Every way you look at it, small business has as many challenges as any other larger business. The difference is that contracting has a more fluid income and the contractor is only as good as "their last job." Just like any restaurant, they can only make your food or service bad once. The customers have a choice.

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Small Business in the Electrical Industry

It is unlikely for us to think about small business without thinking of the American Dream. Although we sometimes need to be reminded, we don’t have to look very far or long to realize that we live in the greatest country in the world. In 1931, James T. Adams defined the American Dream in these terms, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.” Adams was spot on; I agree that it takes some degree of ability, but I would add a whole lot of achievement. Sweat equity.

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Three Key Essentials to Management Level Hiring

It’s a cliché to say that “our people are our greatest asset.” Calling it overused would be an understatement. The funny thing is, it is quite a true statement. Your people are your greatest asset and give your firm a brand identity, a reputation in the marketplace, and a certain feeling that emanates from your offices.

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Protecting Power Systems

In an electrical system, there are several components that allow us to safely receive the electricity we need to power our homes and businesses. There’s a lot that goes on behind the receptacle to protect us from short circuits, ground faults, and arc faults.

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House Committee Passes Legislation Repealing PLA Preference in Federal Contracts

On March 28, 2017, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1552/S. 622), which would increase fair and open competition on federal and federally funded construction projects...

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IEC Scores Victories: Volks and Blacklisting Regulations Invalidated

In the past 30 days, President Trump signed two Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions IEC actively supported...

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Top 10 Specialty Contract Provisions to Include, Exclude, or Modify

Specialty contracts control the relationship between a specialty contractor and a prime contractor or, in some cases, a project owner. So it is important for specialty contractors to negotiate their contracts to be, at least, mutually beneficial to the parties and, if possible, favorable to the specialty contractor. Of course in reality, some parties take a hard line on their contracts and refuse to negotiate, which might lead one to question the advisability of entering into a relationship with such parties.

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Small Business and the Entrepreneur

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 99.7 percent of all U.S. firms are small businesses. Depending on the industry, you could have 500, 1,000, or even 1,500 employees and still be considered a small business. However, there are some that are capped by their average annual receipts, and many are categorized by the industry. In the world of special trades contractors (where we electricians prevail), the cap of annual sales falls around $11.5 million.

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