Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights

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House to Vote on Bill to Limit Further NLRB Actions Without Quorum

On January 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that two appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made by President Obama without Senate confirmation in January of 2012 were unconstitutional. The Court’s ruling raises questions to the validity of decisions or rules made by the NLRB over the past year that would require a quorum, creating great uncertainty for employers and employees struggling to stay in compliance with labor law.

On March 13, Congressman David Roe (R-TN) introduced H.R.1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act, to prohibit the NLRB from taking actions which require a quorum on the Board until this controversy is resolved by Senate confirmation of the appointees, a Supreme Court ruling, or the expiration of the terms of the three recess appointees with the adjournment of the 113th Congress.

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What Happens When the Government Knocks on Your Door?

I nodded to the few people I knew in the room and took a seat quickly, hoping not to draw any attention - just wanting to observe and support a member through a challenging situation. Challenging is an understatement. The situation was an administrative hearing in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry building with the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance making allegations of wrong-doing under the state prevailing wage laws.

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Free Agency

If you have read previous "From the Editor's Desk" columns, then you know I love using sports analogies. As a former collegiate athlete and overall sports enthusiast, I truly believe that the lessons and values garnered from participating in sports can positively impact a person's professional career.

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Learning Through Networking

Rubbing elbows, schmoozing, meet and greet: no matter what you call it, nothing can describe the power of networking. IEC Members who attend local and national events can speak to this - in fact, networking is usually cited as the greatest benefit of not just attending events, but becoming a member of IEC.

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Kohler Generators Joins IEC National as a Silver Industry Partner

The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) is pleased to welcome Kohler Generators as a Silver level National Industry Partner. Kohler Generators manufactures and markets complete backup power solutions for myriad markets including residential, light commercial and industrial.

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IEC Legislative Brief: Potential Impacts of the Sequester on IEC Members

On March 1, 2013, federal agencies will see an across-the-board automatic spending reduction take effect. The initial cut of $85 billion will occur immediately and apply equally to defense and non-defense spending, with cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over a 10 year period. However, many large mandatory programs (such as Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits, and low-income services) are exempt from the cuts. As a result of these cuts, federal agencies may be forced to reprioritize, down-size projects and staff, and even terminate programs.

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Multi-Wire Branch Circuits

When the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) introduced 210.4(B) entitled "Disconnecting Means," this new requirement for multi-wire branch circuits drove many questions related to the application of handle ties in the industry. This requirement has also driven more use of field applied handle ties. The application of handle ties on two one-pole circuit breakers must be performed correctly as the lack of attention to details could cause you to apply the product outside of its rating. Two one-pole circuit breakers can be tied together with an approved handle tie but you must pay close attention to the markings and listing of the products to ensure that the breakers are not applied outside of their rating.

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Preventing Electrocutions

Recognizing electrocution hazards can be difficult in job sites and especially in areas/facilities that have experience storm damage. An electrocution is the result of coming in contact with a lethal amount of current. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are really a last line of defense to protect personnel. There are many ways to stay safe.

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Utilizing the Right Tools for Training

The IEC Atlanta Chapter incorporates "The Training Advantage" into all of our apprenticeship classes in order to benefit IEC contractor members, students, partner members, and the electrical industry. We strive for excellence by starting the training process with instructors who are technically competent and trained to deliver the curriculum to adult learners while incorporating hands-on, active learning techniques in each class. This article will focus on how the IEC Atlanta strategic plan works to engage the students of the apprenticeship program to ensure that they learn the core concepts that lead to improved field productivity, reduced errors, and better customer satisfaction for the contractor and the student.

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A Timeline for Training

How long does it take to become an electrician? No, this is not the beginning of a joke, but a serious question that I ask high school students, parents, and others considering a career in the electrical industry when I speak at the Central Pennsylvania IEC Annual Apprenticeship Open House.

Answers are called out from around the room. "Nine months," calls out one high school student, obviously remembering the television ad for the local for-profit career institute. "Two years," responds a parent who is thinking that community college and an associate's degree is what they need.

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