Building a Budget for Professional Development Creating an annual budget can be daunting for any business. Add to it the uncertainties that come hand-in-hand with the construction industry — like planning the right amount of funds needed to complete anticipated jobs while making sure employees get paid consistently and the business stays profitable — and it becomes an even more delicate balancing act. Still, contractors should try to make room for one more line on their annual budget for the professional development and continuing education of their employees. Professional development, while maybe not as flashy as new equipment, can be a valuable tool for retaining employees and setting a company up for success. There’s also a chance that it might save a contractor money in the long-run.
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It can happen in the blink of an eye and without warning; one minute our lives are running smoothly; the next minute we’re in complete chaos as we look at the task that looms ahead of us — recovering from a natural disaster. Electrical contractors are often at the forefront of this recovery effort; they know, the sooner the electrical infrastructure is restored, the sooner we can all get back to our day-to-day schedules. Most areas have no shortage of electrical contractors willing to jump in and help pick up the pieces after disaster strikes. But what we sometimes fail to realize is, even before a tragedy strikes, there are many things that can, and should, be done that can help ease the recovery effort.
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Upon high school graduation, teens have to figure out what to do next. The traditional four-year college/university route is not for everyone. Once students graduate from a four-year institution, they not only walk away with a college degree, but likely a huge amount of student loan debt. According to Business Insider, student loan debt is at an all-time high. There are other options teens should consider, such as a trade industry, after high school graduation.
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It was a typical Sunday in June of 2019 when a thunderstorm produced a fierce windstorm that blew through the Dallas-Fort Worth area. An above-average number of trees were damaged, making streets unpassable and severing electricity to several thousand individuals. Local power company crews worked 18-hour shifts to restore electricity to their customers. The damage to the electrical system was so devastating that electrical utility providers from outside of the state of Texas were brought in to help with restoration e‑orts. There was massive destruction to trees that had existed for 50-plus years and provided needed shade from the hot Texas sun.
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At Southwire, headquartered in Carrollton, Georgia, we work hard every day to discover, develop and distribute strong and sustainable solutions that exceed the expectations of our stakeholders around the world. We continue to build on our nearly seven decades of rich history by looking to a future where needs will be met through high-end systems and solutions, guided by the technologies, forces and trends shaping our industry.
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Diversity is a subject that IEC is exploring. We want to increase the number of women interested in the electrical industry. The number of female electricians is increasing at an exceptionally slow pace and we want to do our part to make a positive change. In 2018, 97% of all electricians were male and less than 3% were women according to Data USA. This increased from the 2009 census data where women held less than 1% of all electrician jobs. The time is now to attract females to the electrical industry, as women make up the majority of the US labor force.
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This unique pitch on the electrical trade allows those preparing to join the workforce, or those already in their post-secondary journey, the opportunity to see the trade as more than someone running conduit, installing outlets, and digging ditches. It allows them to see these steps as a foundation for what their future could be. It allows them to visualize more than simply working a job and attending a class, but rather beginning a fulfilling and exciting career. It allows those in the community to start to visualize their son/ daughter/husband/wife/sister/brother as a role model to those within their family.
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Business Summit is an event held by IEC National every year to help our members learn more about how to operate, grow and expand a successful business. This year’s Summit was held at the Hilton hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, where the late President John F. Kennedy spent his last night! The historical importance of the hotel wasn’t the only thing that our members appreciated, so big thanks to the IEC Fort Worth- Tarrant County chapter for lending their support to make the summit a success.
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On January 17–18, IEC Atlanta hosted its first Certified Professional Electrician (CPE) exam of the new year. A&T Committee Chairman George Thess and A&T Committee Contractor Member Blake Behr, Ridgeline Electrical Industries, served as proctors. “As someone who has taken over 15 masters exams, I have high praise for the CPE Certification. It is a test that truly has, at its heart, the aim to identify, certify, and praise the skilled electrician, and not just the good test takers,” said Behr, president of Ridgeline Electrical Industries.
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