Chapter Corner

Christi Buker

IEC & 4H: Encouraging the Next Generation of Electrical Contractors

If you attended the 56th Annual IEC National Convention & Electric Expo in Fort Worth, Texas last October, you may have noticed some young faces in the exhibit hall on Friday morning. Perhaps you saw people with stickers that had a four-leaf clover on them; those future leaders were the 4-H’ers attending the Electrical Industry Career Exploration Day!

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.

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.