The shortage of skilled labor is a topic everyone should be concerned with. Many of the baby boomers are getting ready to retire and there seems to be a void of skilled individuals ready to take their place.
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Apprentices, it’s no secret that there is a lot to learn. As an Electrical Training Alliance (ETA) partner, it’s our job and privilege to foster your growth. Not only are you tasked to learn the skills and technology needed to succeed in the electrical industry, you also need to know the National Electrical Code (NEC) and stay current with all its updates. Knowing the codes is just one piece of the job, we are here to help guide you to the right tools to successfully meet NEC standards and do it safely.
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Last year, we presented two separate articles on the topic of safety and the correlation between safety and productivity (“A Safe Job Site Is a Productive Job Site” [2016 May/June Insights] and “Predict & Prevent” [2016 Sept/Oct Insights]). We have already presented the data that shows “why” this connection is important to an electrical contractor, and we have already presented the information that explains “what” needs to be done in order to gather relevant information from the field. In this article, we will dive deeper into “how” to use critical business processes to alleviate the risk of safety-related issues before they occur. Not unlike quality and customer care, the safety of any job site starts with the board of directors. If the executives, manager, and supervisors think safety first, then the job sites will be safer.
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A recent fire that engulfed an industrial site in New York is said to have been caused by the ignition of highly-combustible cardboard. One hundred members of the local fire department responded to the blaze, which had caused the roof and some of the walls of the building to collapse. The fire quickly took over the six-block-long building and prompted the authorities to issue a shelter-in-place order for all nearby residents. What caused the ignition of the cardboard? The failure of a single light bulb.
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Later this year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will introduce the 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® 2018. The electrical contractor community awaits each new edition of the standard with a mixture of curiosity, optimism, and dread – with good reason. Even seemingly minor changes can have a major impact on a contractor’s established workflow. Most changes necessitate additional training, and some require electrical workers to invest in new or updated equipment. To help electrical contractors prepare, here’s a peek at a few of the more notable changes to the NFPA 70E standard that will impact their day-to-day work practices.
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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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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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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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Interview with Chris Andrews, Product Manager, Low Voltage Lighting & Controls Systems, Eaton
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An explosion in technology is changing the way people live, work, and use space. Wi-Fi, cell phones, and tablets have blurred the lines of where people connect for work and leisure – inside, outside, it no longer matters. As a result, people are spending more time outside for work and leisure activities, and they’re bringing their mobile devices with them. This presents homeowners, businesses, and facility managers with a new challenge – providing the convenience of safe, permanent, and dependable power sources for outdoor events or for charging cell phones, tablets, and laptops outside.
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