I would like to start with giving thanks.
Thank you to Joe Hovanec for his leadership over the last year. His dedication to IEC is second to none, which was witnessed by many as we saw him involved in as many of the chapter events over the year as he could fit in. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has put their trust in me to follow in Joe’s footsteps and continue to steer this great ship. I will do my best to make the right decisions along the way that contribute to bringing the most benefit to our association and its dedicated members.
So what does the crystal ball look like for 2017? I’m sure it’s just as foggy for everyone; however, we do have some things to look forward to based on what has happened over the last election period. It has given some hope for much needed change after the last 8 years of fiscal irresponsibility. Perhaps with the right people in the right places, we can forge ahead on a path of a responsible recovery.
Knowing this falls within our sphere of concern, let’s look at some of the things that we can influence and impact.
Regarding our industry, I have heard from some of our friends across the country on how they closed out 2016 and what this year looks to be shaping up like so far. Most have said that 2016 was very good, while others said it had been their best year ever! Hearing this is very encouraging, and it gets even better.
Some of these folks are already talking about record backlogs as we enter the new year – more than they have seen in the last five years. No doubt about it, we will have our challenges filling positions with more skilled craftsmen. But the more people who know about IEC and its opportunities, the better chance we have at getting more of the best on board.
As the workload sounds to be promising, so do some of the political climates in different states. We are seeing strong pro-business pushes in various states to include the hopes of more becoming “right-to-work” areas. If there was ever a time for us to support our local and federal governments, it is now. We are poised to make some great strides for supporters of free enterprise and the merit shop philosophy. I believe that we may in fact be sitting on the nose cone of the rocket that propels us to the next level of strength and growth.
If you think for a minute about the super-structure that exists in IEC currently, there is so much potential within our reach that we are limited only to our imagination. We have become 10,000 apprentices strong with 50 chapters across the country. We have a fantastic foundation working side by side with our National staff. We have some of the most dedicated committee members and executive directors forging ahead with incredible fortitude. We have a group of the best and brightest in the industry volunteering their time on our National Board, the Executive Committee, and our always supportive Industry Partners. When you look down from 20,000 feet and see what just a few devoted individuals started back in 1957 to what it has become today, it is truly amazing. It makes it easy to stand back and say: Of course I want to be a part of this remarkable team!
So it becomes our job as we hold the positions we do today to launch us into the next 60 years of growth. I can’t think of a better group of people to volunteer my time with and continue our industry’s growth than those that belong to IEC. I am anxious and excited to get the year started and begin serving as your President.
Thank you – again – for all that YOU do!
Bruce Seilhammer is IEC's 2017 National President. He is also the Electrical Construction Group Manager and Warehouse Operations Manager at SECCO, Inc. SECCO was one of the founding members of the Central PA IEC Chapter, and holds the award as one of the Best Places to Work five years in a row. With over 30 years in the electrical industry, Bruce started as an apprentice electrician in the U.S. Air Force, obtained his Connecticut and Pennsylvania Journeyman’s licenses, and currently holds a Pennsylvania Master Electrician’s License. He is an instructor for Leadership, Train the Trainer, and the Master Electrician’s exam preparation classes.