Why IEC Matters

Why-IEC-photo.gifYou are reading this article because you are either an IEC member or you are interested enough in IEC to have picked up this magazine and start reading. Thank you.

It’s a natural human tendency to join together for a common goal. But there is also a value proposition embedded in there; we know there has to be something in it for you to make this whole thing work.

Why do you belong to IEC? What is your IEC 30 second elevator speech?

My usual hip pocket answer is that for members of the Independent Electrical Contractors, the common goal is to increase profitability by training and employing a safe and productive workforce, and by advocating for sensible policies that promote growth within our industry and member ranks. That’s a solid answer.

But I have another answer that I give more often. IEC brings goodness and profitability to our business owner members. IEC makes happier, healthier, more productive employees. IEC is about keeping people safe. IEC is about giving people an education, giving individuals life-long skills that no one can ever take away, getting people good paying jobs and giving them the means to provide well for a family and future. I believe that is a better answer.

If you had the opportunity to read the apprentice essay contest article in July 2015 issue of Insights, you would have read some pretty powerful stuff (You can still view them here: www.ieci.org/awards). One apprentice wrote about the two steps that led him to “ultimately improve my quality of life.” Another wrote about being homeless and broken, and having been employed by an IEC member and gone through an apprenticeship program, they have been transformed, and are now gifted with strength, courage, and empowerment. Another wrote about how becoming an IEC apprentice was a life-changing decision. They were working regular jobs, and they now have a great career and a set of skills to take them places.

To me that’s the real power of IEC. These people now are working for IEC members, and making a difference for themselves, their families, and their employers.

Want more nitty gritty? Let’s consider the basics. You can’t just pull a person off the street and in a few months or a couple of years and have the licensed or experienced electrician you need. 

whyIECmatters.gifSomeone needs to train those people to keep them safe, to make them productive. That is something IEC does very well. Over the course of many years, IEC’s passionate and dedicated members and Apprenticeship & Training Committee have developed, a top-notch, nationally recognized, and college-level accredited curriculum. This curriculum is delivered by a stellar leading cast of IEC chapters and training centers around the country, who also handle all the regulations and compliance issues for a registered apprenticeship program. To ensure the curriculum and programming is delivered to its full potential, IEC has developed an online Instructor Training course. IEC is an association of electricians and for electricians. Who better to train the industry of tomorrow? Who better to provide leadership on what the installer of tomorrow needs to know to prepare to enter a changing world?

IEC’s program is among the largest of its kind in the country, and is on pace to have more than 8,000 students enrolled in the electrical apprenticeship program in 2015. This is a 13 percent increase from two years ago.

According to a McKinsey & Company study recently cited by the Secretary of Labor, for every $1 that an emplo