I begin this month’s column with an acknowledgement that should come as no surprise: I’ve learned a lot over the years that I have been involved with NECA and especially during the years I have been its president. One important lesson: There is often more to something than meets the eye.


That’s certainly the case with NECA’s annual convention and trade show, which I am proud to say is recognized as the No. 1 event in the electrical construction industry every year.


Seattle is the site of our 2017 NECA Convention and Trade Show, scheduled for Oct. 7–10 at the Washington State Convention Center. The Emerald City previously played host to our convention in 2009 and 2000.


The highlights of NECA’s conventions regularly include the dynamic show floor, a variety of educational tracks, inspiring speakers and interactive social events. But, like every year, there are many other significant events that will take place at NECA 2017 Seattle over the course of four days.


That includes meetings for organizations such as ELECTRI International and the Academy of Electrical Contracting as well as NECA’s executive committee and some district leaders. Our convention also presents the perfect occasion for foreign guests to visit and discuss their practices and what works well for them.


It goes without saying that NECA’s convention is the ideal place to bring together every facet of our industry to confer on important topics that affect electrical contractors.


A great example: Students from around the country looking to join the industry can use NECA 2017 Seattle to network and showcase their impressive skills. The ELECTRI International/NECA Green Energy Challenge will be held during the convention. An annual highlight showcasing NECA Student Chapters, the event is a chance to watch our industry’s future live and in person. A Student Chapter of the Year also will be named.


Moreover, contractors looking for talent to fill full-time positions and internships or who want to hire summer help will be in luck. I urge you to join your peers at our annual job fair right after the NECA Green Energy Challenge.


The schedule doesn’t let up. The Women in NECA & Future Leaders Roundtable is another way for NECA members to learn from each other. If you’re a woman or young person involved in electrical construction, make time to be there. A joint reception will be held immediately after the roundtable.


There are countless ways to stay active and involved at NECA 2017 Seattle. There is still time to get additional information and register at www.necaconvention.org. And know that, throughout the convention, NECA will oversee an assortment of invaluable meetings and events that will help move you and the industry forward.