The Farmer’s Almanac is still chugging along after 199 years of sharing weather prognostications and astrology forecasts and Best Days, among other things. Jan. 1, 2017, by the way, was the best day to cut firewood, mow to increase growth, castrate farm animals, dig holes, wean, potty train, paint, host a party and kill plant pests. Did you get all that done? Neither did we.

At Electrical Contractor, we assign Jeff Gavin to the tough task of putting together our Construction Outlook for the year. He attends meetings and webinars and does research and interviews. Then he distills a ton of data into information you can use to plan your business year. According to Jeff and his sources, expect to see gains and progress of varying degrees across all construction sectors in 2017. Yay! We hope we didn’t spoil the surprise. You can read it for yourself in detail right here.

The construction outlook is one of the most important articles we produce every year, but it’s not all of the looking ahead we do.

Safety columnist Tom O’Connor writes about the regulatory and political outlook for OSHA. According to Tom, OSHA has set some lofty goals. Elsewhere, Craig DiLouie spoke to six experts about the alphabet soup—LED, IoT, PoE—of major lighting trends that electrical contractors should be aware of in “Roundtable Talks.”

Of course, one can’t look forward without looking back. Our other big feature this month is “Showstoppers 2016” by Jeff Griffin. Jeff presents the 20 winning products from last year’s NECA Show in Boston.

We get our ideas and information from all over the place, not the least from you, the reader. Our Ideas That Work editors, Anton and Jesse Mikec, would like to hear even more from you. They are going to ask for solutions to specific problems and offer some ideas that have worked for them at their firm, Lighthouse Electric, to inspire you to share your winning tips and tricks. See who won this month right here. Maybe it was you. We also welcome our new sponsor for the Ideas That Work contest, Zoro Tools Inc., which is awarding the winner with $100 to spend on its website full of tools and contractor items.

Also, since we like to interact with you as much as possible, consider looking into our subscriber research panel. You can get more info and sign up for it at ECmag.com/2017-panel-signup.

As we look ahead into 2017, questions remain about what the construction industry and economy are going to do. While things look good, the future isn’t certain, as our cover image indicates. However, there are some things you can count on. We’ll be here every month keeping you up to date, and if the industry takes a turn, you can count on us to let you know.

Keep turning these pages every month. Check out our mobile app. Visit ECmag.com. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

We’re everywhere you are, and we’ll be with you every step of the way, arming you with the best resources and information to charge your business through this year and beyond.