The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) works daily to ensure electrical contractors (ECs) have every opportunity to stay on top of the issues that affect their businesses and to be directly in touch with their senators and representatives in Congress.
I know firsthand how it pays to get involved. Just last month, NECA held its annual Legislative Conference, the premier gathering for ECs to hear about the top issues that affect the industry and meet the leaders who work to provide real solutions. The conference is about policy, not partisanship. Keeping that in mind, NECA worked to ensure leading members of Congress from both sides of the aisle were on hand to brief participants on the latest happenings on Capitol Hill.
NECA’s Government Affairs team has been working throughout the 114th Congress, advocating NECA’s legislative agenda and the issues that affect the bottom line of ECs everywhere. NECA’s top priorities for 2016 include a wide variety of concerns aimed at ensuring EC businesses continue to grow and prosper. These important issues include investing in our nation’s aviation, energy and water infrastructure; creating new and innovative multiemployer-defined benefit pension plans; and calling for the full repeal of the Cadillac tax on our health plans.
This year’s annual Political Leadership Council (PLC) Summit coincided with the NECA Legislative Conference. The PLC is composed of the nation’s leading contractors, and getting involved is another way to make a meaningful difference. Respected by legislators, regulators and competing sectors of the construction industry, NECA is one of the foremost organizations of major influence in U.S. government affairs and political leadership. NECA’s strong relationship with Congressional energy, transportation, small business and tax committees helps to bring NECA member and industry issues to policymakers’ attention.
NECA’s leaders came together in 2003 and made the commitment to bring our political action committee (NECAPAC) to the $1 million level, and it is now approaching $2 million. Through NECAPAC’s involvement and financial commitments, NECA has received greater visibility in our government. This helps NECA, as the leading representative in the electrical construction industry, to achieve real results on Capitol Hill.
The NECA Advocacy mobile app is an important tool to get you engaged in advocating for the industry. Available in the iTunes and Google Play stores, it provides contractors with the tools they need to become an advocate by promoting an issue or cause on Capitol Hill. It also allows users to create a “public echo” back in their home states and legislative districts. Through the app, you can organize and promote Congressional meetings by posting updates, photos and videos to social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare; watch issue-specific videos; view lobby meeting schedules; and review biographical and political information about Congress members.
As we enter the busiest months of what is sure to be a contentious election season, it is always vital to stay engaged on the issues and make an informed vote. I look forward to seeing how we can work together to remain active in this important arena.
About The Author
David A. Hardt is the current president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and contributes the President's Desk column monthly. He took office in January 2015 and will serve a three-year term.