I’m feeling optimistic. Increasingly so over the past couple of years, and I am not alone. That makes me a typical electrical contractor (EC).
At least, that’s what the 2014 Profile of the Electrical Contractor indicates. The consultants who conducted research for the Profile cited various findings as evidence of increased hopefulness and more positive thinking within our industry. These findings are derived from a survey of ECs, and a record number responded to this year’s questionnaire. I find it especially encouraging that contractors now have more wide-ranging interests in training topics than in the recent past.
In particular, ECs are expressing more interest in green electrical construction and related high-tech issues. Mastering such subjects is a prerequisite to expanding our services into new markets.
According to the fine folks at Renaissance Research & Consulting, “We believe that this may represent optimism on the part of electrical contractors and a willingness to invest in their company and their future.”
The most popular topic among ECs who plan to take training in the next 12 months is still significant changes to the National Electrical Code, which is a good thing. Clearly, it is something we all need to learn.
Simply recognizing the possibilities increases optimism among electrical contractors, and to make that determination, examine the type of work other ECs are doing successfully. The Profile provides the clues.
I could go on and on about the Profile, and I may revisit it in the future. For this issue, do as Andrea Klee, editor of this fine magazine, says in her Editor’s Eye on the previous page, and get the details of the Profile for yourself. It truly is an interesting report and provides plenty of powerful information worth incorporating into your thinking about company growth.
But the thought I want to pin this column on is simply this: All of the details in the Profile makes me tremendously optimistic that NECA 2014 Chicago (Sept. 27–30) will draw a huge, enthusiastic crowd of ECs who are eager to grow their company’s business and boost productivity.
This event encompasses the annual NECA Convention, the NECA Show and other programs. It’s where to go to explore and prepare for new markets, meet and network with your peers, and discover thousands of product and service solutions. Remember that the NECA Show, running Sept. 28–30, is open to all industry participants, not just NECA members.
The educational programs will be separated into tracks, or job-specific categories, designed to align with an attendee’s educational focus. The tracks include (1) Business Management, (2) Leadership and Communication, (3) Project Management, (4) Standards and Safety, and (5) Technology, Process and Innovation. There are dozens of options to choose from among the convention offerings. In addition, 19 technical workshops will be presented in conjunction with the show, giving attendees—NECA members and nonmembers, too—even more opportunities to gain knowledge while in Chicago.
NECA conventioneers also can customize their learning experience. There’s a great webpage at www.necaconvention.org/convention/schedule where you can play around with all of your various options.
There’s also an informational brochure included with the print edition of this magazine on page 97. Please pick it up and review it thoroughly, since it may take some time and strategic thinking to plan your itinerary.
I hope to see you there. I am optimistic that I will.
About The Author
Dennis Quebe is a former president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and contributed the President's Desk column monthly. He took office in January 2012 and served a three-year term.