Here’s an undeniable truth I’ve learned over the years: When one chapter ends, another is right around the corner. That’s especially true now for me and the National Electrical Contractors Association.
After three years of substantial progress, my time as NECA president has come to a close. With our long-tenured, knowledgeable staff and dynamic new leaders joining our executive committee, I know NECA is in good hands. I want to take time to highlight some of NECA’s accomplishments during my term and where we’re heading as an organization.
My involvement with NECA goes back decades. Through the years, I have seen firsthand how important it is to both our members and the entire industry. Contractors look to NECA to deliver the resources that help them make better business decisions, provide exceptional customer service and use innovative technology.
NECA rebounded in recent years and is getting stronger because of multiple initiatives NECA’s leadership has spearheaded. I hope some of the things I initiated have contributed to this advancement. My main objective has been to best position NECA for the years ahead, so I worked on things such as supporting ELECTRI International and focusing on the critical value of NECA membership.
Now, our Vision 2020 effort has moved to the forefront. Vision 2020 was designed to take NECA into the next decade. It will help us stay on top of new trends and best practices and assess, among other things, the future of our industry in America. Worker shortages, technological improvements, generational leadership changes and the viability of construction labor unions are ongoing challenges we must address.
Vision 2020 will extend beyond my term, but I expect a final report to be issued in early 2018. That’s when more substantive conclusions will be shared, but one thing is clear: disruptive change is inevitable. Being a passive bystander will not work. We must continue to be proactive and adapt to new environments now and in the future.
Looking back, I have loved every minute of being NECA’s president. I’m not entirely leaving, though. In 2018, I’ll have the pleasure of serving as the chairman of the Academy of Electrical Contracting, which recognizes outstanding leaders in the industry. I look forward to our annual meeting and welcoming another exemplary class of fellows.
The people who make up NECA—from contractors and local and national staff to a host of committees and industry partners—are at the heart of what we are all about. Serving NECA has been enlightening, fulfilling and fun, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you. After tough times, we have made tremendous strides—I see it every day—but I know more can and will be done. You should be gratified by your success. I certainly am.
Finally, my wife Chris and I want to thank the NECA community for giving us the chance to serve in such a significant way. The industry remains a positive force because of all we have accomplished. Keep embracing what it means to be an active member of the electrical construction community, and make educational and networking opportunities a priority. I am proud of the difference we make. Let’s keep that momentum going.
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.