NECA’s annual Student Chapter of the Year Award aims to recognizes students for their impact on others in their community, and encourages them to continue participating in service that goes beyond themselves, while also promoting the electrical construction industry and growing the workforce.
On September 15, Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis, Minn., was named NECA’s 2019 Student Chapter of the Year at NECA’s annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas.
“With this event, we can recognize the work students do at the local level and the type of activities they do with the school, contractors and the community,” said Wanessa Alves, NECA’s director of member relations.
To participate, student chapters must complete an application that includes essays, a letter of recommendation, a list of events they held or participated in and their community service engagements and contributions. The activities mentioned must have occurred in the 2018-2019 school year to encourage student chapters to continue their service work and interactions with the industry each year.
The students at Dunwoody College painted rooms at the Tubman Center, which is a facility for domestic abuse survivors throughout the Twin Cities. They taught a 4thgrade class and Girl Scout campers the core basics of electrical construction, held a diaper drive and partnered with NAWIC and other tradeswomen to make lamps with YMCA.
An internal committee reads every application and usually selects one winner. This year, for the first time ever, the committee selected two runner ups.
Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, California,and Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., were awarded second and third place, respectively.
Cal Poly held their Ghana Solar Ice Design/Build Photovoltaic project, which raised funds to provide safe food storage in a remote fishing village in Ghana. The Wayne State chapter completed their Lighting and Retrofit Proposal, which will allow them to assist JMC Electric in installing a lighting control system that allows for color tuning at the Judson Center, which provides healthcare and service to many in the community. These lights are a major benefit for children with autism.
According to Alves, students went above and beyond what was necessary to complete the application. “The applications were so impressive, so we decided to award second and third places this year,” she said.
In addition to community service, student chapters cab provide students experience on job sites and greater exposure to the electrical construction industry and learning more about the opportunities in the electrical contracting industry.
The students also got involved in their community by talking to and learning from local contractors. Dunwoody College held events with NECA contractors as speakers, and they participated in Women in NECA monthly events. Cal Poly spent time with NECA contractors during sponsored trainings. The students in the Wayne State chapter will spend time with NECA member JMC Electric in their project of modernizing the Judson Center.
The winning chapter received a $1,000 cash prize, trophy and recognition in NECA publications. The second and third place teams received $500 and $300, respectively.