Just saw a play in New York, “Two’s a Crowd.” The songs by Jason Feddy were terrific. Set in a Las Vegas hotel, the lead actor played an electrical contractor from Cleveland. I cheered out loud when he said that. I asked the play’s star, Rita Rudner—who wrote it with her husband, Marty Bergman—why they chose that profession. She said they wanted the character to be a capable, down-to-earth, professional everyman. That’s you guys!
We have several articles in this issue of Electrical Contractor about improving your work life, helping you with that capable and professional part. (The down-to-earth bit, you’ll have to work out for yourself.)
In “Words of Wisdom,” members of the Academy of Electrical Contracting answer the question: How do you find and retain good employees? You can pick up some tips from these industry veterans on page 44. Susan Bloom interviewed another group of contractors about what’s bugging them professionally. Check out “What’s Your Beef?” on page 54, and see if other ECs feel the way you do. In a bonus Service and Maintenance column on page 62, Fred Sargent and Andrew McCoy discuss how technology is expanding both ECs’ capabilities and service areas. In the Integrated Systems section, Wayne Moore asks if you are selling fire alarm systems or the larger concept of fire protection. Read “Know Your Goal,” on page 80. Are you are offering customers the full package? You should be!
The other main topic this month is solar power. Jeff Gavin writes about its success in places you might not expect. Here’s a clue: David Shaffer of Minnesota SEIA says in the article: “We’ve evolved in five years from solar ‘yes or no’ to ‘yes but how.’” “Solar of the North” is on page 28. In order to combine residential rooftop solar panels with battery-based storage, you need the oft-overlooked inverter. Chuck Ross explains some new features and standards for inverters in “Making the Equipment Tick” on page 36. In his Technology column on page 83, Jim Romeo explains how solar power can benefit electrical contractors.
For our long-time fans, we’re hoping to bring back one of your favorite columns, Ideas That Work, in the near future, which means we need your on the job ideas stat! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ecmag.com/ideasthatwork to submit them.
Of course, there’s a lot more, but one of the pleasurable things about a print magazine is the serendipity of turning a page and discovering something you didn’t even know you didn’t even know. So I’m not going to spoil your fun. Enjoy it at home, in Las Vegas, Cleveland, New York, everywhere.