PRESIDENT’S DESK BY DAVID A. HARDT
THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION (NECA) has long been considered
the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology
to buildings and communities across the United States.
NECA’s national office in Bethesda, Md., four regional offices, and 119 local chapters around the country support
the electrical contracting industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development. NECA chapters are independently chartered organizations that work with national field representatives to develop effective
labor agreements and market initiatives.
Throughout the year, NECA attempts to expand its reach in the electrical contracting industry. One example on
a global scale is the work of ELECTRI International. In March, key industry professionals from Canada, Honduras,
Mexico, Ecuador and the United States joined ELECTRI in Cartagena, Colombia, for the 11th annual Cross-Border
Meeting. There, they met an impressive group of future leaders already working to make a difference in electrical
contracting. In addition, Carlos Bonilla, manager of technical applications at 3M’s division of electrical markets,
presented an overview of Colombia’s tourism, geography, economic reports and the state of construction.
Closer to home, and covered in-depth on page 100 of this issue, NECA is reaching out to two groups in the
so-called War for Talent: young people and women. By 2019, it is estimated that the projected shortage of skilled
workers in the United States will reach 1. 5 million, and bringing more qualified women and young people into the
fold can make up that gap.
In fact, NECA has an initiative to recruit more women into the industry. Established in 2009, Women In NECA
(WIN) provides a collaborative forum for women affiliated with NECA-member companies, chapters and Labor
Management Cooperation Committees (LMCCs). WIN works to make NECA and the rest of the industry stronger
by advancing women’s goals for professional growth. When a woman joins WIN, her company, chapter or LMCC
directly supports her desire to be a successful employee and industry leader. This month, WIN members will come
together for the eighth annual WIN Leadership Summit in Phoenix, where they can discuss the industry and focus
on the issues that matter to them within NECA’s member companies and chapters. It is an opportunity to share
information, experiences and encouragement in a supportive forum.
When it comes to attracting young people to the industry, NECA is at the forefront as well. We use strategies
such as reaching out to high schools to reinforce the notion that apprenticeships are a good career option. NECA
supports student chapters at universities that promote working in electrical contracting, and we regularly host
events for job seekers.
We’re making progress every day. NECA will continue to expand its reach, attract the country’s top talent and
take the electrical construction industry to new heights.
David A. Hardt, PRESIDENT, NECA
Expanding Our Reach