Straight from the IFMA World Workplace floor in Phoenix, Janelle Penny speaks with Roger King, international rep in business development for NECA [National Electrical Contractors Association] and IBEW [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers].
Roger talks about how they partner up facility managers and building owners with electrical contractors, labor to get your electrical jobs completed, safety training and more.
Janelle Penny: This is Janelle Penny, editor-in-chief of BUILDINGS Media and I’m here with Roger King, who is the international rep in business development for NECA and IBEW. And we’re here at IFMA’s World Workplace conference. Thanks for joining me, Roger.
Roger King: Thank you, Janelle. Glad to be here.
Janelle: So, how’s the show going so far?
Roger: Great. It’s my first time. I’m very impressed with how big it is and how many customers and clients we have out here.
Janelle: Awesome. Yeah. The show floor is really buzzing. What are you providing here this year?
Roger: We’re here to give an opportunity for people that need our services in the electrical field. We can find you contractors, we can help find the labor to provide for your jobs, whether they be in maintenance, construction, refurbishing, whatever it takes. We can do anything pretty much from 50 volts to lightning.
Janelle: Awesome. Are you noticing any trends emerging in the industry in any one of those aspects?
Roger: Yeah. Probably the biggest trend across the nation is data storage. That’s put a real stress on us as far as finding qualified employees because an electrician that works for us has generally had 10,000 hours of on-the-job training, 920 hours of in-classroom instruction. So, just to get to that level of the qualified electrician takes 4-5 years.
Janelle: So, Roger, how many contractors do you have throughout the U.S.?
Roger: Right now, we have a little over 4,500 contractors throughout the U.S. We have JTCs in every major city across the U.S., which provide training for our future electricians.
“We can find you contractors, we can help find the labor to provide for your jobs, whether they be in maintenance, construction, refurbishing, whatever it takes. We can do anything pretty much from 50 volts to lightning.” - Roger King, IBEW & NECA
Janelle: Great. What’s the advantage of having a JTC in your region or in your area?
Roger: One of the nice things about a JTC is it’s set up with two sides. You got your labor on one side and management on the other, so it’s a partnership.
So, you have the contractors that hire these guys after they go through school, so you can start off from day one and know absolutely nothing about electricity and four years will make you a journeyman wireman. And you can make a career out of it for the rest of your life. Personally, I’ve been doing it for 30 years.
Janelle: Awesome. Is there anything that we should know if we’re coming out to hire a contractor? Are there questions that you recommend people ask? Or certifications that you should look for?
Roger: Yeah, obviously you want them to be licensed and bonded. So, all of our contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. And we can work on any facility no matter the size. A $100 million project is nothing to us.
Or if you have just your maintenance facilities that you need taken care of, we also are able to take care of those. We are highly skilled, so we don’t turn anybody loose in a manufacturing or industry facility to let them get hurt. We’re high on safety. So, obviously, we want to take care of our members and our contractors, so everybody’s trained to do what they’re supposed to do.
Janelle: Where can we learn more about finding a contractor or any of the other topics that you’re covering this year?
Roger: If you reach out to IBEW.org, you’d be able to find access to electricians or to learn about us. You can reach out and find us on one of those.
Janelle: Great. Anything else we should know?
Roger: We’re also highly in safety. We’re big on safety. We provide first aid, CPR for all of our apprentices. We do OSHA training, 10 hours for construction. We train people on AEDs, so if you ever have a heart attack or something, we know how to use the paddles on you. It’s just a great industry to be in because it’s always evolving and always changing.
Janelle: Awesome. Roger, thank you so much for joining me. Have a great show.
Roger: You too, Janelle. Thank you.
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