NECA-IBEW Electricians Are Energized for 2020

An association of local electrical contractors and union locals is optimistic that 2020 will provide ample work opportunities with new projects across the region.

NECA-IBEW Electricians is composed of IBEW Local 64 of Youngstown, IBEW Local 573 of Warren and signatory electrical contractors in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

Last year, work was steady and NECA-IBEW was able to provide manpower for all of its contractors’ needs, allowing them to bid on new projects while still taking care of their long-time customers.

Additional opportunities were available to many union electricians at the Royal Dutch Shell cracker plant under construction in Monaca, Pa.

“We’re optimistic that large-scale development projects being talked about locally will come together in 2020 and our member contractors can be involved,” says Tom Lipka, executive director, Mahoning Valley NECA Chapter. “Some have the potential to employ hundreds of our tradesmen steadily for as long as two years.”

Specifically, TJX, Meijer, Youngstown State University, Shepherd of the Valley, Menards, Lordstown Motors, General Motors/LG Chem and several local hospitals have projects ongoing or planned.

“Menards is planning a very large distribution and manufacturing facility in North Jackson,” says Jim Burgham, business manager, IBEW Local 64.

Along with upcoming projects, NECA-IBEW Electricians member contractors are focused on updating their training programs and staying in front of high school students to promote career opportunities in the trade. Maintaining an available, highly skilled workforce is an ongoing challenge, both locally and nationally.

In 2019, the association added an Instagram account targeting younger audiences with workforce development-related content.

“One of our strengths is our training initiatives, both for journeymen and apprentices, as it ensures the skilled workforce our contractors need to pursue these large-scale projects,” Lipka says.

As the electrical industry continues to advance technologically, NECA-IBEW electricians are committed to staying up-to-date. As such, the Youngstown electrical training center recently made an investment in automation-control training panels.

“These training panels were used for the first time this past fall to teach our journeymen about automation control systems,” says Bill Booth, president, IBEW Local 64. “Automation controls are used in manufacturing facilities, mills, plants or anywhere where automation or conveyors move products automatically.”

NECA-IBEW Electricians is proud to give back and support their community, and 2019 was another opportunity to demonstrate their collective generosity. Highlights of their efforts included:

  • BEW Local 64 participated in United Way’s Day of Caring by building a wheelchair ramp for a retired New York City 9/11 firefighter.
  • A $5,000 donation to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley toward its new site.
  • IBEW Local 573 and member contractor CR Electric continued their tradition of setting up electrical service for the Warren and Liberty-McDonald Relay for Life events.
  • Provided $500 gift cards to two local Veteran families in need at Christmastime.

“Each year, key priorities for us include giving back to the community and supporting Veterans causes,” says Mike Nemkovich, business manager, IBEW Local 573 in Warren.

NECA-IBEW member contractors include Becdel Controls, Boot Electric, Bruce & Merrilees, CR Electric, Cardinal Electric Power, Cretella Electric, Datacom, Grunau Co., Gulu Electric, Joe Dickey Electric, KV Electric, Keeling Brothers Electric, Liberty Electric, MG Electric, Main Lite Electric, Penn-OH Electric, Powerpoint Electrical, RLM Electric, Rafoth Electric, Santon Electric, T Squared Electrical, Tri-Area Electric, University Electric, VEC and Zenith Systems.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.