The electrical construction industry was well represented at the Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 student competition in Illinois earlier this month thanks to new efforts by the National Electrical Contractors Association and one of its chapters.
NECA, represented by Director of Members Relations Wanessa Alves, and the Northeastern Illinois Chapter took part in sponsoring the first-ever Student Summit, which coincided with the competition and a career fair in Downers Grove outside of Chicago.
“It’s a great opportunity for construction management students and NECA members companies,” said Giuseppe Muzzupappa, Assistant Director at the Northeastern Illinois Chapter, NECA.
But to get younger college students interested in the electrical construction before they commit on a career path, NECA and the Northeastern Illinois Chapter became involved to coordinate a day of activities to inform freshmen and sophomores about the industry. Muzzupappa said 20 students from about 10 schools turned out for the event on Oct. 20.
“Collectively with our Future Leaders Task Force, we made a good impression on the students,” said Muzzupappa, who added many of them had not been exposed to electrical construction. “That was the goal.”
Students had the opportunity to tour Connelly Electric Company, a NECA member. They also saw a job site at CONRAC O’Hare, a new parking garage and car rental facility hosted by Gibson Electric & Technology Solutions, also a NECA member.
Students later worked on a mock bid activity and heard a presentation on Bluebeam, a construction software company, with the chapter’s Future Leaders Task Force, which planned the day’s events. Members of the task force said they felt it was smart to combine students with the group of young professionals in electrical construction, enhancing the image of the industry to those students.
Additionally, one benefit of doing events like the summit is attracting young people into an aging workforce, and Muzzupappa deemed it a success and something that can be replicated.
“We hope efforts like these amplify the level of talent in the talent pool and provide more options for our members,” Muzzupappa said.
“NECA was excited to be involved in the summit and will continue to support events that expose students to our industry.”