Posted on May 16, 2007
John M Grau
The first week of May kicked off with a busy round of NECA meetings in Washington, D.C. Things got started with the Government Affairs Committee meeting and ended with the Future Leaders Conference. In between, there was the annual legislative conference and a meeting of our Labor Relations Task Force with the top IBEW leaders.
All the meetings were very productive. NECA is a force on Capitol Hill, and our members proved it by showing up in strength to meet with their Congressmen and Senators on repealing the 3% withholding tax. (Meeting details and pictures from the event on posted on NECA’s government affairs web page.) Over 125 NECA contractors and chapter staff attended the conference, the most participants from any of the Campaign for Quality Construction coalition member groups.
The Future Leaders group drew 70 young contractors to a two-day forum on the topics that will shape their future in electrical contracting – topics not that different from the interests facing the current NECA leadership. Discussions of labor relations issues were everywhere. IBEW President Ed Hill spent nearly two hours in a broad ranging discussion with the group. NECA’s Future Leaders are also extremely focused on working with Congressional leaders.
In fact, that’s probably what I noticed most about this group: their willingness to pursue multiple courses to improve their businesses. The next generation is exploring new market partnerships in Mexico and shoring up Congressional support to repeal punitive business legislation. Their enthusiasm for multi-tasking was contagious.
The fruits of our Labor Relations Task Force meeting with the IBEW leaders will become evident in the weeks ahead. The task force has discussed a broad range of issues from market share to productivity, flexibility, and the Code of Excellence. Workforce training and development are also at the top of the agenda. We’re serious about our efforts to reform our industry, and I’m convinced that the IBEW national leadership is as well.