Posted on Aug 17, 2007
John M Grau
I received several comments on my posting about the National Training Institute in Knoxville. Most had something to say about the upcoming college football season, but a couple commented directly on the NTI. I want to share two of these.
Great comments on NTI, a very valuable resource for all NECA Contractors. In my capacity on the NTI Advisory Committee, I intend to help create some more contractor oriented courses and events in order to encourage additional contractor participation. I'll keep you posted on the progress and welcome any and all suggestions. I also noticed Neyland Stadium and concluded that we here in Columbus are very blessed to have Ohio Stadium. GO BUCKS!
The Superior Group
As a NECA contractor and JATC committee member who was in attendance at NTI this year. I was ashamed and embarrassed at the lack of NECA leadership that was in attendance at NTI. I take time away from my business because I believe that education is important in our industry. If you call John Grau and Gary Higgins adequate representation for NECA, I think you may need to rethink that position. All of the IBEW's leadership were there, Ed Hill, his officers and all of his Vice Presidents. Where were NECA's V.P. and officers? A few comments in your blog did not sit well with me. As I was at NTI ALL WEEK! How would any participant find NECA's leadership after any class? There were only 2 NECA leaders in attendance for half of a day. Where was your leadership the rest of the week? At the opening ceremony, there was ZERO NECA representation. If I was giving a grade on leadership's commitment to NTI for IBEW and NECA, the IBEW would get an "A" and I am sad to say that NECA would get an "F". There is no commitment from NECA's leadership, unless you call lack of effort “leadership.”
Wickham Electric Company
For the past ten years NECA leadership has been out in full force at the annual NTI. I personally have been present for all but a few NTI’s over the program’s 18-year history. And several of NECA’s national staff were present at NTI for the entire week.
Traditionally, we hold a couple of other industry meetings in conjunction with the NTI, but they didn’t take place this year. For that reason we didn’t make this year’s NTI a “mandatory” event for the NECA Vice Presidents. If we had asked, they would have certainly been there. NECA President Milner Irvin’s connecting flight to Knoxville was cancelled, and that’s the only reason he was unable to attend the graduation ceremony. Even the IBEW had about half of there normal contingent present.
This shouldn’t be seen as lack of commitment to the NTI. Considering the amount of time away from their business that our contractor officers volunteer to NECA, I hope you can cut them a bit of slack in this one instance. I know they’ll be present at next year’s event.
And we’ll work with Greg to see if we can get more overall participation from NECA contractors. Once more of our member have the chance to experience what makes NTI special, I’m sure they’ll be as committed the program as Greg and Ed.
Thanks for your input, guys.