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NECA/IBEW Training Center in Pacific Northwest Makes Strides with Diversity Efforts

Aug 06, 2018

A training center jointly operated by the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Oregon-Columbia Chapter is showing a significant increase of women and minority students looking for new job opportunities in electrical field.

local48 WINNine percent of students at the NECA/IBEW Local 48 Electrical Training Center in 2000 were female and 8 percent were from minority populations, according to the center. Now, almost 13 percent of the students are women and 25 percent are minorities.

The training center, which is run by the Oregon-Columbia Chapter and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48, is leading efforts to further improve those numbers.

“We’re committed to building a workforce that reflects our community,” said Bridget Quinn, the training center’s workforce developer, said in an recent article from the Portland Business Journal.

Quinn said the training center reaches its target audiences by teaming up with educators, career counselors, community groups and pre-apprenticeship programs to raise awareness of opportunities in electrical construction.

“The electrical industry has a high demand for workers, offers great wages even throughout training, and has excellent benefits without any tuition debt,” Quinn said.

At the national level, NECA also works to make the industry more diverse, including through various workforce development initiatives as well as Women In NECA. Women In NECA was established to provide a collaborative forum for women affiliated with NECA contractors, chapters and LMCCs.


The NECA Oregon-Columbia Chapter is committed to leading the union electrical construction industry in Oregon and Southwest Washington into the future. It works in partnership with the skilled electricians of the IBEW. Go to www.orecolneca.org for more information.


NECA is the voice of the $160 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the U.S. NECA’s national office in Bethesda, Md., four regional offices, and 119 local chapters across the country support electrical construction through advocacy, education, research and standards development. Go to www.necanet.org for more information.


WIN supports the professional development of women working in the electrical construction industry through educational and networking events and encourages women to explore careers in the industry. WIN works to make NECA and its industry stronger by advancing goals for professional growth. Go to www.necanet.org/WIN for more information.