The Comstock Award, which was established by the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Board of Governors in 1959 in memory of industry pioneer L.K. Comstock, is the association’s highest honor recognizing contributions in the complex field of labor relations. Alan C. Scharfe, President and CFO of John A. Penney Company, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has earned this honor for his distinguished service and outstanding contributions in the labor relations field in the New England region.
Even though Scharfe has been involved in the electrical construction industry for decades, his passion for education, improvement, innovation and growth has only multiplied. Being able to embrace the constant change and evolution of this industry, Scharfe has ensured positive results within the trade, especially through his service as an officer of the NECA Boston Chapter- secretary, vice president, president and governor. Alan Scharfe's involvement with NECA began while working at LK Comstock where his father and grandfather both served in leadership positions at the company. His contributions to the trade have perhaps been most visible over the last ten years with a presence at the collective bargaining table that earned respect from both local union leaders and his contractor peers in one of the largest Chapters in the country.
In 2019, Scharfe played a critical role in negotiations to reach a historic settlement that included the first-of-its-kind prefabrication language that is tied to a new classification of construction workers in the prefabrication shops that are hired directly by the contractors. This classification also helped make signatory contractor's composite rates more competitive with non-union contractors. As Chapter President in 2020-2021, Scharfe led through COVID-19 with the foresight to gather resources and counsel in order to help contractors navigate through the pandemic safely and legally.
Under the instruction of Scharfe, the NECA Boston Chapter smoothly transitioned from the retirement of 40-year Chapter Manager Glenn Kingsbury to the current manager and a new NECA office closer to the union hall with more training space. Scharfe's contributions in the field of labor relations have been far reaching whether it be at the collective bargaining table, health, pension, labor-management and apprenticeship trust funds or the overall success of NECA's role in partnership with the IBEW.
For all of the examples mentioned above, Alan C. Scharfe is widely regarded as a cornerstone of the NECA Boston Chapter and has earned the 2023 Comstock Award.