While the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) have teamed on projects for more than 100 years, both strengthened their bond in 1993 with the creation of the Electrical Connection. Since then, the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership has grown economic opportunity, advanced pacesetting skills and safety to meet the demands of the construction consumer and donated countless hours and resources to strengthen the communities it serves.
The labor-management partnership is an invaluable member of several local and statewide civic and business organizations. The Electrical Connection has dedicated Executive Vice President Jim Curran to providing the electrical industry’s perspective and expertise though active board service to these organizations:
- Hawthorn Foundation (board secretary)
- Missouri Energy Initiative (vice chair)
- U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Chapter (USGBC)
- Univerdant Sustainability Network, LLC
- Missouri Partnership
- Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) – Gateway Chapter
- Tech 44 • Construction Forum Education Foundation STEM Committee
- St. Louis Regional Chamber Energy and Environmental Committee
- The Economic Development Center of St. Charles County incubator advisory board.
Meanwhile, IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs serves on the board of the Emergency Communications Commission (ECC), which administers St. Louis County’s emergency communications system and is on the advisory board for the Saint Louis Science Center. Both Jacobs and St. Louis NECA Chapter Chief Executive Officer Doug Martin serve on the board of the Saint Louis Construction Cooperative.
In addition, the Electrical Connection provides guidance and expertise to guide workforce development statewide. This includes STEM education partnerships with the St. Louis Cardinals, Saint Louis Science Center, Partners for Progress of Greater St. Charles, Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and numerous school districts. For more than seven years, the Electrical Connection has engaged more than 9,000 students in how STEM subjects translate into electrical careers.
The Electrical Connection also has an enduring legacy of building healthier communities that includes:
- Rebuilding Together St. Louis – Over the past 13 years, the Electrical Connection has donated more than $800,000 in labor and materials to improve more than 450 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.
- Habitat for Humanity – Since 2004, the Electrical Connection has donated services to safely wire more than 233 new homes, a value of more than $1.5 million.
- St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” – Since 1993, the Electrical Connection has donated more than $54,000 to support a trust-building program where police take disadvantaged children holiday shopping for gifts.
- National Night Out – The Electrical Connection has made neighborhoods more safe and secure by donating more than $450,000 in materials and services to install security lighting in more than 850 homes in 30-plus St. Louis neighborhoods.
- The Electrical Connection has donated services to install new scoreboards for several schools.
And in times of urgent need, the Electrical Connection has acted to help. This year, it donated services to help restored power to Ride on St. Louis (ROSL) in Kimmswick, Mo. after it was damaged by flooding and it provided a generator to Stray Rescue of St. Louis during power outage in the heat of July.
The Electrical Connection’s commitment to civic causes is further highlighted by its sponsorship of the Saint Louis Science Center’s James S. McDonnell Planetarium lighting. It also supported the inaugural “Light up St. Louis” architectural lighting event in February 2016. In 2015, the Electrical Connection sponsored the return of outdoor professional soccer to St. Louis and is a major sponsor of Saint St. Louis FC this year. The Electrical Connection also sponsors St. Louis Cardinals baseball and St. Louis Blues hockey.