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  • Ted Uppole

7/24 update 1 of 3: Education and Convention

Good Evening!

It is a strange thing to run an association in a time where no one can really associate.  You find yourself questioning how you can possibly fulfill the obligations of your position and the expectations of your members when so much of what you do is predicated upon bringing people together. Such considerations are going to be a common theme of today’s post which, due to a massive amount of material to be covered, will actually be divided into several posts to make it easier for you to find what you need.

Although musings on this topic for our Chapter will be specifically addressed in the last installment of today’s posts, the Too Long; Didn’t Read version of how we address this problem can be summed up by simply, (and sadly) extricating the associative elements of what we do from the purpose and functionality of our activities.  Its not ideal.  But it’s what we have.

So, to address the first functionality of our association, here is what’s coming up for Education.


The Education Committee has been working hard to get educational training classes back up and running as the economy begins to reopen. These classes will be held at the Indianapolis JATC, in a socially distanced manner for safety. Each participant will have their own six-foot table. 

On October 20 & 21, we are excited to host Don Kiper of Electrical Estimating 101 to lead his “Philosophy of Electrical Estimating” workshop. Mr. Kiper comes highly recommended from multiple members whose staff have benefitted greatly from past classes with him. Attendees will learn how to think like an estimator. Estimators will be taught methodology that is driven by a proper philosophy of the electrical estimate from the initial organization to the completion of the bid summary. Please click here for more information about the class and to register. 

On November 10 & 11, we will host NECA National’s Advanced Estimating course. Developed to discuss all phases of the estimating process, this course covers all aspects of preparing a competitive bid. Key topics include identifying desirable bid opportunities, analyzing the company's capabilities to ensure profitable results, the estimator’s role at various stages of the project, writing an effective scope letter, and identifying often hidden costs in the bid documents. We hold this class almost every year and it tends to fill up quickly – this year, it will be offered at a lower registration fee. Click here for more information and to register! 

Lastly, we want to remind our members that Alex Willis’ popular remote training program is available free of charge to members and their staff now through February of 2021. There are currently 130 signed up for the program from four member firms. The program is distributed through email and use of the Leadership Surge app, and its focus areas include building resilience, managing your personal energy and engagement, mastering influence, and becoming an inspiring leader. Please reach out to Tavia Brunner ( to register your employees for free. 


NECA National has been offering near-daily free educational presentations to all of our members via email.   These programs can be registered for directly from the emails you receive from NECA Education and again, are completely free and completely virtual.   

In addition to our now vast library of free webinars we’ve provided since COVID-19, NECA National has completely redesigned their professional development resources into an easy to navigate and again, heavily virtual, library of top-tier classes, LMS, and webinar offerings on nearly every subject relevant to electrical contracting.   Again, if you haven’t visited this site recently, you really should.  They’ve done a wonderful job making it something you can actually use.   


Ok.  First, I’ll lay out some new information I just received in a Chapter Managers' meeting and then I’ll just post National’s own copy on the subject.   

I have to confess, when I heard we were doing a virtual convention, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the idea.  That might be understating it.   Pretty sure I called it a turd.   However, after having seen Beth and Katie’s presentation today, I have to say that they’ve done an incredible job.  Really.   

Is it a convention? No. Not really. In some ways though, I think it might be more useful than convention. What they’ve done is put together a program with all the same components and speakers as a convention, but with a much heavier and intense focus on CEU’s and education similar to NECA Now, but much more comprehensive.   Additionally, instead of having to pick and choose which classes you want to attend, you can attend all of them on your own schedule.   Instead of having to sit through… shall we say… less interesting but mandatory speeches, you can skip right ahead to the parts that are interesting to you.

Finally, the pricing is far, far better than what convention or NECA Now would cost you and with our existing Convention Benefit, you’ll be able to “send” many more people to participate in, if what I say today holds true, what amounts to the largest offering of NECA education ever presented.    

I’ll be getting the real materials and final details to distribute to you next week.   Where I would have probably only paid lip service to it prior to today, I’ll now strongly encourage you to take a look at it when it comes out.  Beth and Katie have offered to make themselves available to us to answer any questions, so we might even schedule them into some meetings in the near future.  Until then, here is National’s own verbiage on the convention.  Take a look at the video too.  You might find it interesting.

For the first time ever, NECA’s Annual Convention and Trade Show is coming to you! 

NECA 2020 LIVE will take place Oct. 6–8 entirely online. 

NECA is harnessing cutting-edge technology to deliver all the benefits of the NECA Convention—including an interactive trade show floor, extensive educational opportunities, and inspiring talks—as well as all the freedom that comes from an online experience. An emphasis was also made on making this event accessible and valuable to NECA members amidst these uncertain times, enabling them to send more members than ever and continue to develop talent within their companies. 

In planning the virtual convention, NECA is focusing on a “Five-Star Approach” to create a brand-new experience. NECA 2020 LIVE is designed to Expand, Educate, Engage, Entertain, and Excite.


By widening the audience this year, we hope to provide true value to everyone through a new virtual lens. This is not just a NECA event. This is a business-to-business solution for the electrical industry. 


NECA has expanded its online educational offerings substantially this year, and the convention will offer more options with more relevance to help contractors address the unique issues they face today. 


Engagement will take a new turn but will be an important aspect of the event, despite its virtual nature. It will allow attendees to interact with more—and more varied—people than ever before. 


One of the main goals of the program is to make it fun: games, contests, and live music performances will support personalized interactivity. 


NECA plans to build anticipation for this event and promises to blow it out of the water. It will be an educational tool for contractors like no other.  

Thanks to innovative technology and the convenience afforded by a virtual convention, attendees will find NECA 2020 LIVE to be more connected than ever. Those attending education sessions will find the highest quality of instructors in NECA Convention history. Additionally, through the NECA 2020 LIVE virtual platform, attendees can experience every single minute of education offered, along with other talks and general sessions, with archived recordings available for viewing 30 days after the fact. 

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