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  • Ted Uppole

Update 11/06/2020 - New Hire, Annual Meeting, PPP Loan Survey Guidance, and a "Note on Now"

Good Evening!

Its been a minute, but I am happy to report some great news in an official way. Sam Lacher just finished up his first week on the job and…its been, as my mother might say, a doozy. Folks, we have labor management issues in nearly every local, grievances in most, and CIR cases in two of them. I mention this only to suggest that if you had ever been deciding to flirt with the limits of contractual propriety, this is just not the best time.

Nevertheless, Sam hit the ground running and was assigned three tasks; to write an article on the recent accomplishments of our Student Chapters (spoiler alert, they keep winning things), to begin the process of distributing a new Chapter-wide weekly labor report, and finally to work with Jacob and John to put together some “out of the box” ideas on ways to make our Virtual Annual Meeting on December 4th at 2 PM…awesome. I honestly don’t know why I ever tasked myself with these ideas because they really came through for me in a way that is way better than anything I could have come up with on my own. Details on this will be forthcoming as we get confirmations on the logistics, but I can let slip that one item is simply referred to “Get Drunk and Cook.”

I’m…so proud.

Not to be left out, John has been killing it, as we try to navigate a very fluctuating and uncertain labor situation in Terre Haute to ensure that everyone who had submitted their EPR reports for October in Terre Haute didn’t lose their data. He is now desperately programming a brand new set of contracts to accommodate a possible settlement we might be able to reach on Monday. John will also be taking point on our continuing effort to provide education to the Chapter next week for our Advanced Estimating Class at the JATC.

Finally, Jacob has been incredible, basically doing all of the rest of the things I previously dumped on Tavia while simultaneously doing all of the other essential tasks he regularly performs to make this Chapter possible. In short…my team here is fantastic and I could not be more grateful to have them by my side in what has been a very challenging time.

On an unrelated note…Tavia says hi. I am not being snarky here. I actually talked to her today and she asked me to pass along her gratitude to all of you for her time at the Chapter, the experiences she’s had, and the skills she learned to help her in her new endeavors. She is doing great.

Ok. Now on to the news.

Many of you who received PPP loans in excess of $2 million dollars recently received information about surveys from the SBA regarding a kind of necessity testing you need to complete prior to securing loan repayment. This is a potentially dangerous exchange of information, so we ask you to proceed with extreme caution and most certainly consult your accountants and/or bank before proceeding. At this time, we do not know how your responses to the survey might be used to help or hinder your repayment efforts. Our initial guidance from the Chapter has already been posted to our resource center:

Finally, a note on now.

This has been a crazy year. This week has been a crazy year. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed, confused, anxious, angry, depressed, and disconnected. We don’t know where we stand, and we don’t know quite where were headed…and then there’s that election thing going on too.

It is a lot. We get it. It is ok to feel those things though. Even leaders of an industry, maybe especially leaders of an industry, can occasionally feel as if this is all too much. It’s more than even you bargained for when you agreed to take on the responsibility to run a company, to provide for all the families who depend on you and your decisions…to keep them safe. And there is just no end to this thing.

That is a lonely place to be.

But as David Long said in April, you are not actually alone. I know you guys curse at, scheme against, and compete with each other almost every day. However, as I have said before, there very well may be no one on the planet who truly understands your burdens, your hopes, your dreams, your frustrations and your fears than your fellow NECA contractors. Thank you for being a part of this association in a time where association might be the most valuable and sorely missed asset humanity has.

You should be proud of yourselves. You have done amazing things to help navigate this industry and your people through this incredible time in which we find ourselves. So, take a moment. If you can, take a break. Enjoy your weekend and your family and the fruits of all your labor.

But if you ever find yourself in a spot and you need to talk, we are here for you. We are all here for you. There is not a person who will read post this who will not be there if you really need it. Not one…because they understand.

You Are Not Alone

Thank you for being a member of NECA and as always, call if you need me.


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