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News From The Mid-South IEC - 2013

Over 1/2 ton of food donated !!!




A huge thanks to the Mid-South IEC apprentices, contractors and Thomas & Betts, for a making our annual food drive for the Mid-South Food Bank a big success. 


On Friday, December 20, 2013, we delivered over a half ton of food to the Mid-South Food Bank which will feed over 833 people. Mark Lickwar from Pyramid Electric won the apprentice ham drawing, he donated 96 cans! State Systems won the New Year's Lunch bringing in over 500 cans! Now that is true Christmas Spirit! Thomas & Betts helped make all this a success by sponsoring both competitions!


We hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful start to the New Year!



IEC Members and the Christmas Spirit




Christmas is the time of year when family and friends gather to celebrate life with bright smiles and hugs for everyone. The Mid-South IEC Christmas Party on December 10, 2013 at Ridgeway Country Club was no exception to the rule. Hugs and smiles were in abundance as old friends and new friends greeted each other with Christmas cheer. 


Mayor Mark Luttrell and his wife, Pat joined us to celebrate the year behind us and year to come. Laughter from one corner of room kept everyone watching as Phancy Photo Booth decorated up our members for an old fashion photo booth. Duo Vance entertained us with their Christmas musical delights. It was an evening of perfect Christmas spirit.  The Mid-South IEC wishes everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2014!


Click here to see photos of the Christmas Party.



4th Year Apprentices Visit T&B's Distribution Facility




On Wednesday 12/4/13, the Mid-South IEC 4th year apprentices had the opportunity to visit T&B's 1 million square foot distribution facility in Byhalia MS.


While there, the learned how T&B's processes and conveyor systems kept their products moving. Additionally they were given a class in theory of motor starting and protection fundamentals per the National Electrical Code. The class also provided a comprehensive overview of contactors/relays and motor starters, NEMA vs. IEC standards, UL508 Type E combination starters, overload relays, NEC Article 430 and field installations.

Click here to see photos of this tour and the classroom training.



Mid-South IEC Participates in Business Leaders United Fly-In




MEMPHIS, TN. – IEC’s Apprenticeship & Training Committee Chairman Tony George, and Executive Director Walt Czyrnik attended the Business Leaders United (BLU) Fly-In with IEC Chesapeake Executive Director Grant Shmelzer on October 21st and 22nd in Washington DC.


The event covered a wide range of important topics about closing America’s skills gap. The group spoke on the need for greater and more effective public investments in workforce education and training, such as apprenticeship programs which were tied to market- and employer-relevant outcomes. U.S. employers are currently unable to find skilled workers to fill open positions, and the need to close that skills gap is present. The conference featured a meeting with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Director of National Economic Council Gene Sperling. Mr. George and Mr. Czyrnik also sat down with the staff of Congressman Fincher to discuss BLU’s platform to close America’s skills gap while lowering the unemployment rate. They asked the policymakers to work with each other to develop and support solutions for a skilled workforce at the national level.


Additionally, Mr. Czyrnik addressed the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee staff at the Senate Building to discuss the prospects for expanding the role that employers-ranging from the locally owned metal shop to the Fortune 500 corporation-can play in leading industry-based partnerships that will secure a better trained workforce for our businesses while creating new employment opportunities for people in our communities.



Click here to read the op-ed.



Mid-South Conducts Tennessee Drug Free Workplace Training




All companies that chose to participate as members of the Tennessee Drug Free Workplace program ARE REQUIRED to complete at least one-hour of employee education / awareness on substance abuse in the workplace annually.


The Mid-South IEC conducted this training on Wednesday 10/23/13. These classes were at NO COST to the IEC Contractor Members. The Sponsor for these classes is Menard, Gates & Mathis Inc. and the instructor will be Kenny Burdette from Fortier Loss Control Consultants.



Mid-South IEC Teaches the BICSI Fiber Course




The Mid-South IEC was busy teaching the BICSI IN250 Optical Fiber Installation Course for two consecutive weekends.


This course sets the groundwork for optical fiber-based structured cabling system installation. The course opened with an overview of fiber transmission principles, professionalism, life safety and industry best practices, as related to fiber. A significant amount of course time was then spent on installation, splicing, termination, testing and retrofitting of optical fiber cable.



15th Annual IEC Golf Tournament a Grand Success




Living in Memphis, we all wait for that one day in early fall when the weather gets its first chill and you know the dog days of summer are over.  That perfect day where the ski is so blue, it takes your breath away.  For the 108 golfers and volunteers, the Mid-South IEC's 15th Annual Golf Tournament yesterday was that day.


Ridgeway Country Club was the perfect backdrop.  As you looked down the fairway, with a slight breeze in your face,  you could just imagine the beauty of fall was just around the corner. It didn't matter that the "best ball" of a team was the one that whacked the tree, because you were with friends and it was the perfect day.


It is said we learn something new every day and our golfers learned about a 50/50 drawing that was a huge success. We would like to thank our "Elite" Sponsors, our 35 hole sponsors, the companies that donated door prizes and the volunteers at the beverage stations. Also thanks to the 50/50 volunteers Tony George and Frank Fuchs, our eagle eye, Roger Connell on the hole in one contest, Steve Gross for managing the Putting Contest, the Golf Committee, and the staff of Ridgeway Country Club for making the perfect weather day, the perfect golf day. Naturally thank you to all that played in the tournament, we sincerely appreciate you supporting the IEC and the Electrical Industry.


The Tournament Champions were Tim Max, Nick Distretti, John Distretti and Roy Gingery. But reality is everyone was a winner yesterday, because everyone got to enjoy that "perfect day".


Click here to see photos of the tournament



Membership Meeting and the "State of the County"




On September 30, 2013, Shelby Country Mayor Mark Luttrell spoke at the IEC's Monthly Membership Meeting regarding the State of Shelby County. Shelby County is doing well during the challenging economic times. He believed the seven municipalities voting on creating their own school districts, will help to bring back home values in the area.  He said they are prepared to stand with their support of the new schools. Because of the decrease in property assessments, Shelby County had to raise property taxes but they kept it at a bare minimum. He believes the outlook for Shelby County is bright and looks forward to the changes on our horizon.



IEC Members Get to Hear From the District Attorney




We would like to thank Shelby County District Attorney General, Amy Weirich, for attending our monthly Membership Meeting on Thursday 8/29/13. She shared some very interesting information that is taking place within the judicial system of Shelby County. She discussed various topics such as copper theft, challenging times the judicial system is having with some lenient judges and repeat offenders.



Message From The National IEC's President




Please click here to read a short letter from National IEC's President, Dean Kredit including the adoption of IEC's three-year plan to move our organization and programs forward.



The Unprecedented Feat of Perfection




As you know, we manage a 4 year Electrical Apprenticeship Program. A program that is taught in many cities across the country and thousands of apprentices graduated this program over the many years. However something just recently happened that in by incredible.


We recently had a graduate, get this, that "aced" all four years. That's correct, he received 100% on each homework assignment, quiz, mid-term and final exams in each and every year. An accomplishment that would be difficult to emulate. His name is Steven Nemeth and he works for Davis Electric.


When National IEC heard about this amazing achievement, they wrote a feature article on him in their nationally published magazine "Insights", the recent July issue.


Many of you may have received the Insights last week. Open it to page 18 and read a wonderful success story. If you can find the magazine in your office, click here to read the article.



Thank You Federated Insurance




We would like to thank Federated Insurance for arranging to have Attorney Klein speak at our Membership Meeting last Thursday about "Estate Planning", a topic that is important to many and also for being the IEC's "Associate Member of the Month" for July.


Click here to see photos of the luncheon.



IEC Foundation Awards Scholarships To Three Mid-South IEC Apprentices




The IEC Foundation announced last week, three of the Mid-South IEC Apprentices were awarded a $2,000 scholarship each that will pay for their books, tuition and other professional needs for the 2013 - 2014 school year.


The three apprentices are:


Cory Delashmit - Lasco

Ryan Doelling - Pyramid Electric

Benjamin Taylor - XCEL Electric


We would like to thank the IEC Foundation for their continued support in helping the apprentices succeed with their educational needs. The IEC Foundation awarded three scholarships this year and three last year resulting in a total of awarding $12,000 of scholarships to the Mid-South IEC Apprentices in the past 24 months.


Click here to learn more about the IEC Foundation. 


Thank you IEC Foundation !!!



Apprenticeship Graduation




The halls at the Mid-South IEC are once again quite for just a few weeks.  The Class of 2013, which included 18 electrical apprentices, graduated on June 20, 2013 at Ridgeway Country Club. 


Their family, friends, co-workers, and employers gave them a roaring applause for their four year accomplishments.  Every apprentice makes sacrifices to keep their lives moving forward to this night of celebration. Memphis City Mayor AC Wharton was there to wish them well and presented each apprentice with their graduation certificate.


The Class of 2013 has put their school days behind them and we wish them a bright and happy future.  Congratulations !


To see photos of this wonderful evening, click here.



IEC Attends DOL Meeting at the Pentagon on Hiring Veterans




Several IEC members and staff attended a meeting held by the Secretary of Labor's Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) on June 5, 2013, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The goal of this meeting was to gain information on promoting registered apprenticeship programs to all branches of the U.S. military as well as opening a greater dialogue on recruiting Veterans into these programs.

During the June 5 meeting, a series of speakers discussed pertinent information about registered apprenticeship programs such as the allotment of credit for military training and how employers can get greater access to veterans. Among the speakers were:

  • Frank C. DiGiovanni, Director, Training Readiness and Strategy,
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Anthony J. Stamilo, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs
  • Gerri Fiala, Acting Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration, DOL
  • John Moran, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Employment and Training Service, DOL
  • Tom Phillips, Program Manager, United States Military Apprenticeship Program
  • Leonard J. Howie, Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
  • Danny Pummill, Director of Veterans Benefits, DOD Department of Veterans Affairs


Those IEC members and staff present at the June 5 meeting included Mike Veltri, M.C. Dean in Dulles, Virginia; Walt Czyrnik, executive director of Mid-South IEC in Memphis, Tennessee; Gary Golka, Golka Electric in Mesa, Arizona; Grant Shmelzer, executive director of IEC Chesapeake in Laurel, Maryland; John Burke, CLP Resources in Springfield, Virginia; and Thayer Long, Bob Baird, and John Masarick of IEC National in Alexandria, Virginia.



15th Annual Tradeshow & Wire-Off Competition a Success 




We would like to thank all of those that attended the IEC's 15th Annual Tradeshow and Wire-Off Competition last Thursday 5/9/13. It was great to witness the vendors explain their new products and services to those that were present at the tradeshow.


The tradeshow could not take place if it wasn't for the support of these great Industry Partners. Thanks go to all of them for making last Thursday a wonderful event.


The Wire-Off Competition was the highlight of the evening. Many of those that attended watched in amazement as to the quality work of the 4th year electrical apprentices and the difficulty of the problem.


Several years ago, the IEC started a competition between the vendors to win the "Best Booth Contest". The winner of the contest not only receives a plaque for their office, but they also receive a free booth in next year's IEC Tradeshow.


Here are the winners of this year's "Best Booth Contest:


1st - Energy Systems Southeast

2nd - United Rentals

3rd - State Systems


A lot of good photos were taken of our recent Tradeshow and Wire-Off Competition.


Click here to see the pictures of the tradeshow.


Click here to here see the pictures of the Wire-Off Competition.



Membership Meeting & the NLRB




We would like to thank Ted Yesiser from the firm Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Holt ( for being the IEC's Guest Speaker at last week's IEC Membership Meeting.


Mr. Yeiser presented some extremely important information on the NLRB and how it is having an impact on ALL employers. Additionally he gave some real world examples that many in the audience could relate to.


For those that couldn't attend this informative presentation and would like to review Mr. Yeiser's presentation, click here.



February's Membership Meeting




Over 50 were in attendance at the IEC's Membership Meeting last Thursday. The guest speaker was Ron Bethea, the Shelby County Chief Electrical Inspector which reviewed some of the major changes that has taken place with the code that has had an impact in Shelby County.


Great questions and comments came from the crowd which lead to a very good interactive meeting.



IEC Foundation Receives Equipment




The IEC Foundation has received an in-kind equipment donation of training equipment from Schneider Electric/Square D valued at $88,395.23. This equipment will be used at the following IEC Chapter Training Centers: Central Ohio, Mid-Oregon, Oregon State, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Rocky Mountain,

Mid-South and Fort Worth/Tarrant County.


"We would like to thank the IEC Foundation and Schneider Electric for this much needed equipment grant. With this additional equipment, it will definitely assist us in keeping our labs up to date and provide an ever increasing quality of education to our apprentices."


Walt Czyrnik

Mid-South IEC Executive Director



Leadership Conference in held in Memphis




The Mid-South IEC was lucky to able to have the National IEC's Leadership Conference here in Memphis a few weeks ago. The classes, meetings and evening activities went extremely well.


We would like to thank the National IEC staff for putting on a first class event !!!


Click here to see photos of the conference.



January's Membership Meeting & Obamacare




Nearly 70 attended the IEC’s Membership Meeting last Thursday 1/31/13 to learn more about Obamacare and how will it have an impact on business owners in 2013 and 2014. Thank you Gene and Alex Mathis for developing this presentation. Click here to see photos of the meeting.


Also several IEC Members wanted to get a copy of their presentation and for those that couldn't attend the meeting and would like to see their presentation, click here.