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News From The Mid-South IEC - 2014

Mid-South Food Bank Food Drive




Thank you IEC Contractor Members, Apprentices and the Thomas & Betts' team for donating food to the Mid-South Food Bank. Your donations equated to "1,728 meals" to help those in need during this holiday season. Delivering the donation on Friday 12/19/14 is, from left: David Kendall and Rachel Guenther with Thomas & Betts, Mid-South Food Bank President Estella Mayhue-Greer and Walt Czyrnik with Mid-South IEC. 





Christmas Party




Over 100 friends of the IEC attended the Christmas party on Wednesday 12/10/14. The evening was complete with smiles, laughter, hugs and well wishes for the upcoming year!We were happy that Shelby County Mayor, Mark Luttrell and his wife Pat could attend the party and share their holiday spirit with everyone. The IEC Staff hopes the holidays will be everything you wish for and hope 2015 is all you hope it will be!


To see photos of the Christmas Party, click here



ABB and Thomas & Betts Teaches 4th Year Apprentices Motor Starting and Protection




The Mid-South IEC's 4th year apprenticeship class received training on Motor Starting and Protection from ABB. Some of the major topics included contactors, overload replays and manual starters.


What made this training even more interesting for the apprentices was the class was conducted at Thomas & Betts' 1 million square foot distribution facility in Byhalia MS. Not only did they receive a classroom education, the apprentices had the opportunity to tour the facility to see how T&B keeps their products moving and how controls can be utilized in a distribution center.


To see photos of this training, click here



Federated Insurance Teaches 1st Year Apprentices the Hazards of "Distracted Driving"




As the apprentices progress through the IEC's Apprenticeship Program, they start to take on more responsibilities out on the job, one being the possibility of driving their company's vehicles. With so much technology at their fingertips while they are driving, Federated Insurance wanted to help and taught all the IEC's first year apprentices a class on the hazards of distracted driving.


The apprentices were taught what type of distractions cause the highest risk of an accident to how to manage these distractions. With this type of valuable training, the IEC apprentices are more aware on how to better focus on the task at hand, which is safe driving. 


To see photos of this training, click here



IAC and IDEAL Teaches Apprentices Conduit Bending




IAC and IDEAL teamed together last week to teach over 60 of the Mid-South IEC's 1st year apprentices conduit bending. They taught this class at the IAC's facility in Bartlett and taught both the Electrical and the VDV Apprentices.


The apprentices were not only given classroom instruction on the art of bending conduit, they also had a great deal of hands on training. We sincerely appreciate IAC and IDEAL for taking the lead role by providing this important training.


To see photos of this training, click here



Mid-South IEC has GREAT Contractor Members !!!




We would like to thank all the Mid-South IEC Contractor Members that donated to the IEC Foundation, via their membership dues invoice, this past year. At the recent National IEC Convention, and due to some wonderful contractor members, Mid-South IEC was able to donate $2,500 to the IEC Foundation. Your donations are sincerely appreciated !




Presenting the IEC Foundation donation check and representing Mid-South IEC was (left to right), David Ekmark, Walt Czyrnik and Brian Haines. 



2015 National IEC's Board of Directors




At the National IEC's Convention last week in Baltimore MD, Mid-South IEC Contractor Member, Brian Haines from Pyramid Electric (3rd from right) was elected as the new Southeast Regional Director. As a Regional Director, it also places Brian on the National IEC's Board of Directors. His term will start on 1/1/15.



We wish Brian the best of luck and success in assisting with the leadership at the national level. 




16th Annual Golf Tournament




The 2014 Mid-South IEC Golf Tournament is in the history books. We returned to Ridgeway Country on October 6, 2014 for a great day of golf. Umbrellas popped put for about ten minutes but after that it was smooth sailing. There were some great shots, a few awesome shots with yells of jubilation, and there were some bad shots. No matter how you played, it was day of friendship and laughter. Thanks to everyone who made it a great day from the sponsors, volunteers to the golfers, the Mid-South IEC appreciates each and every one of you and glad you are part of our "family"!


Click here to see 170 different photos of the event. (If you see a photo you want to keep, simply right click on the photo and you can save it)



Congratulations to the Tournament Champions  


Bret Barton

Jimmy Smith

Sam Kirkland

Cole Butcher




United Rentals...Associate Member of the Month




We would like to thank United Rentals for being the IEC's Associate Member of the Month for September. Not only did they provide some great food at the monthly Membership Meeting, they also provided everyone with good information on how to possibly save expenses on some jobs.


To see photos of this Membership Meeting, click here.



City of Bartlett Proclamation




We are pleased to announce the City of Bartlett (where our office and training facility is located), proclaimed Tuesday, 8/14/14, as "Mid-South IEC Recognition Day". The award was presented at the Bartlett's Board of Mayor and Aldermen Meeting. This honor was bestowed on Mid-South IEC due to the recent White House announcement identifying our apprenticeship program as a program of "What's Working".


Click here to read the Proclamation.




Receiving the proclamation are (left to right) Vicki Czyrnik - Apprenticeship Coordinator, Walt Czyrnik - Executive Director,  Keith McDonald - Bartlett City Mayor,  Tony George - Mid-South IEC President, Randy Davis - Apprenticeship & Training Committee Chairman




Mid-South IEC Listed as a Program that’s “Working” on




The Mid‐South Independent Electrical Contractors Association (Mid-South IEC), specifically the Four-Year Electrical Apprenticeship Program, has been recognized by the White House as a training program matching workers with the skills they need for the jobs of today. With the signing of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, today, President Obama launched the “Ready to Work Initiative.” Since January, President Obama has been shining a brighter spotlight on job‐driven training as an essential pillar of America’s economic strategy. The Obama Administration has called for job‐driven training across federal agencies and has profiled successful local efforts that should be replicated throughout the country.


“I am truly honored the White House has recognized Mid-South IEC’s Apprenticeship Program as an example of ‘What’s Working’ in our nation,” stated Walt Czyrnik, Executive Director of Mid-South IEC. “We are proud to deliver a program that strengthens America’s workforce training and builds highly skilled electricians. Even more, we are proud of the many apprentices who work and study hard to build a career to achieve a higher quality of life for their families.”


The Mid-South IEC Four-Year Apprenticeship Program provides apprentices with on-the-job training as well as 576 hours of classroom education with hands-on electrical labs to increase their understanding of their electrical career. Additionally, these apprentices receive a systematic hourly wage increase.


Corresponding with this action plan, which is led by Vice President Joe Biden, the White House has launched a “Ready to Work” page on its website that details the program. On the page is a map featuring 35 examples of successful job-training programs across the country, including Mid-South IEC.  


The Ready to Work page can be viewed here:   



Apprenticeship Graduation Dinner & Ceremony 




It is said if you take care of the moments in life, the hours and days will take care of themselves. On June 17, 2014, 177 people shared the last moments of our Class of 2014 as apprentices. The were smiles, hugs, hoots and hollers! Many of our future journeymen and technicians came with their own fan clubs and you could feel the PRIDE all through the room.


Congratulations to the class of 2014 !!! 


To see photos of this event, click here.



VA Seeks Guidance from the IEC




In the last State of the Union address, President Obama called for expanded access to apprenticeship programs that are better-aligned with the skills that employers demand. With that vision in mind, the VA wants to assist veterans exiting the military and transition them directly into apprenticeship programs. Unfortunately the VA doesn't have a great deal of experience with apprenticeship programs so they sought the guidance of the Mid-South IEC.


Five VA representatives recently requested to spend some time with the Mid-South IEC's Executive Director, Walt Czyrnik, to teach them "Apprenticeship Programs 101". During the meeting, Mr. Czyrnik covered topics ranging from "Wage Scales" to "Apprenticeship Standards" that are registered with the DOL.


At the end, the VA representatives felt confident they better understand how apprenticeship programs operate which will help our veterans in the future, and are looking forward to working with the Mid-South IEC.



16th Annual Tradeshow and Wire-Off Competition a Huge Success !!!




The exhibitors for the Mid-South IEC's 16th Annual Tradeshow moved in bright and early on May 8, 2014 and the Wire-Off contestants began at 10:30am. When the doors opened at 3:00pm, people flowed in ready to see 55 booths filled with new items on the market and watch the wire off enter its final hours. Over 600 attended the tradeshow and over 100 of them took advantage of the free Safety Training Classes. It was a packed afternoon of new ideas, new skills learned and horns announcing someone else had completed their wire off project. Thanks to our vendors for another successful Tradeshow! And a big "thank you" to everyone who came out to spend the afternoon with us!


To see photos of the tradeshow, click here.



The Wire-Off Contestants did a great job and the competition was fierce. Congratulations goes to all of them for displaying their craft in front of such a large crowd. Here are the winners of the competition:


1st place - Timothy Houston / Sammarco Electric

2nd place - Josh Keough / Ekmark Electric

3rd place - James Kuehner / Dennis Electric


To see photos of the Wire-Off Competition, click here.



IAC & IDEAL Teaches 1st Year Electrical Apprentices & VDV Apprentices

4/21/14 & 4/22/14



Mid-South IEC 1st Electrical Apprentices and Low Voltage Apprentices received hands on training in conduit bending at IAC Bartlett on April 21 and 22, 2014. Jerry Taylor from IDEAL was the instructor for evening. For some apprentices it was a repeat of what they did during the day and for some it was their first time. Measuring twice and bending once is what you want to do according to Jerry Taylor, but there were several who had to adjust their bend or just start over. There were comments of its close enough just put a strap on it (lol) ! Thanks Lynn Grantland from IAC Bartlett for hosting the training. Also, thanks to Jerry Taylor for his words of wisdom on bending conduit.


 To see photos of this training, click here.



T&B Teaches 3rd Year Apprentices




Thomas & Betts taught the 3rd year Apprentices grounding, bonding and the usage of various crimping devices. This classroom and hands on training provided the apprentices a better understanding of the theory of grounding per the National Electrical Code and on the selection and installation of electrical compression and mechanical connectors and tools used for grounding. The class also provided a comprehensive overview of electrical grounding theory, electrical compression and mechanical connector properties and how they respond to field installations.


 To see photos of this training, click here.



"Motion is Money" Seminar




Over 60 attended the “Motion is Money” seminar at the IEC on 3/19/14. Wasted motion decreases the workers’ production. This seminar gave everyone strategies, methods and ideas to enhance the workers’ productivity. For every one percent reduction in risk, the employees can gain one percent improvement in productivity. The seminar provided ideas for of the placement of the materials, gang box, and ladders at the jobsites to gain the most productivity from those that work in the field.


Thank you CNA and Menard, Gates & Mathis for hosting this informative seminar.


 To see photos of this seminar, click here.



T&B Teaches 1st Year Apprentices




On Tuesday 3/18/14, Thomas & Betts taught the IEC's first year electrical apprentices different styles of fittings and the proper use of these fittings. They did this by having the apprentices build a Mr. Steel City.


What added a sense of realism to this education was the apprentices were given a "materials list" of what they needed. They then had to come to the front of the class and go through the boxes and pick up the materials they needed to complete the job. Much like what they would have to do if they went to the supply house to pick up materials for a specific jobsite.


To see photos of the apprentices being taught, click here.



Troubleshooting Workshops a Major Success

3/11/14 & 3/12/14



Glen Mazur, National Author of over 35 electrical manuals taught two different "Troubleshooting Workshops" on 3/11/14 and 3/12/14 here at the IEC's Training Facility.

Some of the items the attendees learned were:

  • To improve their troubleshooting skills.
  • They were taught what meter type to use and what their meter reading means.
  • They were taught the knowledge of troubleshooting new problems, such as harmonics, transients, and overloaded neutrals.
  • They were taught common electrical problems using test circuits, such as improper grounding, voltage flat topping, poor power factor, and correcting power problems.
  • They learned to use Min/Max, Relative, Peak and Hold functions when troubleshooting.

To see photos of these workshops, click here.



February's Membership Meeting & National IEC's CEO, Thayer Long, Visits With Mid-South IEC Members




The Mid South IEC had an exciting February Membership meeting at the Holiday Inn Wolfchase. Over seventy members came out to meet and hear about the future of the IEC from the National IEC’s Executive Vice-President, CEO, Thayer Long. IEC will continue its focus on education, not only in the classroom but utilizing technology via the web. National IEC will be blending technology with classroom instruction that will not only enhance the apprentice’s experience in class but also give instructor’s resources they have not had in the past. They are also brushing off the dust of some older programs such as PEP (Professional Electricians Program), by bringing them up to date and using on-line technology. Currently the National IEC has over 3,000 members and the chapters are educating over 7,000 apprentices. IEC continues to have a voice in Washington, standing up for the merit shop and the “I” in independent. 


At the meeting, Henry Aden and Tony George were recognized for their many years of service on the A&T Committee. Stan Bond was awarded a Honorary Membership to the Mid-South IEC for his dedication since 1996 as he prepares for retirement. Stan has not only served on almost every committee but was our chapter president in 1996 and 1997. Cindy Bond was also recognized for her dedication in the early years of the Mid-South IEC for keeping the financial records when there was no IEC staff. It is always hard to say good-bye but we wish the Bonds the very best and hope they come around to see us often.


The future looks bright for the National IEC and we are very glad that you all are a part of it.


To see photos of this Membership Meeting, click here.



January's Membership Meeting & The Crosstown Development Project




Big thanks to Lipscomb and Pitts for being the IEC’s Associate Member of the Month for January 2014!  Over 60 IEC Members attended the Membership Meeting on Thursday January 30, 2014 and received first-hand information regarding the Crosstown Redevelopment Project from Dr. Todd Richardson who is heading up this project.  Partnered in this project are ALSAC, Church Health Center, Crosstown Arts, Gestalt Community Schools, Memphis Teacher Residency, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Rhodes College, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 


The idea is to bring back a community environment to the area. As this project gets further into development, it will mean 1,000 new construction jobs, 884 indirect construction jobs and more than $50,000,000 in construction wages.  A representative from the general contractor, Grinder, Taber, Grinder stated that work on the project will be bid out in small sections and they have a great interest in using as much local talent as possible.  Visit their website at for the latest information on this amazing project to save the Sears Crosstown building.


To see photos of this Membership Meeting, click here.