In the News

Joe Esmonde Wins Wayne Morse Award

The Wayne Morse Award for Integrity and Passion was presented to Joe Esmonde, political director for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48. The presentation was made at the Wayne Morse Gala dinner April 17 hosted by the Democratic Party of Oregon.

Read the full story here.

Holiday Lighting Safety

Every year, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission issues safety tips for holiday decorations, especially lighting. Indoor and outdoor lighting add a joyous and festive mood to the holiday season, but when these decorations are used improperly, they can cause fires, injuries and even death.

Here are some basic tips to make your holiday a safe one:

  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL. This indicates conformance with safety standards. Use only lights that have plugs containing fuses. Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs and making sure it is done while the power is off.
  • If using an extension cord, they should be used only on a temporary basis and make sure it is rated for the intended use. Verify that all 3 prongs are present on male cord ends and never modify or break off the third prong to make it useable on a 2-wire outlet. Keep all plugs and connections off the ground, away from puddles and snow.
  • Know your circuit’s limits, don’t overload your system. Circuit breakers are designed to limit the amount of current flowing on the wires in your walls, attics and crawlspaces. Even with these protective devices, a circuit that is nearing capacity will generate heat.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles into homes.
  • Fasten outdoor lights and extension cords securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples (not nails or tacks) to hold strings in place. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. This can be accomplished by using a timing device. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Use caution when removing outdoor holiday lights. Make sure the power is disconnected. Never pull or tug on lights – this could cause stress on the connections that could create a fire hazard in the future.
  • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against electric shock. Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can also be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.

For more information visit:

NECA/IBEW Local 48 member Dynalectric worked on this project. You can also see our video about the Edith Green-Wendall Wyatt Federal Office Building –

Portland tower bags more international green honors for $155M makeover

Sustainable Business Oregon
By: Wendy Culverwell

The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, 1220 S.W. Third Ave., is one of four finalists in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s annual Best Tall Buildings competition.

Read the story here.

Legal marijuana business, construction not a good fit

Daily Journal of Commerce, June 18

By: Jeff McDonald

The nascent legal marijuana industry in Washington state is posing legal, financial and logistical issues for contractors.

For Longview, Wash.-based JH Kelly, ethical concerns exist. It was contacted by a developer to build in Longview two facilities for marijuana production, but participation on such projects would contradict the contractor’s in-house policies, said Rob Harris, vice president of business development. The company also does not want to run afoul of relationships with some of its Fortune 500 customers, including Weyerhaeuser and BP.

Read the full story here.

Intel Selects NECA and IBEW for Electrical Construction of New Facilities, a Feature of “Industry Today” on

The first phase of the expansion, the DIX 1 Intel Expansion, has recently been completed as work on the next phase, DIX 2, goes forward. During the entire expansion process, Intel is realizing the benefits of hiring the union craftsmen of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and their employer counterparts at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Read the full story here.

NECA/IBEW Local 48 featued in The Electrical Worker Online

Portland Local’s History Gleams in Stirring Exhibit

The 100th year anniversary of Portland, Ore., Local 48 was still a year away. But, in 2012 — with only a few boxes of memorabilia in their hall — the local’s leaders knew they needed help to truly honor the legacy of one of the IBEW’s most influential and powerful local unions and their signatory contractor partners.

Read the full article here.

IBEW Local 48’s Keith Edwards retires after 44-year career

Northwest Labor Press

Keith Edwards feels like a truly blessed man.

“I’ve had such a good life. Think about it. Because I’m a union electrician, I’ve had health care since I was 20 years old. I’ve always had the best wages. I’ve had the best working conditions. A voice on the job. And now a great retirement — all because I’m a union electrician.”

Read the full article here.

Changes to anti-discrimination laws will affect federal contractors

Daily Journal of Commerce
by: Inka Bajandas

Changes to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should help veterans and disabled individuals – groups with high unemployment rates, said Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which enforces both laws.

Read the full story here.

Short drive ahead: EV execs ready for sector growth

Sustainable Business Oregon

By: Lee van der Voo

There were plenty of reasons to be optimistic about EV futures at an April 10 PubTalk forum hosted by Drive Oregon and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. Representatives from the three Oregon companies that took the stage at Portland’s Backspace gave a crowd of about 120 more than an hour to pick the brains of Arcimoto President Mark Frohnmayer, OpConnect president Dexter Turner and Brammo’s Greg Lemhouse, director of fleet development.

Read the full story here.

Guest opinion: It’s time to protect Oregon’s prevailing wage


By: John Mohlis

The Oregonian’s Feb. 25 editorial “Time to rethink the prevailing wage” suggests that it would be wise to repeal Oregon’s prevailing wage law. However, doing so would be incredibly detrimental to Oregon’s construction contractors, our highly skilled construction workforce, public contracting agencies and Main Street businesses.

Read the full article here.

The Switch – Fall 2012

On April 10th, the new East County (Multnomah) Courthouse in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham was dedicated.

This summer, NECA/IBEW Local 48 began production of a video that will highlight the many electrical charging stations around Portland and the region.

The video will also prominently feature interviews with some of the companies and contractors that installed the stations. The goal is to raise awareness about the many local NECA/IBEW Lo- cal 48 companies and contractors that have experience installing and wiring the charging stations.

The video will show the NECA/IBEW Local 48 Chevy Volt driving to the many charging stations that were installed around the… Read The Switch – Fall 2012

Upcoming Events

NECA September Chapter Meeting
Sept. 17

IBEW General Member Meeting
Sept. 26

NECA National Convention in Las Vegas
Sept. 29 – Oct. 2

NECA October Chapter Meeting
Oct. 8

IBEW General Membership Meeting
Oct. 24

NECA November Chapter Meeting
Nov. 19

IBEW General Membership Meeting
Nov. 28

NECA Annual December Chapter Meeting
Dec. 10

IBEW Local 38 Holiday Meeting
Dec. 14

Keeping Up with the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Trend

By: Tim Gauthier

Electric vehicles are traveling Oregon and Washington roads more than ever before; and the NECA/IBEW Local 48 Team is working hard to keep pace with this new technology and its growth.

First, NECA and IBEW are partners in the EVITP (Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program). The EVITP is a national training and certification program that provides the EV industry with the highest of verifiable knowledge in technical understanding to support the sound, safe and successful growth of the EV market.

The EVITP has been established to provide the electric vehicle transportation sector of the electrical industry and all stakeholders. A structured platform to facilitate training and certification for the installation of electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) across residential and commercial public markets, the program addresses the technical requirements, safety imperatives, and performance integrity of the industry partners and stakeholders.

Stakeholders include:
• Automobile Manufacturers
• Investor-Owned and Municipal Utilities
• Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Manufacturers
• Electrical Energy Storage Device Manufacturers
• State and Local Electrical Inspectors
• Electrical Contractors

This training is available at the NECA/IBEW Training Center in Portland, Oregon, on a continuing basis.
In addition, National NECA has recently published the NEIS (NECA, 413-2012, Standard for Installing Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment) EVSE. It describes essential procedures for installing and maintaining AC Level 1, AC Level 2, and both AC/DC fast charging electrical vehicle supply equipment. The standard includes quality and performance aspects of these installations, including performing site assessment. Information related to design, coordinating individual unit installations and fleet/multiple-use installations is included, in addition to installers and inspection guidelines and check lists.

NEIS is the only ANSI-approved performance and workmanship industry standard for electrical construction. NEIS is used by construction owners, specifiers and contractors to clearly illustrate the performance and workmanship standards essential for different types of electrical construction. NEIS are also referenced through the National Electrical Code (NEC).

In order to properly and safely grow Oregon’s electric vehicle charging network, it is important for these installations to be under the watchful eye and in the hands of certified electrical contractors and electricians under the EVITP. Particular caution should also be taken for installations in residences. Again, NECA/IBEW contractors are the best practitioners for safe, technical and reliable installations. Please check our website for a listing of qualified NECA contractors at

Video Showcases NECA/IBEW Charging Stations

This summer, NECA/IBEW Local 48 began production of a video that will highlight the many electrical charging stations around Portland and the region.

The video will also prominently feature interviews with some of the companies and contractors that installed the stations. The goal is to raise awareness about the many local NECA/IBEW Local 48 companies and contractors that have experience installing and wiring the charging stations.

The video will show the NECA/IBEW Local 48 Chevy Volt driving to the many charging stations that were installed around the Portland metro area. To give the video a sense of direction, it will be tied together by the idea that the driver’s destination is a green Portland.

Landmarks like the Convention Center, White Stag building, International Rose Test Garden, Portland riverfront, The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, and the wine country will also be featured in the video. In between the shots of these locations, the Chevy Volt will be seen parking at charging stations near the landmarks.

The video will also discuss the EV Project that NECA/IBEW Local 48 participates in, which includes $148.3 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to encourage greener transportation. Through this program, more than 450 EV charging stations have already been installed , with many more to come.

Once the video is completed, it will be posted on the NECA/IBEW Local 48 YouTube channel and website. The video will also be condensed to be used as an online ad for publications like the Daily Journal of Commerce. The video will also be used at trade shows and other public outreach events.

EV Station Field Continues to Grow

By: Clif Davis

By now you have heard about or seen the Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging stations at the Local Union hall and the Training Center. The parking spaces were recently “spruced up” to make them less confusing to visitors. To accomplish this, bold yellow lightning bolts with the words “EV Parking” were painted in certain parking spots. This was done to eliminate confusion when visitors, seeing the EV Parking signs, would not park on either side of them as well. This resulted in 12 empty parking spots in front of the Union Hall, and people parking at the far end of the parking lot instead. I mention this to illustrate what comes with any new technology, an adjustment and adaptation period.

The EV field is exciting and promises to bring many new jobs for our members and associated industries. New designs in the areas of charging stations, batteries and vehicle structure are being developed on a regular basis. One key area of focus is in safety design. Electrical batteries are no different than any other stored energy source. The potential for severe shock, explosions and burns is very high in an accident. For this reason, emergency responders are now being trained in the hazards that exist in these situations.

As the EV industry grows, there will be tremendous changes. This creates opportunity for training, education and jobs. And that is a positive for all in our industry.

Leading the Way in EV Training

The NIETC (NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center) is working to stay on top of the EV market and the many changes taking place. There is a constant state of flux in the industry, whether it is codes and standards, permit and installation regulations or vehicle types and electrical needs for them.

The NIETC is teaching a variety of courses based on EV’s One is an introductory course, provided in part by the state of Oregon, to create awareness to those on the fringe of interest with a potential to jump into the mix. This course has been offered throughout the state from Medford to The Dalles, with a large emphasis in Portland. As interest continues to grow, the NIETC will continue to provide up to date information on the changes in the market through this class.

Another course being offered is the “EVITP,” which is an installer level course for licensed and certified electricians, contractors and industry experts who actively engage in Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). This course has been widely accepted by the membership and will continue to provide the technical requirements that the Installer/Contractor need to know in order to stay current and on top of changes and specifications as they continue to morph. This course contains an overview of historic and current electric vehicles, charging stations and related equipment, electrical codes, utility compliance, inspection, smart grid integration and the “green” impact, and finally the customer experience via a model in which the industry has adopted.

All of this is delivered in a 24-hour course, which wraps up with a written evaluation and field practicum. This is the method for verifying that all certified EVITP installers will get the job done correctly and provide the customer/end user a quality installation that is sure to provide trouble free use and a satisfying experience of owning an EV.

The success of the EV market continues to depend on the electrical industry to provide a level of service that is sure to leave the consumer with no doubts about their purchase of an EV. It is also imperative that each member of the community understands the positive impacts that an EV can have on the future of their city, the “smart grid,” as well as the availability of affordable electrical power. EV’s are becoming prominent on the roads and are likely to continue to grow in numbers, and possibly replace the typical commuter option of an internal combustion engine. EV vehicle options are being offered from more manufacturers than most people have even heard of. This is a typical scenario of lead, follow or get out of the way. NECA and IBEW are proudly leading the way to a smart renewable future.

Employee Spotlight: Monty Gaffney

Though he started in the auto and diesel field, Monty Gaffney, of Cherry City Electric, quickly switched to electrical work.

“I really like the electrical field,” said Monty. “It’s a lot more interesting.”

Monty learned about the electrical industry from his wife’s family.

“After talking with other electricians in my wife’s family, I got interested,” said Monty. “I’ve always been good at math and you can make a good living as long as you were willing to work.”

Now a Journeyman electrician, Monty first started with NECA/IBEW’s training program and has been with Cherry City Electric for the last six and half years. Since his time at Cherry City, Monty has seen the company branch off into different focuses and projects.

Recent projects Monty has worked on include the de-icing system at the airport and the new Port or Portland headquarters.

Monty enjoys that his job allows him to see different types of projects and aspects of the job and that his job is always different.

“I’m not stuck doing the same thing over and over again,” said Monty. “There’re not too many trade jobs where you can work your tail off and get compensated appropriately for your work.”

NECA/IBEW 48 thanks Monty Gaffney for his commitment to his community and trade.

An Invitation to NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center’s Annual Trade Show (9/26/2012, 3-6 PM)

In September, the NECA – IBEW Electrical Training Center will celebrate 14 years of hosting their annual Electrical Industry Vendor Appreciation Night and Trade Show. This event brings together many of the vendors that supply our job sites with the tools, materials and safety related products necessary to accomplish our work.

Company representatives will have samples and information on new, and improved, products and services that can be used to make our electrical installations easier, safer and more profitable.

Please join us from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, September 26th, in supporting the companies who have supported our efforts on our job sites and at the Training Center. Bring your family and enjoy refreshments, visit with friends and see the latest tools, materials, safety and electrical equipment our industry partners have to offer.

Visit With:
Platt Electric – Eoff Electric – Sanderson Safety – Honeywell – Hubbell – Leviton – Ideal – Repcon NW – Okonite Cables – IBEW FCU – HL Stearns – OR Burn Ctr – Edison Pension – A&I – Anixter – OR Wellness – Arnett Industries – Fluke – Lenox – Knipex – Greenlee – Lithonia – Lutron – Milwaukee – Dewalt – Cadet – Cooper – Advance – Dottie – TCP/Madison – Lenox – Majestic Glove – Westex – NJATC FR – Working Concepts – Rack-a-Tiers – King Innovation – Sun Touch – Verbatim Lighting – Oregon Breaker – Pac/West – Big Bill – and more

Company Spotlight: Cherry City Electric

Cherry City Electric has close ties with one of the city’s major landmarks, the Rose Garden Arena.

While planning the Rose Garden, the developers went to Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California for research, where it was suggested that Morrow-Meadows, the parent company of Cherry City Electric, be in charge of installing the electrical work.

“That was over 18 years ago and we’re still going strong in Portland,” said Ray Ellis, General Manager of Cherry City Electric, and a Vice President of Morrow-Meadows Corporation. “I enjoy concerts and games there knowing that we had a part of building it.”

Though Cherry City focuses mainly on industrial and commercial projects, the company is no stranger to green projects such as electrical vehicle charging stations – installing at least a couple a week in the Portland and Willamette Valley areas.

“We’ve created special trainings for our employees just on installing electrical vehicle charging stations,” said Ellis. “We even installed one in our office for our employees to practice on.”

Cherry City Electric is very proud of its safety record and the support the electrical industry has for workplace safety.

“We appreciate that the NECA/IBEW training is as committed to safety as we are,” said Ellis.

Largest Solar Highway Project Opens in Oregon

Sustainable Business News

Previously unused land at a highway rest stop in Oregon is now home to a 1.75-megawatt (MW) solar array that produces about 11% of the annual electricity needed by the Department of Transportation’s local offices.

View NECA/IBEW Local 48’s video about the project here.

Read the article here

Wind power makes gains in Oregon but future growth is uncertain, report says

By, Charles Pope

WASHINGTON – The amount of energy produced by wind in Oregon and across much of the nation continued to rise in 2011, but the uncertain future of a crucial tax credit could slow the surge, a government report released today finds.

Read the full story here.

Invenergy Seeks Permission to Build 500-MW Oregon Wind Farm

Clean Technica

Project developer Invenergy is seeking permission from local authorities to build a 502-MW wind farm in Oregon, welcome news for the US wind energy industry, which is about to lose key federal support as the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) is due to expire at year-end.

Tax levied by Oregon Department of Energy unconstitutional, utilities say

By: Ted Sickinger

PacifiCorp and Cascade Natural Gas are suing the Oregon Department of Energy to invalidate a fee charged to energy companies that they say is an unconstitutional tax levied at the discretion of the agency’s director.

Read the full story here.

USDA awards $172,000 for 17 energy projects in rural Oregon

Sustainable Business Oregon
By: Christina Williams

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program selected 17 Oregon energy projects that will share $172,000 in funding as part of the Rural Energy for America Program authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

Read the full story here.

SoloPower launches new solar panels with Portland production and hiring underway

Richard Read

“Participants in the world’s largest solar trade show crowded around a SoloPower Inc. booth in Munich, Germany, Wednesday to see and touch a new kind of panel planned for mass production in Portland later this year.”

Read the full story here.

The Switch – Spring 2012

On April 10th, the new East County (Multnomah) Courthouse in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham was dedicated.

The new court house has been in the works for a long time, with construction beginning in January 2011 on the 4.2 acre site located at 185th and Stark Street. The $19.6 million 40,000-square-foot three-floor facility will have three courtrooms,
a district attorney office, a sheriff’s department security office, court business office, a data center in the basement and a drop-in child care facility for visitors. Roughly $15 million was paid for with Recovery Zone Economic Development (stimulus) Bonds.
The remaining portion was funded from the 2008 sale of the South Edgefield property. Read The Switch – Spring 2012.

Kitzhaber tapped to lead wind coalition

Sustainable Business Oregon
By: Christina Williams

The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition announced Monday that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber would take over as chairman and vice chairman of the group, which is focused on communicating the benefits of wind energy and lobbying the federal government to extend the production tax credit.

Read the full story here.

20th Annual Women in Trades Career Fair

Drew Carney

We’ll get an up close look at this week’s 20th Annual Women in Trades Career Fair, the largest non-traditional career fair of its kind put on each year by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., which offers dozens of hands-on activities designed to introduce women and girls to the possibility of a future career in the trades.

Read the full story here.