Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Apr 14, 2019

Leslie & PalmerBy Blake Marchand

At just 29, Andrew Smith is already a 10-year veteran of the electrical industry, working as a foreman for Leslie & Palmer Electrical Contractors, a unionized electrical contracting company out of Ajax, Ontario.

Smith began taking on more of a leadership role for Leslie & Palmer within the past two or three years, after beginning with the family-owned company as an apprentice. And now 10 years into his career, “it feels like it’s been a few days.”


Coming out of high school Smith was leaning towards a career in graphic design and wasn’t initially considering a career at the company owned by his father. But Smith noted he had a hard time figuring out exactly what he wanted to do. And as it is for many teenagers, the task of setting his career path at such a young age was a daunting one. However, his father brought home a union career pamphlet and Smith thought a future in the electrical industry could be intriguing.

“I know how hard it is at 17 to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. I was lucky to have my dad take me under his wing, and it worked out.”


Smith said he had to learn quickly on the job, “it was a real culture shock, going from high school into construction — it’s sink or swim when you’re trying to make a living,” he said.

Smith admitted he didn’t like it at first, “it’s hard to get excited about something you know nothing about,” he explained. However, as he learned his trade and felt more confident, the job became more rewarding.

Smith has been a licensed electrician for five years now, though a lot of his work as a foreman is serviced based and client facing.


He explained that because he has a vested interest in the company, he has really pushed their sales and managed to establish a solid client base. For him it is more than a 9-5 job.

“I get to see it from start to finish,” he said. “You really get a sense of accomplishment when you finish a job and you don’t lose any money, and everyone is happy.”


Smith said they are fortunate to have a variety of jobs throughout various sectors of the industry, which keeps things interesting. And on the more monotonous jobs, he makes sure to rotate employees through so that they don’t get bogged down with repetitive tasks.

“When you have skilled workers with 5000 lightbulbs to change, it pays the bills, but it can be a bit monotonous.”

“It’s great to get paid to change a lightbulb,” he added, “but not when you’re doing it for six weeks straight.”

“The guys I work with are young and they’re skilled,” he said. So, it really makes a difference when you can utilize their skills and keep things interesting by varying the work. This is true of any line of work.  


Smith said Leslie & Palmer also does some high-voltage work and underground cable pulls, which requires a little more skill than a standard retrofit. They also do quite a bit of institutional work, small lab renovations and classroom retrofits. These projects Smith said can be a good training ground, Smith said. When you are working at a university or in a public space there are generally a lot of people to work around, requiring added patience and flexibility. “Especially in universities,” he said. “There are so many people you’ve got to have patience. If you go around causing a scene it doesn’t help you in the long run. Being polite and having a nice smile can make someone’s day.”

When asked about dealing with challenges on the job, Smith discussed an underground cable pull. Tension was building up on the winch and he and his team were becoming frustrated with the project.


“Sometimes it’s best to step away, think about it, and come back with a clear head,” he said. “Getting frustrated is reasonable but acting frustrated doesn’t help anyone — and that goes for life as well.”

Smith said it is easy to stay competitive as a small company without too much overhead. They are a small close-knit four-man group who have known one another for a long time, and they get along well. Their median age is around 30, Smith explained, and they all have or are starting young families. All this contributes to the success of the company. “They’re a little more passionate about their work,” said Smith, adding that because they get along well and have young families to support, “it gives a little extra incentive to do the work right.”

With respect to the broader industry, Smith noted there can be a lack of understanding or respect for skilled labour. Ontario’s new “Open for Business” legislation, undercuts safety in the skilled trades, he explained. For example, employers were previously required to post labour laws so their employees can educate themselves on their rights as workers. Under the new legislation that is no longer a requirement.

“I have a hard time believing that’s good for business. How does that help workers? Who does that help? How does it help save money?”

“That attitude from people outside the industry — making things more advantageous to employers — is frustrating.”


Smith stressed that taking care of your employees, ensuring they are safe, happy, respected, etc., has a correlation to the success of any company; specifically, in the labour-intensive industries where workers are putting their bodies on the line and working in dangerous situations.


In terms of industry advancements, Smith said “power tools are fantastic these days.”


For example, he noted, Milwaukee Tools make a bandsaw that can be run with one hand, which makes cutting conduits much more efficient. Lighting technology has also come a long way, with simple things like insta-fit bulbs and plug and peel lamps.

As for advice for other small business owners in the contracting industry, Smith said, “You get what you put into it. How much effort you put into something reflects the result. Try your best and make sure you’re educated on your craft.”

Blake Marchand is Assistant Editor, Panel Builder & Systems Integrator.

 The Evolution Series. Poke-Thru Devices, Floor, Wall and Ceiling Boxes 

Legrand Wiremold EvoFrom poke-thru devices to floor, wall and ceiling boxes, the Evolution Series has continued to increase device efficiency and reliability while providing durability and quality. Customizing your space and maximizing access to all the power, A/V and communications you could ever need. Evolution Series boxes bring power, communications and A/V to walls, floors and ceilings. Evolution adds flexibility, functionality and stylish good looks to every room you create when planning office buildings, airports, schools and hospitals.

 

 

Watch the video Here

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Prior to joining ABB in 2017 as Executive Vice President of the Electrification business, Deschenes ...
Susan Uthayakumar, country president, Schneider Electric, has been named a Women's Executive ...
ABB presented its electrification solutions that will allow customers to take full advantage of the ...
Electricity Human Resources Canada has introduced a new Board of Directors, effective as of their ...
Jacques Fiset, the new president of the EFC Quebec section, told us in a recent interview that his ...
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the twin lighting shows - the  ...
A Friday night, the end of summer, the weather is mild, and 2,500 people — customers, ...
Eaton focuses on developing personable connections in every aspect. In September, our team will be ...
During the recently held IMARK Canada 2019 meeting in Niagara Falls, executives from 14 of the ...
Valard has been selected by Wataynikaneyap Power LPto provide engineering, procurement ...

Alta EnergyAlta Energy has completed the installation of solar power systems at 14 campuses across California’s Poway Unified School District (PUSD). Alta Energy installed a total of 632 kilowatts (kW) on 65 of PUSD’s standard 24 by 40 feet relocatable, portable classrooms. Financed through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with no out-of-pocket costs to the district, the project reduces PUSD’s electricity expenses by nearly 15 percent and will save the district $250,000 per year.

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

Connected SecurityClimate change, a dwindling supply of natural raw materials, continuous migration to the metropolises: tomorrow’s challenges can only be solved with intelligent, networked buildings, so called smart buildings.

Networking encompasses all parts of a building — from the electricity supply, taking account of regenerative energy (smart grid), via safety and security technology and operational regulation through interconnected building-automation systems, to control via mobile devices. The prerequisite for all this is systems interoperability, the only way network risks can be mastered.

Read More

 

 

Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  IDEAL Industries has introduced Combination Drill Taps to its tool lineup. Combining the ...
  Stripping and crimping device, 100 - 240 V input voltage, for insulated ferrules with a ...
Professional all-in-one cutter/stripper for coaxial and twisted pair cables     ...
  Klein Tools' Coax Explorrer 2 tests coaxial cable and maps up to 4 locations   ...
  Ideal Industries' T-14 wire stripper s are ideal for all professionals working within the ...
  The ATS850 conveyor eliminates all types of electro static discharge requirements. ...
  Lorik Tool & Automation has the experience and ability to manufacture a variety of ...
  Ideal Industries' 26 piece insulated Journeyman kit is ideal for new electricians or for ...
  Klein Tools Deluxe Fish Rod Set comes in 19 pieces that when assembled can fish wire and ...
  BendWorks Software was designed to help electrical contractors adopt this new process ...

Product News

  • Prev
Klein Tools introduces a new line of Interchangeable Insulated Screwdrivers to give ...
EarthTronics has released new PAR30 and PAR38 EarthBulb LED floodlights to replace incandescent ...
Emerson announced the addition of a handheld puller to its Greenlee pulling lineup – the new ...
Hammond Manufacturing has announced its new 1557 family. Initially available in four plan ...
The classic TWR1 and TWR2 LED glass wall packs come with adjustable light output (ALO) technology. ...
Eaton has added a new ‘compact’ model to its class-leading MTL 937x-FB Fieldbus ...
The R16MTCPU, R32MTCPU, and R64MTCPU motion CPUs are dedicated motion control processors designed ...
The smallest robot controller in its class, the ultra-compact YRC1000micro minimizes installation ...
As part of the SICK AppSpace eco-system, the programmable SIM10xx Sensor Integration Machines offer ...
With the free, PC-based Festo Automation Suite commissioning software, getting a new drive package ...

 

Greenlee Versi-Tugger Handheld PullerEmerson announced the addition of a handheld puller to its Greenlee pulling lineup – the new G1 Versi-Tugger. The versatile and portable G1 is designed for pulls normally done by hand and can pull up to 68-percent faster when compared to manual pulling.

“We engineered and built G1 based on honest feedback from professionals,” said Adele Hendrix, product manager for Greenlee, Emerson. “We learned being fast wasn’t only about pull speed. From setup and pulling to unspooling the line after – the entire process should be quicker than pulling by hand. Our design delivers that speed.”

 

 

Read More

 

 

SICK SIM10xxAs part of the SICK AppSpace eco-system, the programmable SIM10xx Sensor Integration Machines offer multiple sensor data acquisition and fusion processes, thereby providing space for new application solutions. The acquired data is processed and visualized for important information, for example quality control or process analysis. In addition, the IoT gateway functions enable connection from the edge to the cloud via the Internet in the context of Industry 4.0. The SIM10xx products feature a powerful processor and Ethernet interfaces for cameras and LiDAR sensors. Other sensors can be integrated via IO-Link, for instance for distance and height measuring purposes.

 

Read More

 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Chad Alexander is a Branch Manager with Contact Automation, which provides automation integration ...
Rob Milner is the Canadian National Science, Automation, Optical Gas Imaging & sUAS Manager for ...
EIN sat down with WiRE President & CEO Joanna Osawe to learn more about WiRE and the ...
For the second consecutive year, Paul Hannania was among the 162 professionals and apprentices to ...
Alexander Couckuyt, Director of Operations for Southwire Canada, spent the majority of his ...
Stephanie Medeiros leads ABB Canada’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure team, as well ...
Electrical Industry Canada had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Davis of Newfoundland Power, ...
An electrician by trade, Daniel Lacovetsky is the founder and President of Powertec Electric, an ...
Mike Morneau began his professional career in graphic arts after earning a Bachelor of Technology ...
AimLite offers a vast choice of lighting lines to facilitate any lighting project’s needs. ...

 

Paul HannaniaBy Blake Marchand

Held from November 7th to 9th in Orlando, Florida, the Ideal National Championships gives electricians a chance to display their skills in a high-level competition. For the first time, the event expanded internationally — over 55,000 electricians from 5 countries attempted to qualify for a chance to compete in the championship event.

For the second consecutive year, Paul Hannania was among the 162 professionals and apprentices to compete in the National competition. 

 

Read More

 

 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil