Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

June 10, 2022

LDS NETCO CNMIE 400By Blake Marchand

NETCO (National Electrical Trade Council) is an alliance of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and CECA (Canadian Electrical Contractor Association), their primary mandate is to promote national standards in electrical training.

Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced $13 million in funding for training programs across the province. NETCO received over $4 million in funding from Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF), in part to develop virtual reality (VR) training programs for electrical apprentices and electricians. We spoke to Chris Swick, who is the Executive Director and Denise Miller, NETCO’s Communications and Marketing Manager to learn more about the VR training they are rolling out. NETCO is a national organization, but the VR programming will currently be offered in Ontario because of the investment from the Ontario government to fund its development. Eventually they will look to bring similar programming nationally.

Right now, they are working on two courses through VR, the first is the basic level trade school for apprentices, which will launch this spring. The second is a hoisting and rigging course that is still in development.

For a typical beginner apprentice program, you learn to do receptacles, various styles of switches such as 3-way and 4-way, lighting panel board installations and lighting. In a live classroom setting this brings in the need for more classroom space, more consumables and cost.

The VR training reduces the material costs for the training centres and for the students, Swick said, “They can go in there and practice in a safe environment. They don’t have to worry about shock hazards or anything like that, and when they’re finished, they can take it to a real-life scenario.”

 

 

Swick said that the basic level VR training would take place prior to entering trade school, “What I found when I was a training director, if we give these complimentary supports before they went to trade school, they’re marks would go up,” he said.

Miller added that the VR component will also help attract more people to the trades, “When you involve technologies like this it opens the eyes to the younger generation.”

Miller said that she received a lot of emails from the general public looking for more information because of the VR training, so it becomes an open door into the trades for people who may not have considered it otherwise. As well as being a test case for the future of skilled trades training beyond just electrical. VR can also used as a recruitment tool at tradeshows and career events to let people experience the trade, without the risk factor. Which isn’t something that is easily done when working  with electrical.

The safety element that Swick mentioned may also widen the avenue into the skilled trades for people to get experience and gain confidence without the pressure of making a mistake.

Right now, they are doing the VR training as part of the pre-apprenticeship program but eventually they would like to develop it for other levels of trade school. Which again, can cut down material costs for training centres, as well as open up the possibility for training in different applications. By adding a virtual component, they can have fewer physical training components, which can be expensive.

Another aspect is being able to update the curriculum easily when the codes change.

NETCO will be rolling out the apprentice training this spring and are still developing their hoisting and rigging course. VR has a lot of potential to prepare people in the less accessible areas of the trade by making a broader range of training more accessible. Looking at the green energy sector, for example, you have equipment like wind turbines and solar panels that students can get experience with before physically working with the equipment to save on the cost of training, similar to what they are doing with the hoisting and rigging course.

“At the end of the day you would have to get a crane in there and properly rig loads. This will get them to the point where they don’t have to have that high expensive of getting the crane in,” said Swick.

The course will be more immersive than the basic level training, “The way we’re trying to get it designed and setup is so that you have one instructor with four students in the VR environment all at the same time,” which will be the first of its kind for VR training.

The key aspect for Swick is safety, “a lot of things can go wrong when you’re doing hoisting and rigging.”

With this program, the software is being developed specifically for them and they’ll be using Alienware computers paired with the Oculus headsets, which will improve the quality of the VR simulation. “We made sure to put the proper investment in that, because we didn’t want something that is going to lag out all the time,” he said.

“These models are something that Chris is looking to develop to get funding to roll out all across the country at the IBEW training centres, that’s a work in progress too, hopefully that will be the end game,” said Miller, “and it will make training consistent at the IBEW training centres all across Canada, consistency is important and we’re seeing that a lot of the training centres are getting on board with that, because its making it easier for them.”

Swick added that standardization across Canada was an important aspect and something they are trying to work towards. When you have standardization, it streamlines the resources required for the training centres and it also ensures that training is done to the same level. That’s the ultimate goal with programs like OASIS and the VR Training.

These programs being funded through the Ontario government will help them develop best practices with the goal of rolling out programs in other areas of the country. As Miller noted, they’re currently working to secure more funding, as well as add to the training programs they can do through the VR.

VR will help them to improve the quality of training, and improve access to training, while also improving safety. The VR component is in addition to real life training to better prepare people for when they physically get on the tools. Ultimately, Swick said, “we’re trying to achieve the highest standard possible.”

There are 11 training centres in Ontario that will use the VR training and it will run for one year under the SDF investment. 650 people will go through the two programs.  

VR training was showcased at their annual NETCO Conference which took place in Halifax at the end of May. Sean Bernard from Ideal Industries Canada led a demonstration with training on VR technology and the keynote speaker, Trent Soholt had a discussion on the topic of Integrating Innovation in Experimental Learning.

"All was well received by the attendees of the conference with many training directors eager to get started. VR is still the word for the 2023 NETCO Conference, August 13th in Toronto with the theme “Virtual is the New Reality,”' said Miller.

Miller noted that people who want to access this training need to reach out to their local IBEW training centre. NETCO develops the curriculum that is then deployed through the IBEW.

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The Electrical Contractors Association of BC (ECABC) has announced the impending departure of ...
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough was at ...
The launch of the Apprenticeship Service stands to help overcome financial barriers employers face ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out ...
43 years ago, Steve Silverstein bought a table saw and a delivery van and began a revolution in the ...
E.B. Horsman & Son (EBH) has announced their Victoria location will be officially moving to a ...
 The Maritime’s largest Mechanical and Electrical event took place last Wednesday and ...
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is calling all professional and student-apprentice electricians to come out ...
Vivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority ...
The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution ...

Become a Wiser Approved Installer

Wiser Approved Installer

Get access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.

 

 

 

Read More


 



Vivi WhiteVivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) by the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

“As Chair, I am pleased that the Ontario Government recently appointed Vivi White to the Board,” said Annette Bergeron. “The Electrical Safety Authority’s efforts over the years have greatly improved the safety of the people of Ontario. It’s an important mandate and requires a strong, talented and diverse board as we transform into a modern regulator.”

 

Read more


 

Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

Read More

 


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Grimard is More Competitive and Produces Estimates 3X Faster with Procore

ProcoreWhen the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

Read More


 



 

FlukeElectrical distribution problems are not always immediately identified as issues with power quality. An example of this is a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker. When it trips, the indication is generally a short circuit, ground fault, or overload. At times this can be put down to an old breaker that needs replacing.

However, it’s important to investigate the types of loads on the system and monitor harmonics for a potential disturbance. This article explores common issues with power quality and how to troubleshoot those issues.

 

 

Read More


 

EIN Romex 12 2 Recall 400This recall involves a yellow electrical wire, 12/2 NMD90 75M Romex SIMpull cable, sold by the spool. Products were also sold at Home Depot designated as article 108196.  Only cables with a time stamp between 12:41 and 18:02 are affected by this recall. 

The recalled product contains a neutral wire that is a smaller 14-gauge wire, contrary to the stamp on the wire identifying both the neutral and “hot” wires as 12-gauge (i.e., "12/2"). 

The recalled product contains a 14-gauge neutral wire instead of 12-gauge (as labelled), thus it may not perform as expected in 12-gauge applications, resulting in a risk of those applications having impaired performance and/or compliance with safety codes or standards.

Go HERE for more information


 

SimplySnap: It Just Works.

SynapseSmart technology is only smart if it works, and SimplySnap? It just works.
Scalable, field-proven, DLC NLC 5.0 qualified, and easy-to-install wireless network
lighting controls are in-stock. Explore energy code compliant SimplySnap
technology here.

Read More

 


 

Product News

  • Prev
Ericson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and ...
Intermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation ...
Klein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, ...
Cree LED, anSGHcompany, announced the launch ofXLamp® Element G LEDs, delivering a new ...
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed ...
IDEC Corporation has released a complete product line of S3TL series ferrules, wire strippers, ...
Corning CCH pigtailed cassettes are factory assembled, quality tested, and available in LC and ...
QuickLink delivers the fastest downlighting installation HALO has to offer. Installers can power up ...
Kidde HomeSafe™ is a comprehensive suite of smart home safety devices to help protect against ...
Combination Couplings used to join 3/4" EMT conduit via set screw to 14/2 through 10/3 Steel and ...


Greenlee Mobile Bending Table for 881 Series Hydraulic BendersGreenlee is bringing secure and easy-to-transport conduit bending capabilities to jobsites with the introduction of its Mobile Bending Table for 881 Series Hydraulic Benders. The new product combines the latest in anti-theft protection with enhanced mobility, easy set-up and quick teardown.

“Electricians are constantly trying to do work more efficiently. Anytime we can shave time off a job, it’s a win – and this product delivers that with easier set-up and portability. At the same time, we know that protecting equipment from theft is an issue for a lot of tradespeople. The new Greenlee Mobile Bending Table for the 881 Series Hydraulic Benders is our latest solution to help professionals safeguard their investments and increase productivity,” 

Read More


 

 

Klein Tools Upgraded Testing KitKlein Tools introduces the Premium Electrical Test Kit.

Premium Electrical Test Kit (Cat. No. 69355)

  • Refreshed kit that features three new product releases geared towards a variety of electrical testing applications.
  • Kit includes instructions and all required batteries.

Manual-Ranging Digital Multimeter with Right-Angle Test Leads (Cat. No. MM320 – Exclusive to Cat. No. 69355 and Cat. No. MM320KIT)

  • Measures up to 600V AC/DC voltages, 10A DC current and 2-ohm resistance
  • Also tests batteries, diodes and continuity.

Read More


 

 

Brady M211Design, preview and print – all from your phone. Simple and intuitive, the M211 Label Printer is built for the job site, running all day on a full charge while resisting drops, shocks and crushes.

  • Simple. Easy. Intuitive.  Seamlessly design, preview and print labels from the industry leading Express Labels App on your familiar smartphone and swiftly connect to your printer.
  • Label it once.  Now with both pre-sized and continuous labels in 90+ cartridges, filled to the brim with reliable, tested and dedicated label materials that stay attached and remain legible on every surface and in any environment.

 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Watt’s the Word is a recently launched Electrical Industry Podcast hosted by Zack Hartle and ...
Allana Kellett-Jamieson loves working in the electrical sector and is proud of the great focus ...
As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the ...
Karen Pullen knows what it’s like to be the only woman on a construction site, and as a proud ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada.   ...
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. ...


Brent NeillyBy Blake Marchand

Brent Neilly is the Group Marketing Manager with Milwaukee, he has a background in business communications with a B.A. from Brock University, as well as experience working in the construction industry.

“When I joined TTI (Milwaukee’s parent company) it was kind of a perfect match, I had some marketing knowledge from my business degree and some industry experience from working in the trades.” Neilly gained his experience covering an area from Orillia to Timmins, Ontario when he first joined the company as a Field Sales Rep, as well as on their Job Site Core Trade Specialists in the GTA where he found his niche working with utility clients. 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 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