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FreightWeekSTL 2020 Virtual set for May 18 – 22

in Associations/News

FreightWeekSTL returns for its third consecutive year, but will be in a different form this year due to current social distancing requirements. FreightWeekSTL will be held as a virtual event from May 18 through May 22. Virtual FreightWeekSTL 2020 will continue the tradition of bringing together industry leaders to share ideas and help develop the latest innovations that are shaping the future of the freight industry. The fully online experience will feature a variety of engaging educational and collaborative sessions during which industry experts and leaders in freight, logistics and transportation will share ideas and explore ways to support the long-term growth of the regional and national freight economies, while also providing insight on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite changing to an online format, hosting these sessions virtually still allows us to offer some of the most relevant and timely topics in the logistics industry and continue to advance the St. Louis region as an innovator and leader in multimodal freight opportunities,” said Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President of Multi-Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development, which operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway as one of its enterprises.

The informative sessions to be presented during Virtual FreightWeekSTL 2020 include the following:

  • A panel discussion on the creative approach by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Kaskaskia Regional Port District to keep the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam open longer during the historic 2019 flooding, and the measures these entities and the U.S. Coast Guard take to respond to the impact of other disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Another panel will discuss the importance of the ongoing collaboration between the Missouri and Illinois inland ports and its many benefits as they continue to play a critical role in the global supply chain, along with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on their operations and construction projects.
  • The third session of the week will feature a conversation with David Branding, Managing Director for the St. Louis office of JLL, a world leader in real estate services. Attendees tuning in will hear Branding’s unique perspectives on the compelling selling points the St. Louis region has to offer site selectors and national and international companies.
  • The week will also be highlighted by a live digital release of the 2021 Priority Projects List, a valuable tool used by the St. Louis Regional Freightway to advocate for support and funding for critical infrastructure improvements that strengthen the St. Louis region’s position as a world-class freight and logistics hub to the national and global supply chains.
  • Capping off FreightWeekSTL 2020, Mary Lamie will release of the latest Industrial Market Report for the region and host a virtual chat with Doug Rasmussen, President & CEO of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, to discuss the findings of a series of recent interviews with industry leaders regarding their views of the St. Louis region and its appeal for site selectors as well as an evaluation of the region’s workforce and manufacturing and logistics markets.

“While we recognize that the present uncertainty makes it difficult to make plans and commitments, we’re hopeful our reformatted program will provide greater adaptability and flexibility for everyone’s schedules and help to attract a broad audience. Our goal is to continue bringing positive awareness and support for our manufacturing and logistics industries during these trying times, and we look forward to hosting this exciting series of virtual events,”  Lamie said.

The St. Louis Regional Freightway is operated by Bi-State Development, which was tapped in 2014 to launch an all-purpose authority for freight operations and opportunities within the St. Louis region.

“As a dynamic and multi-faceted resource for economic development in the St. Louis region, Bi-State Development is proud of the role our Freightway enterprise plays in further enhancing the St. Louis region’s standing as a premier international freight hub,” said Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development. “FreightWeekSTL has proven to be a signature initiative in Mary’s efforts to tightly connect the private and public sectors while highlighting the region’s greatest freight and site selection strengths, and we are pleased to see it continue in 2020 in this virtual format.”

FreightWeekSTL was originally launched in 2018 in partnership with The Inland Marine Expo (IMX) conference, an annual trade show for the inland and intracoastal marine transportation industry. While the 2020 conference has been rescheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2020 at the Dome at America’s Center, FreightWeekSTL is continuing to partner with IMX by including two of the panel discussions originally scheduled to take place during IMX as part of the FreightWeek line up.

To learn more about FreightWeek STL, see the dates and times for each session or register to attend the virtual sessions, visit  For those who are unable to tune in live for the individual sessions, all of the content presented will be accessible on the website and via the organization’s social media channels. For additional details on the postponed Inland Marine Expo (IMX), visit

The St. Louis Regional Freightway is a Bi-State Development enterprise formed to create a regional freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri which comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area. Public sector and private industry businesses are partnering with the St. Louis Regional Freightway to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States through marketing, public advocacy, and freight and infrastructure development. To learn more, visit


Coronavirus Precautions Puts Spotlight on Communication Technicians

in Associations/News

            “When career fairs resume, job seekers and businesses will have a greater appreciation for careers in the electrical industry – particularly communication technicians.”  For Dennis Gralike, director of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center, this will be the year to emphasize the need for skilled communication technicians as businesses, schools and other industries adopt remote learning and working strategies to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.  The training center is jointly operated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), which form the Electrical Connection partnership.

“I think back to when IBEW/NECA invested millions of dollars to upgrade the training center in 1999 to fortify training in low voltage voice/video/data, the backbone of our connectivity today,” said Gralike.  “While it defines much of what our communication technicians install, it’s still not well understood as work that our IBEW apprentices and journey workers are trained in and perform for a variety of industries”

In the last several weeks, businesses, hospitals, schools and civic entities have had to rely on the connectability that skilled communication technicians provide.  Social distancing and sheltering in place are a well established strategies to combat the spread of virus.  On April 2, 2020, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a strain on the region’s broadband capacity because so many people were connecting online.

“The communication technicians we produce at the training center are highly proficient at installing the backbone of local area networks and wide area networks that connect businesses internally and externally,” said Gralike. “That allows people to work or take classes from home or remotely.  We offer blended learning here at the training center, offering classes in house and online.  We want to encourage high school students and others to consider the importance of this highly complex construction work that we will become more dependent on in the future.”

Gralike notes that several hundred IBEW apprentices and journey workers are experiencing firsthand the value of communication technicians as they engage in remote learning while the training center temporarily suspends in-person classes due to the pandemic.

Currently the training center has 63 telecommunications apprentices and several journey level communication technicians enrolled in continuing education classes.  The 8,000 hours of training includes:

  • Network Technologies
  • Wide Area Networking
  • Fiber Optics Technologies
  • Structured Cabling
  • CCTV and Surveillance Systems
  • Green Building Fundamentals
  • Paging and Voice Evaluation
  • Local Area Networking
  • Nurse Call and Sound Reinforcement Systems
  • Total Building Automation
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Test Instruments

“It’s more than just pulling cable,” noted Steve Potts, president of Primary Systems, which employs communication technicians in a number of its projects, many serving the healthcare industry. “We perform a full spectrum of integrated communications help hospitals improve the patient experience, optimize treatment, maximize productivity and track important data.  We have three RNs on our staff to help guide us in future applications, which is especially valuable when hospitals have to deal with a health crisis.”  Primary Systems installs integrated communication platforms for patient flow, clinical communications, nurse call systems, electronic medical records, supply records and more.

The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  It represents more than 5,000 highly skilled and safe IBEW electricians and the more than 150 NECA electrical contractors who employ them.  For more than 75 years, the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership has trained more electricians/communication technicians than any education program in Missouri. Its award winning work provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Learn more at

SIBA Elects New Governing Board

in Associations/News

New SIBA board of director Tom Lavelle, Vice President of Construction for Keller Construction, Inc., Glen Carbon, Illinois has agreed to serve a three-year term as a Board of Director of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.

SIBA Officers for 2020 are:

  • President – Hank Rohwedder, Hank’s Excavation & Landscaping, Inc., Belleville, Illinois
  • First Vice President – Jeff Limbaugh, Limbaugh Construction Co., Inc., Granite City, Illinois
  • Second Vice President – Scott Plocher, Plocher Construction Company, Inc., Highland, Illinois
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Richard Boyer, Boyer Fire Protection, St. Louis, Missouri.

SIBA is celebrating 75 years of service to the commercial construction industry in Southern Illinois in 2020. A celebration of this milestone is scheduled for October 29. The Southern Illinois Builders Association is a trade association of contractors representing approximately 500 commercial and industrial building, highway and utility construction contractors throughout Southern Illinois.

Ameren Missouri Offers Tips on How to Stay Safe Ahead of Spring Storms

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A massive summer thunderstorm with multiple lightning strikes dwarfs the city of Pretoria on a hot summers night. Pretoria is a city and administrative capital of the South Africa. Founded in 1855, it became the capital of the Transvaal in 1860. Pretoria is situated in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the countrys three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government. Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) located in its eastern suburbs. Pretoria is named after the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, and within South Africa is popularly known as the Jacaranda City due to the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens.

Extra precautions being taken in light of COVID-19 

Ameren Missouri is putting additional safety measures in place and reminding customers to prepare for severe weather, as this year’s spring storm season coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety is the first and foremost concern during any weather event, and Ameren Missouri reminds customers to be mindful of social distancing and maintain a safe, 6-foot distance if engaging with Ameren Missouri crews in the field.

“More people are home, so there’s more interest in the important work that we’re doing,” said Patrick Smith, vice president of division operations for Ameren Missouri. “Our crews are practicing social distancing, and we ask our customers to please do the same if they see an Ameren Missouri co-worker working in their neighborhood.”

When severe weather hits Ameren Missouri also reminds customers to:

  • Stay away from downed power lines and assume they are energized. Also stay clear of brush and trees that may hide downed lines. Report downed lines and outages by calling Ameren Missouri at 1.800.552.7583 or 9-1-1.
  • Create a plan for seeking shelter in the event of severe weather and discuss the plan with all members of the household.
  • Keep phones and electronics charged when storms are in the forecast.
  • Prepare a storm kit with emergency telephone numbers, flashlights and a radio with fresh batteries, along with bottled water and non-perishable foods that don’t require heating. Also include medication and special items for infants, the elderly or family members with special needs.
  • Turn refrigerators to coldest setting and leave the refrigerator doors closed.

Customers can visit to view the outage map, sign up for outage alerts and track estimated restoration times. The outage map can also be viewed by downloading the free Ameren app.

“Now more than ever, there is an increased need to keep our communities connected to the power they need,” Smith said. “Ameren Missouri is committed to keeping essential businesses running and customers connected as they shelter in place at home.”

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or

Contractors Report Receiving PPP Loans, Adding Workers; ABI Plummets In March

in Associations/Companies

Submitted by the AGC

 Quick receipt of Paycheck Protection Program loans may be helping contractors retain or add staff, despite mounting project cancellations. A survey that AGC conducted online April 20-23 drew 849 respondents. Of the 741 who answered a question about PPP loans, 74% reported applying for a loan: 44% had received funds, 15% had been approved but had not received funds, 8% were awaiting an answer, and 7% had applied but had been told no more funds were available. The share of respondents who reported they had added workers jumped to 13% from 4% of respondents in AGC’s April 6-9 survey, and the share that reported they had furloughed or terminated workers declined to 35% from 40%. These favorable indications occurred even though the share who reported winning additional work held steady at 18% of respondents, the share reporting that an owner had halted an ongoing project had risen from 41% of respondents to 50%, and the share reporting that an owner had canceled an upcoming project had climbed from 19% of respondents to 28%. The share reporting project delays or disruptions edged up from 65% of respondents to 67% and the share reporting suppliers had notified them that deliveries would be late or canceled rose from 42% of respondents to 49%.

The Architecture Billings Index “plummeted in March [seasonally adjusted] by 20.1 points to a score of 33.3,” the American Institute of Architects reported on Wednesday. The index measures the percentage of surveyed architecture firms that reported higher billings than a month earlier, less the percentage reporting lower billings. Any score below 50 (on a 0-100 scale) indicates a decrease in billings. “In addition, indicators of future work also declined at a staggering rate in March as uncertainty abounds. Firms also reported a sharp decline in their backlogs, from a near-record high of 6.3 months at the start of the year to an average of 5.0 months at the end of the first quarter. Billings also declined across all regions of the country and all firm specializations in March. Conditions softened the most at firms located in the Northeast, likely due in large part to the nearly complete shuttering of New York City, as well as the construction stop order in Boston. Firms with a commercial/industrial specialization also reported the softest conditions so far, with so much uncertainty over what the future holds for the hospitality and retail sectors in particular. Billings declined the least at firms with an institutional specialization as some of those firms reported actually seeing a modest uptick in work due to increased demand for healthcare facilities.” The billings and inquiries indexes date to 1995, the design contracts index to 2010. All three indexes had record lows and record one-month declines.

“Total construction starts declined 5% from February to March” at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on April 15. “Volatility caused by the presence or absence of large projects in healthcare and the utility/gas plant category, however, skewed the analysis. In March, nonresidential building starts fell 9% from February (seasonally adjusted), while residential building dropped 11%. Nonbuilding construction starts, however, rose 14% during the month. For the 12 months ending March 2020, total construction starts were 2% higher than they were for the same period ending March 2019. Residential building starts were 3% higher, while nonbuilding starts were up 5%….Nonresidential building starts, however, were down less than 1%….‘Considering the calamity that occurred towards the end of March as the fallout from the covid-19 (coronavirus) hit the economy, construction starts held up rather well,’ stated [Chief Economist Richard Branch]. “Construction starts in March were unlikely to be greatly impacted as projects that broke ground during the month likely had materials sourced and in-place and labor booked well ahead of the scheduled groundbreaking. That momentum and planning is difficult to reverse at the last minute. Additionally, most of the stay-at-home orders and construction moratoriums were not instituted until the last week of the month and into April. Therefore, April construction starts are likely to be a very different story with states like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania among others banning construction activity. April’s starts data will be the first true indication of how the crisis will impact the construction industry.’”

“CBRE Research found that 16 of the top 20 markets for under-construction [industrial] space—accounting for 70% of total under-construction inventory nationally—have workers active and on site, with most of these projects deemed ‘essential,” CBRE reported on Tuesday. “Pennsylvania’s I-78/81 Corridor, Philadelphia, Central New Jersey and Oakland are the only markets that have shut down construction sites, although in New Jersey and Pennsylvania waivers can be granted if the construction is for buildings that will distribute essential product.”

In the latest quarterly Business Conditions Survey that the National Association for Business Economics conducted April 13-16 and released today, 86% of 105 corporate economists expect that inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (real GDP) will decrease between the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 and Q1 2021, including 70% who predict a decline of 2% or more. Of the 66 respondents who reported on their firms’ capital spending on structures, 15% reported rising spending in the past three months, while 29% reported falling spending. Of the 60 respondents who reported on their firms’ expected capital spending on structures over the next three months, only 5% expect spending at their firms to rise vs. 48% who expect spending to fall.

“Insurance premiums…for new construction of apartment rentals are…rising,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. “Fore Property Co., a development firm that has built some 25,000 apartments over the past three decades, recently saw 100% increase in its insurance for buildings under construction, according to Vice President Howard Stocking.”

Electrical Connection Contractors Dominate Annual Listing of Largest Electrical Contractors in St. Louis

in Associations/Companies

The St. Louis Business Journal’s annual ranking of the region’s largest electrical contractors features 18 Electrical Connection member contractors among the 21 firms ranked.  The 18 contractors are all members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA). NECA partners with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection labor-management partnership. Collectively, the St. Louis NECA contractors ranked employ more than 3,000 IBEW electricians and communication technicians.

The rankings are by gross billings in 2019 and can be found at this link.  Among the 18 St. Louis NECA electrical contractors on the April 24, 2020 Business Journal listing and their revenues are:

  • Sachs Electric — $559.92 million
  • J.F. Electric Inc. — $271.10 million
  • Guarantee Electrical Co. — $205.00 million
  • PayneCrest Electric Inc. — $185.00 million
  • Aschinger Electric Co. — $56.25 million
  • Kaiser Electric — $43.90 million
  • Bell Electrical Contractors Inc. — $37.00 million
  • Kaemmerlen Electric — $34.50 million
  • TSI Global Cos., LLC — $33.65 million
  • K&F Electric Inc., a Zak Co. — $32.19 million
  • TD4 Electrical and Communications LLC — $28.90 million
  • Kay Bee Electric — $25.30 million
  • Pyramid Electrical Contractors — $24.00 million
  • RJP Electric LLC — $23.75 million
  • Schaeffer Electric Co. Inc. — $23.00 million
  • Vision Electric & Systems – $17.00 million
  • Schneider Electric of St. Louis LLC — $16.02 million
  • J. Bathe Electric — $8.10 million

NECA members in the rankings include minority and women-owned contractors.  The industries served by the NECA contactors on the list span residential and commercial, including healthcare, power, industrial, retail, multifamily, renewable energy, institutional, R&D, data centers, schools and more.

St. Louis NECA contractors employ IBEW electricians and communication technicians.  The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Learn more at

Home Builders Association Donates $20,000 to Rebuilding Together-St. Louis

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On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2020 HBA President Bill Wannstedt of Consort Homes (left) presented a $20,000 donation to Elaine Powers, executive director of Rebuilding Together-St. Louis.

The donation will be used toward Rebuilding Together-St. Louis’ Rebuilding Day. Rebuilding Together revitalizes neighborhoods in partnership with the community by rehabilitating the houses of low-income home owners, particularly the elderly and the disabled, so that they may continue to live independently in comfort and safety. Rebuilding Day is the organization’s annual one-day blitz where volunteers make home repairs for low-income, elderly and disabled home owners in the St. Louis Metro area.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

MCA-EMO Elects 2020-21 Officers/Awards Scholarships

in Associations/News
Jeff Rush

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri today announced its new 2020-21 officers, elected at the chapter’s April 16 “virtual” association meeting.  The announcement was made by Kristy Stephens, executive director.

Jeff Rush, P.E., president, icon Mechanical, was elected MCA-EMO president and Steve Haberberger Sr., executive vice president, Haberberger, Inc., serves as vice-president.  Michael McCauliffe, president, Corrigan Company, serves as treasurer. Tim Decker, president, C & R Mechanical, begins his term as immediate past president.

New MCA-EMO board members, both elected to three-year terms to the board of directors, are: Kurt Voss, vice president of engineering, Integrated Facility Services and Jason Thompson, president, of Harold G. Butzer, Inc.  Thomas Skaggs, chief operating officer, Missouri Operations for Murphy Company, begins his second year of a three-year term on the board of directors.

MCA-EMO 2020 Scholars

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri also awarded $34,000 in scholarships this year. Four outstanding high school students entering college in September received $8,000 ($2,000 per academic year) and a University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter member received a one-time award of $2,000.

High School Scholars 

Ben Walker is from Bowling Green, MO (63334). Throughout his time at Bowling Green High School, Ben has maintained a high cumulative GPA and is active in his Future Business Leaders of America. He also volunteers at his church and has received multiple academic and leadership awards. Ben looks forward to attending Maryville University in St. Louis to study actuarial science in the fall. He is the son of Shannon and Darin Walker, who is employed with Corrigan Company.

Charles Katke is from Ballwin, MO (63011). In addition to a stellar GPA, Charles is involved in sports, community service and has held a job through most of his time at Marquette High School.  He currently volunteers as a Junior Board Member at the Ranken Jordan Children’s Hospital. Charles demonstrates leadership abilities as the team captain of his varsity hockey team and as an elected member of several boards at school.  He will head to the University of Mississippi in the fall to study mechanical engineering.  Charles is the son of Christy and Joseph Katke, who is employed with C&R Mechanical Company.

Madison Blanton is from Caseyville, IL (62232). Madison’s academic achievements at First Baptist Academy include a cumulative GPA of over 4.0.  She demonstrates peer leadership by acting as co-president on the Student Council and the Pep Squad coordinator.  Currently, she is co-director of Inner-City Summer Camp in Illinois and Co-Director and Teacher in Inner-City Ministries in Missouri.  Madison has been in the National Honor Society throughout her high school career and has received additional nominations and awards for her academics.  She has been accepted into Missouri Baptist University’s Direct Entry Nursing Program for the fall.  Madison is the daughter of LeAnn and Daniel Blanton, who is employed with Murphy Company.

Anna Massey is from Wildwood, MO (63038). Anna is a member of the National Honor Society and has maintained an excellent GPA throughout her time at Eureka High School.  Despite dealing with medical issues, she completed AP and honors classes, mentors incoming freshmen, and has been on the varsity swim team all four years of high school. Outside of school, Anna takes part in a swim club, and holds a job as a swim instructor where she is specially trained to work with kids with special needs. Anna’s dream is to work with kids who have been victims of extreme trauma. To achieve this goal, she plans to study child psychology/criminology at Southeast Missouri State in the fall. Anna is the daughter of Autumn and Brian Massey, who is employed with Johnson Controls, Inc.

MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri-Columbia Scholar: 

Derrick Jenkins is from Independence, MO (64058) - Derrick has been a member of the MCAA Student Chapter at Mizzou since 2017 and has taken part in three national competition projects – two of which resulted in Final Four selections.  Throughout the fall semester of school this year, Derrick worked as an intern for Murphy Company, where he helped to build the new University Precision Health Institute. He plans to complete his degree in mechanical engineering in May 2021.

MCA-EMO offers programs crucial to the ongoing success of contractors and vendors operating within the construction industry in Eastern Missouri. For more than 120 years, the MCA has provided cost-effective educational opportunities taught by qualified and experienced professionals in the MCA Training Center. MCA-EMO also offers industry events, networking opportunities, and sponsors a student chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  Visit:


Metro Electric Supply Celebrates Digital Earth Day Festival

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Metro participates in Earth-centered festivities, affected by current shelter at home policy 

Metro Electric Supply, a locally-owned and family operated wholesale residential, commercial and industrial electrical distributor, celebrates earthday365 with augmented programming and digital events to celebrate and educate.

“Being a part of this festival is more important now than ever, with everything going on, we are proud to celebrate environmental protection and preservation,” said Nick Frisella, energy efficiency sales and sustainability director of Metro Lighting and Metro Electric Supply and member of the board for earthday356. “This is an example of our dedication to sustainability and energy-efficient, Earth friendly technology.”

Due to the current pandemic, earthday365’s historic St. Louis Earth Day Festival, originally taking place on April 25-26, has been rescheduled to take place in Tower Grove Park on October 18, 2020, Earth Day’s half birthday. In its place, starting this week, the festival is offering digital programs from home via and will run online programs through Sunday, April 26.

“The response from our local environmental community has been astounding – they have truly demonstrated resilience in the face of unexpected adversity. The result is nine days of exciting live programming that will represent the full spectrum of sustainability-focused organizations in St. Louis,” says Dr. Jess Watson, executive director of earthday365.

Events include daily Yoga Flow from YogaBuzz, gardening and heritage skill classes, a Virtual Happy Hour from Young Friends of earthday365, Eco-trivia, Green Story Time, opportunities to win prizes and raffles, and more! Local vendors and sponsors will be highlighted online within themed-experience areas such as: Arts & Crafts, Down on the Farm, Energy & Green Building, Home & Family, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, Social Sustainability, Transportation & Alternative Fuels, Wellness & Spirituality, and Youth Corner.

Earth Day is recognized worldwide as the planet’s most significant civic Earth Day Network engagement event each year. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting everyone, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is going to be marked by many virtual events across the globe. earthday365 is proud to partner with the Earth Day Network in joining citizens across the globe in celebrating this important anniversary.

For more information and to join the virtual Earth Day festivities, visit


Metro Lighting and Metro Electric Supply is a locally-owned family business. For more information on energy savings, Metro’s services and locations or to shop online visit: or 

NECA Hosts Safety Stand-Down For COVID-19

in Associations/News

Electrical Contractors Focus on Safety During Pandemic 

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) recently announced plans to host a nationwide Safety Stand Down for COVID-19 on April 29. Electrical contractors across the country will invite employees, subcontractors, owners, architects and engineers to join the event to review company protocols and jobsite conditions, and ask questions, bringing focus to health and safety guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

“I’m proud to say that our contractors put safety first every day,” said NECA CEO David Long. “A safety stand-down is an inventive way of bringing the jobsite together to renew that focus, particularly in trying times like these.”

Participants of the stand down are invited to talk about their own experiences and ask questions about such things as proper use of personal protective equipment and how to effectively follow social distancing recommendations. Companies will review safety programs and policies to ensure all workers are protected.

“Electrical contractors continue to work each day on essential construction and infrastructure projects,” said Long. “Without our skilled and dedicated work force, our industry could not survive, let alone thrive.”

NECA is the voice of the $171 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office in Bethesda, Md., and 118 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development. Go to for more information. 

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