After the pandemic forced a year-long suspension, Electrical Connection volunteers are back at work to improve electrical systems and safety in low income homes. For the 18th year, the labor-management organization mobilized an army of electrical contractors and electricians to help Rebuilding Together St. Louis make much needed repairs to 15 homes. On Saturday, April 24, 2021 teams fanned out into area neighborhoods to provide free electrical improvements for the elderly and disabled courtesy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) which form the Electrical Connection partnership.
“We had a lot of catching up to do since the pandemic limited our access to volunteer resources as we continued serving our neighbors in need,” noted Elaine Powers, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis. “We are grateful to the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership for its enduring service to make much needed safety improvements and improve the lives of low income residents.”
The day began with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page addressing 150 IBEW electricians and 22 NECA and IBEW signatory electrical contractors gathered at the IBEW Union Hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave. They then fanned out into communities in the city and St. Louis County to make repairs and install improvements such as ceiling fans and better lighting.
“While everyone has struggled during the pandemic with unprecedented challenges, it has been especially hard for those who do not have the means or ability to make home repairs themselves,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “Our workforce and contractors believe it’s important to help stabilize lives and communities, especially after such a challenging year.”
St. Louis Chapter NECA Executive Vice President Doug Martin also noted the potential danger of residents making repairs themselves or hiring the unskilled to make repairs. “Safe electrical work requires a unique skill set that comes with a thorough understanding of the National Electrical Code,” said Martin. “The pandemic may have forced some to make repairs themselves or hire the unskilled creating potential shock or fire hazards, particularly with aging electrical infrastructure in these older neighborhoods. Our Electrical Connection team was mindful to look for faulty electrical issues as they made repairs.” Studies have shown the frequency of electrical fires is higher in homes more than 40 years old.
Since 2003, the Electrical Connection has donated labor and more than $880,000 in materials to improve 555 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.
The Electrical Connection represents the largest number of licensed commercial and residential electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the region with a searchable data base at www.electricalconnection.org.
Electrical Connection, NECA and IBEW signatory contractors who donated service trucks and tools in the Rebuilding Together effort this year included:
|· Bell Electrical||· Sachs Electric Co.|
|· Guarantee Electrical Contractors||· BRK Electrical Contractors|
|· Akron Electric||· Branson Electric|
|· Grasser Electric||· House Electric|
|· J Bathe Electric||· J West Electrical Contractors|
|· JCS Electric||· Kaiser Electric|
|· Kay Bee Electric||· Liberty Electric|
|· Lynn’s Electric||· M. R. Bathe Electric|
|· PayneCrest Electric||· RJP Electric|
|· Vision Electric||· Ultra Electric|
|· X-Cell Electric||· SAEC Electric|
For more than 25 years Rebuilding Together St. Louis has provided free home repair to low income homeowners and veterans in need so they may remain safely and comfortably in their own homes. Since its founding, the organization has rehabbed more than 3600 homes; 68 community spaces and touched more than 57,000 lives. For more information visit www.RebuildingTogether-STL.org or call 314-918-9918.
Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.