Partnership Honored for Support of Rebuilding Together St. Louis
A nearly 20-year commitment by the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership to improve lives of families in low income homes is being honored by the state of Missouri. The Missouri Community Service Commission, a division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, has given the partnership a Show Me Service Award for its 19 years of volunteer service to support Rebuilding Together St. Louis.
Rebuilding Together St. Louis has provided free home repairs in St. Louis for more than 25 years, focusing on projects that improve homeowners’ safety, health, and independence. Since 2003, the Electrical Connection has donated more than $2.3 million in labor and materials to make electrical repairs and improvements to 570 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans. 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).
In honoring the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership, the Missouri Community Service Commission noted, “every year, an army of 100-plus International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 electricians and more than 20 electrical contractor members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) give up their Saturday for a special purpose. They unite under the banner of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership to make critical lifesaving electrical repairs to low-income homes in the St. Louis area. The partnership pays for all of the materials for the repairs, and the labor is all donated. The now 19-year commitment by the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection to help Rebuilding Together St. Louis improve homes of low-income residents was put on hold in 2020 because of the pandemic. But on April 24, 2021, it was renewed with vigor when the partnership repaired 15 homes. ‘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.
The repairs and upgrades vary – a new ceiling fan, light fixture or bathroom vent, improvements to electrical panels, new switches and sockets – but it is the trained eye of the skilled electrician that uncovers the most critical issue needing repair: faulty wiring. For the elderly living in aging homes on a fixed income, electrical systems can fall into disrepair. And the “cheap fix” of an unskilled “handyman” can create a hidden fire danger or shock hazard. The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership encounters innumerable hazards including exposed wires, open splices, overloaded panel boxes and a lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) switches and outlets.
Repairs require skill and knowledge of the National Electrical Code that IBEW/NECA diligently follow in all its installations and repairs. Older homes remain the dominant housing stock in St. Louis with many in disrepair in the poorer neighborhoods. The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership is helping Rebuilding Together make the homes most in need safer, improving the quality of life for its residents.”
Rebuilding Together nominated the Electrical Connection for the Show Me Service Award. 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.
Learn more about all of the recipients of the Show Me Service Awards. 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.