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April 16, 2007 A Penton Media Publication Vol. 6, No. 7


CONTENTS
Construction Hiring Bolsters March Jobs Report

Alliance to Save Energy Joins Lighting Efficiency Coalition

PUCT Releases Proposal to Expand Energy-Efficiency Programs

Pennsylvania School District Seeks Server Relocation

Wisconsin School District Needs Lighting Replacement

ASA-NM Partners with OSHA to Improve Jobsite Safety

7x24 Exchange 2007 Spring Conference

Windpower 2007 Conference & Exposition

NFPA World Safety Congress & Exposition

EC&M Code Change Conferences

Race Weekend Prize Online Drawing at E-Tradeshow


Sponsored Q&A Partners
A panel of professionals answers your questions on a variety of topics
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    Around the Circuit
    Construction Hiring Bolsters
    March Jobs Report

    Construction hiring accounted for nearly one out of three net new jobs in March -- 56,000 out of 180,000 in the entire nonfarm payroll sector -- even though the industry represents less than 6% of total employment, says Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Washington, D.C.

    Part of the gain was a rebound from a weather-induced drop in hiring in February, but three categories of nonresidential construction -- nonresidential building, specialty trade contractors, and heavy and civil engineering -- have added 3.4% to their ranks over the past year. According to Simonson, that is more than double the all-industry rate of 1.4%. The 146,000 nonresidential construction jobs added in that time outpaces the 125,000, or 3.6%, lost in residential building and specialty trades.


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    Alliance to Save Energy Joins Lighting Efficiency Coalition
    The Alliance to Save Energy, Washington, D.C., recently joined the Lighting Efficiency Coalition to advocate policies that will transform the U.S. marketplace to energy-efficient lighting products by 2016. It is the intent of the Alliance and the other founding coalition members to expand the group to include all stakeholders -- manufacturers of lighting fixtures and bulbs, trade associations, and environmental and consumer groups.

    Members of the coalition have pledged to push for government and utility incentives that would encourage consumers and businesses to replace their traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives, including compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), halogen bulbs, efficient incandescents, and eventually new technology such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The group will also advocate wider use of higher-efficiency fluorescent lighting in commercial buildings and more energy-efficient street lighting systems.

    PUCT Releases Proposal to Expand Energy-Efficiency Programs
    Austin, Texas-based Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) recently released a draft rulemaking proposal intended to improve and expand the energy-efficiency programs managed by Texas' regulated electric utilities. The commission hopes to conclude its rulemaking by August. A Texas law adopted in 1999 requires investor-owned electric utilities to offer cost-effective energy efficiency programs to meet at least 10% of the utility's annual electric load growth. The utility programs are often oversubscribed and underfunded. The commission will include in its rulemaking any changes to energy efficiency law that occur during the 80th Session of the Texas Legislature, which is scheduled to adjourn in June.


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    Project Watch
    Pennsylvania School District Seeks Server Relocation
    The Lewisburg Area School District is accepting sealed proposals for an electrical construction contract for all electrical work and equipment required to relocate the main distribution server to a new server room location at the Donald Eichhorn Middle School, Lewisburg, Pa. Bids will be received by the Lewisburg Area School District, in care of Ronald Kabonick, director of administrative services, at the District Office, 1951 Washington Ave., Lewisburg, Pa. until 1 p.m. EDT April 20. For more information, visit the Public Notices Web site.

    Wisconsin School District Needs Lighting Replacement
    Building Services for the Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison, Wis., is requesting bids for demolition of existing wall-mounted HID and ceiling-mounted incandescent lights and installation of new stem-mounted fluorescent light fixtures. Bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. CDT on April 24. Bid documents may be obtained from the owner at the offices of Building Services. For more information, contact the owner at (608) 204-6680 or visit the school district's Web site.


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    Eye on Safety
    ASA-NM Partners with OSHA
    to Improve Jobsite Safety

    The American Subcontractors Association of New Mexico (ASA-NM) and the New Mexico Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OSHA) recently signed the Safety and Health Initiative Partnership Agreement (SHIP) to help create safe working conditions for the state's subcontractors. The partnership agreement is geared toward reducing fatalities, injuries, and illnesses at the jobsite. SHIP contains milestones ASA-NM members must meet in order to participate in the program and requires the chapter to have a comprehensive health and safety program.

    Shows and Events
    7x24 Exchange 2007 Spring Conference
    The 7x24 Exchange International 2007 Spring Conference will be held from June 3-6 in Boca Raton, Fla. Topics at this year's event include fundamentals of UPS batteries in data centers, best practices for structured cabling systems, fire protection technology and codes, and the effects of UPS systems on emergency generator sets. For more information and to register, visit the 7x24 Exchange Web site.

    Windpower 2007 Conference & Exposition
    Organized by leaders in the wind energy industry, Windpower 2007 Conference & Exposition is scheduled for June 3-6 in Los Angeles. Conference sessions include "Fundamentals of Wind Energy," "Growing the Wind Energy Business," "Planning, Operations, Maintenance, and Safety," and "Transmission Grid Expansion." For more information and to register, visit the conference's Web site.






    NFPA World Safety Congress & Exposition

    Quincy, Mass.-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will present its World Safety Congress & Exposition from June 3-7 in Boston. With more than 150 sessions in 11 educational tracks, the event will cover topics such as codes and standards, building and life safety, fire protection engineering, and detection and suppression. For more information and to register, visit the NFPA Web site.

    EC&M Code Change Conferences
    Where do you turn when you need accurate information on changes to the National Electrical Code? Acknowledged as the leaders in providing information on the NEC, EC&M magazine and EC&M Seminars have been the preferred sources of this information for more than 60 years. Seven Code change conferences have been scheduled in the fall of 2007. Host cities include: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Orlando, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Seattle.

    As an approved provider with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), through its Registered Continuing Education provider Program (RCEPP), professional engineers attending any of our 2008 Code change conferences will receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs), a requirement for re-licensing in many states. The conferences are also approved by every state that has a continuing education requirement for contractors and electricians.

    For additional information on the dates and locations of these events, click here.

    Race Weekend Prize Online Drawing at E-Tradeshow
    One of this summer's biggest auto racing events will be the Generac Power Weekend on August 11 and 12 at the renowned Road America race track at Elkhart Lake, Wis. For the first time ever, the weekend will feature two of the sport's top series -- Saturday's Generac 500 in the American Le Mans Series (Le Mans-type cars competing in a three-hour endurance race) and Sunday's Generac Champ Car Grand Prix (Indy-style, open-wheel cars). Support races both days will feature Champ Car Atlantic, Star Mazda, and Formula BMW competition.

    EC&M has teamed up with Generac Power Systems to offer a special prize drawing for an expense-paid trip to this prestigious event for one lucky winner and a guest. The drawing is open until July 10 for visitors to the Generac booth at the online EC&M E-tradeshow. All registered visitors to the E-tradeshow, age 21 and older, are invited to submit an entry, one per person. Winners will receive free commercial air transportation to Milwaukee from anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada, two nights lodging (Friday and Saturday), weekend use of a rental car, onsite hospitality, and race tickets with paddock access.

    "This is an exciting prize that we are pleased to offer to our E-tradeshow guests," says Dave Miller, publisher of EC&M magazine. "Road America is one of the most beautiful venues in all of motor racing and the Generac Power Weekend is the highlight of their season, offering the chance to see two top racing series in one weekend. This promotion will give us an opportunity to attract new visitors to the e-tradeshow and provide yet another reason for those already registered to visit again. I invite everyone in the electrical business to visit the show and enter this drawing."

    EC&M's E-tradeshow is a virtual online event with interactive exhibits featuring some of the electrical industry's most innovative companies, including AEMC Instruments, PowerCET, Z Meter, Champion Fiberglass, Encelium, PowerSight, and Generac. The show, developed and hosted by Expo3D, also features periodic "live events" with presentations by industry experts on a variety of topics. Registration is easy from any personal computer and involves a quick download of the Expo3D software and show package. Navigating the show is simple, using arrow keys and mouse. Visitors can interact via real-time text messages or voice chat.

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