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May 31, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. 5, No. 10
CONTENTS
On the Job
and Out to Lunch

Cast Your Vote Now!

IES Emerges From Bankruptcy

NEMA Releases Revised Panelboard and Distribution Switchboard Standards

Florida Deemed Hot Spot for Merger and Acquisition Activity

Construction Starts Up 14.2% So Far This Year

Connecticut School District in Need of Electrical Upgrade

Contractor Seeks Sealed Bids for Education Addition in Wyoming

Business Brief

OSHA Releases First Aid Guide

IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting

BICSI Link Workshops

EASA Annual Convention & Expo

Harmonics & Power Quality Conference


Sponsored Q&A Partners
A panel of professionals answers your questions on a variety of topics
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Wiring Duct

david_murray David Murray
Ground Fault
Protection

david_morrison David Morrison
Labeling &
Identification

panduit
Jim
Gregorec Jim Gregorec
Test &
Measurement


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Frank Kiffin-
Bruce & Brian
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Standby
Power Generation

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    Short Circuits
    On the Job
    and Out to Lunch

    C'mon people, we all make mistakes. Some are just funnier than others. You know you like reading these stories, so why not submit one of your own?

    Got a story about a jobsite blunder you'd like to share? Send us your story of embarrassing on-the-job mistakes for use in EC&M's Short Circuits column. If we publish it, we'll send you a check for $25. Read the latest stories submitted by your fellow readers.

    Product of the Year Competition
    Cast Your
    Vote Now!

    Do you want the opportunity to win $100? Then visit the EC&M Web site by June 30 to cast your vote in EC&M's Product of the Year competition and help us to identify the best new product introduced for the electrical industry in 2005.

    When you visit the EC&M Product of the Year page, an automatic poll will pop up. (Note: If you have a pop-up blocker program, it may prevent you from seeing the poll. Temporarily disable the program to allow the poll to appear on your computer.) You then need to type in your contact information, choose your favorite product, and click submit. It's that simple.

    A panel of nine judges narrowed the field from 114 entrants to 24 category finalists, and now we need your help to determine the Platinum Award winner. The competition has honored innovation and excellence in product development in the electrical industry for the past six years.


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    Around the Circuit
    IES Emerges From Bankruptcy
    Houston-based Integrated Electrical Services (IES) recently said it and all of its domestic subsidiaries emerged from bankruptcy after filing for protection under Chapter 11 about three months ago, as reported in the May 26 edition of EC&M's sister publication Electrical Marketing newsletter. IES, one of the nation's largest electrical contractors, said the reorganization plan calls for the exchange of $173 million of senior subordinated notes into 82% of the reorganized company's stock.

    "I am extremely proud that we were able to exit Chapter 11 so quickly and have emerged from this process stronger and more competitive," said Byron Snyder, IES chairman, president and chief executive. "Throughout the process, we told customers, vendors, lenders, surety providers, employees and other constituencies that we expected this to be an accelerated process. Being able to deliver on that promise was very important in maintaining the support of all of these groups in IES. I want to thank all of those that have helped to make this a reality."

    As part of the reorganization, IES will refinance $50 million in senior convertible notes with the proceeds of a new term loan. The company will also convert outstanding common shares into about 15% of the new IES common stock, and issue to management 3% of the new IES common stock as restricted shares.

    NEMA Releases Revised Panelboard and Distribution Switchboard Standards
    The Low Voltage Distribution Equipment Panelboard and Distribution Board Product Group of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., recently published two revised standards covering panelboards and distribution switchboards. PB 1-2006, Panelboards, and PB 2-2006, Deadfront Distribution Switchboards, have been revised for the first time since 2000 and 2001.

    PB 1-2006 is a general standard for panelboards providing information on panelboard types, voltage ratings, short-circuit current ratings, construction requirements, and test procedures. PB 2-2006 covers floor-mounted deadfront switchboards rated 6,000A or less, 600V or less, which consist of an enclosure, molded-case circuit breakers, low-voltage power circuit breakers, fusible or non-fusible switches, instruments, metering equipment, monitoring equipment or control equipment, with associated interconnections and supporting structures.

    You can purchase the standards for $59 by visiting www.nema.org/stds/pb1.cfm and www.nema.org/stds/pb2.cfm or by contacting Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), (303) 397-2740 (fax), or on the Internet at http://global.ihs.com.

    Florida Deemed Hot Spot for Merger and Acquisition Activity
    According to Steve Gido, CFA, a principal with ZweigWhite, Natick, Mass., the Sunshine State is the most desired location in the country for external merger and acquisition (M&A) goals. In fact, Gido's firm has witnessed more than 40 transactions of Florida engineering, architecture, and environmental consulting firms since 2001 -- with another four announced in the first quarter of 2006.

    Following are a few reasons why Gido feels Florida has become such a hot spot for expansion. An estimated 1,000 people are moving into the state every day, creating a huge demand for all types of residential, land development, institutional, commercial, environmental, and state and local infrastructure projects. The state's economy has also diversified over the last 30 years, and its low tax environment and mild climate encourage new business creation. Management at many firms has also realized it's more realistic to acquire an existing Florida firm with a strong management team, dedicated staff, strong client base, and brand name in the markets they serve rather than deal with the obstacles of opening up a new branch office out of state.

    Construction Starts Up 14.2%
    So Far This Year

    The value of construction starts from January through April 2006, excluding residential projects, increased to $87.9 billion, according to a recent report from Reed Construction Data. In April 2006, starts increased 8.9% from March and 32.9% from April 2005. From the beginning of the year through April, the value of construction starts was 14.2% higher than the same period last year -- a trend that undoubtedly relates to the higher costs of construction and materials.



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    Project Watch
    Connecticut School District in Need of Electrical Upgrade
    Fairfield Public Schools in Fairfield, Conn., is requesting bids to upgrade the interior electrical distribution system at two of its elementary schools. There will be a mandatory pre-bid meeting on June 6 at 10 a.m. in the front lobby of Jennings Elementary School, located at 31 Palm Drive, Fairfield, Conn. Work will begin on July 5 and must be completed prior to August 29, 2006. Sealed bids for this project must be received by the purchasing authority at the office of the Director of Purchasing, First Floor, Independence Hall, 725 Old Post Road, Fairfield, Conn., 06824 by 11 a.m. on June 13, 2006. For more information on Bid #2006-95, download the bid document.

    Contractor Seeks Sealed Bids for Education Addition in Wyoming
    Groathouse Construction, Inc. and the Sublette Co. School Dist. No. 1 are requesting pre-qualified subcontractor bids for work, including electrical and mechanical, on 5th and 6th grade additions in Pinedale, Wyo. Faxed bids will be accepted at (307) 367-4626 until 2 p.m. MT, on June 22, 2006. Sealed bids will be accepted at Sublette Co. School Dist. No. 1 office, 101 E. Hennick, Pinedale, Wyo., 82941 until 3:00 p.m. MT on June 22, 2006. Mechanical and electrical subcontractors must provide 5% bid bond. Successful mechanical and electrical bidders must provide 100% payment and performance bonds. A pre-bid meeting will be held June 12, 2006, at 1 p.m., at 101 E. Hennick in Pinedale, Wyo. To receive a prequalification form and bidding information, fax or e-mail your request to Groathouse Construction at (307) 742-7124 or cjohnson@groathouse.com.


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    Introducing the Great Gear program, a way to acquire free gifts by collecting and redeeming B-Line Bucks found on B-Line's fastener product boxes. Simply remove your B-Line Bucks from the box label and use them to select from a wide assortment of gear in B-Line's Great Gear catalog. To obtain a catalog and order forms, see your local B-Line distributor, or visit our website at www.b-line.com


    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    MDE Electric, a multi-family electrical contractor based in Sunnyvale, Calif., recently announced it is expanding operations by opening a new branch office in San Francisco to address the growing number of projects in this city as well as San Mateo and the North Bay. Mark Lynch, who was appointed general manager for MDE North, says the firm plans to extend the niche it's built in the South Bay multi-family market to the San Francisco area.

    MDE North's services include pre-construction, trench work, design/build, electrical contracting, telecommunications wiring, and lighting design and installation. The new branch is currently working on several multi-family projects, including a 148-unit rental property, a 224-unit design/build condominium, a 236-unit apartment complex, a 280-unit condominium project, and the recently completed 25-unit transitional housing project.

    For more business briefs, visit EC&M's Web site.


    ADVERTISEMENT
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    Eye on Safety
    OSHA Releases First Aid Guide
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, D.C., recently issued a new guide to help employers and employees develop more effective workplace first aid programs. Entitled "Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program," the literature identifies four essential elements for first-aid programs: management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health training. The guide details the primary components of a first-aid program at the workplace, including: identifying and assessing workplace risks; designing a written program that is specific to the worksite and complies with OSHA first-aid requirements; instructing all workers about the program, including what to do if a coworker is injured or ill; and evaluating and modifying a program to keep it current, including regular assessment of the first-aid training course. OSHA recommends that training courses include instruction in general and workplace hazard-specific knowledge and skills, incorporating automated external defibrillator (AED) training into CPR training if an AED is available at the work site, and periodically repeating first-aid training to help maintain and update knowledge and skills.

    Shows and Events
    IEEE Power
    Engineering Society General Meeting

    The Power Engineering Society will hold its 2006 general meeting June 18-22, 2006 at the Palais des congreÌs in Montreal. With its theme "Innovation and Reinvestment in Power Infrastructure," the conference offers an international forum to address policy, infrastructure, and workforce issues. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in many technical sessions and tours, committee meetings, and networking opportunities. There will also be special student events and entertaining companion activities planned throughout the week. For more information, visit the event's Web site.

    BICSI Link Workshops
    With a choice of 32 workshops within four educational tracks, attendees can get their fill of technical topics, such as data centers, security, wireless, and diverse business management at the BICSI Link Workshops, held June 25-28 in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. You can stay within one track or jump around, choosing whatever workshops you like. In addition to the flexible educational sessions, there's also time allotted to see the latest exhibits from vendors or network with peers in the RCDD lounge. The 2006 BICSI Link Workshops fulfill the conference/workshops attendance requirement for RCDD renewal. All RCDDs attending the Link Workshops will receive 15 continuing education credits (CECs). For more information, visit the BICSI Web site.

    EASA Annual Convention
    & Expo

    Focusing on the theme "Manage to Win," this year's EASA Annual Convention & Expo promises something for everyone. Held June 26-29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event's lineup includes informative educational sessions, exhibits, social events, and family-friendly entertainment programs. Flexible registration options are also available -- so if you or your technicians and sales people can't attend the entire convention, it's still convenient and affordable to come for part. For more information, visit the EASA Web site or download the conference program.

    Harmonics & Power Quality Conference
    EC&M, PowerQuality, and PQNewsBeat present the 2006 Harmonics & Power Quality conferences in Boston from June 15-16, Seattle from July 20-21, and St. Louis from Sept. 14-15. Presenters at this year's conferences will include: William Bush, director of engineering, Signals, Power & Grounding Specialists, Inc.; Bruce Lonie, president, PowerCET Corp.; Chris Melhorn, engineering manager, EPRI Solutions; and Alex McEachern, president, Power Systems Lab. For more information and to register, visit the conference's Web site.

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