Powering Chicago Releases Guidance on How to Choose an Electrical Contractor

New e-book empowers facilities managers, developers, school districts and municipal leaders to confidently source safe, reliable contractors for their next project

CHICAGO, July 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Whether looking to upgrade a facility to accommodate high-volume processing needs, reduce energy costs by installing renewable energy infrastructures or find a contractor for a long-term partnership, Powering Chicagothe voice of the unionized electrical industry in Chicago and Cook County, is introducing a new e-book titled “How To Choose Your Electrical Contractor.” The step-by-step guide walks facilities managers, general contractors, municipalities, school districts, and business owners through the factors to consider when choosing a qualified electrical contractor.

Developed with expert industry contributors, the e-book provides actionable suggestions that help readers identify project needs; measure a contractor’s quality and value; ensure contractors have the highest training and commitment to safety; and select a reliable contractor.

For example, the e-book instructs readers to first identify the specific needs of their projects because a contractor experienced in that kind of work will help ensure it is done efficiency and to standard. After needs have been identified, visit Powering Chicago’s Find a Contractor tool to search for qualified and experienced contractors.

The next step in finding a contractor is measuring quality and value. One key indicator of high-quality and cost-effective work is union affiliation. Whereas a base level of training doesn’t exist for non-unionized contractors, union apprentices trained at IN-Tech, the IBEW 134 / NECA Chicago Training Institute, go through 8,000 hours of combined classroom and on-the-job training and complete 200 -300 hours of safety-specific training during the five-year Department of Labor-approved program.

“Powering Chicago’s skilled union electrical contractors have the highest level of training and greatest commitment to safety,” said Elbert Walters III, executive director of Powering Chicago. “If you’re looking for an electrical contractor that will finish your job on time, on budget and above standard, look no further.”

Summarizing all the key points, the e-book includes a handy checklist of the dos and don’ts of choosing an electrical contractor:


  • To make sure the contractor is licensed and insured, ask for a copy of license and/or permit
  • Consider their pertinent training
  • Ask for their Experience Modification Rate (EMR) to gauge their commitment to safety
  • Consult peers for their recommendations
  • Consider third-party tools like the Better Business Bureau or Dun & Bradstreet
  • Vet the contractor with your local inspection departments
  • Consult the City of Chicago Building Department
  • Use the Powering Chicago Find a Contractor Tool


  • Choose a contractor on price alone
  • Ignore red flags (eg poor communication, tardiness, insistence on large deposits before a project begins etc.)

Along with input from Powering Chicago Executive Director Albert Waters IIIPowering Chicago thanks the following experts for their contributions to the e-book:

  • Mike ReynoldsSuperintendent, Midwest Interstate Electrical Construction Company.
  • David LongChief Executive Officer, National Electrical Contractor Association
  • Eric NixonPresident and CEO of Maron Electric Company
  • Ken BauwensPresident of Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors
  • Glen Brown, Sr. Facilities Manager in Chicago

To learn more, download the “How To Choose Your Electrical Contractor” e-book at info.poweringchicago.com/contractoreBook.

About Powering Chicago

Bringing together the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134 electricians and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) of Chicago and Cook CountyPowering Chicago is an electrical industry labor-management partnership that invests in consistently better construction, better careers and better communities within the metro Chicago region. Employing the latest technology, its members are elevating industry performance through their commitment to safety, level of experience and reliability, while also investing in the future of skilled labor through an innovative apprenticeship program that is paving the way for the next generation of skilled electricians. For additional information, visit poweringchicago.com.

SOURCE Powering Chicago


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