ECA Industry Update
SB 1608 (The Economic Opportunity Bill) maintained the state’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP) goals for construction contracts at 20%, but increased all other contracting goals to 30%. SB 1608 also created the Commission on Equity and Inclusion. The commission is given the power to approve procurements, propose procurement rules, recommend contract cancellations and participate in the approval of procurement officers. The Commission will oversee all goal-based programs and transfers jurisdiction of the Business Enterprise Council from the Department of Central Management Services to the newly created Commission on Equity and Inclusion.
IMSCA Legislative Update -
SB1480 & SB1608 --
Signed by Governor (3/23/21)
SB 1480 (The Employee Background Fairness Act) makes changes that impact Illinois employers’ hiring practices and policies regarding the hiring of individuals with criminal backgrounds. This new law extends protections outlined in the Illinois Human Rights Act to Illinois residents who have a conviction record. Under the new law, employers can no longer disqualify a job applicant or employee with a conviction record unless it is substantially related to the job. In an effort to assist Illinois employers understand this new law, the Illinois Department of Human Rights created an FAQ. Please click the link for more information. The Employer questions can be found on pages 5-16.

SB 1480 also requires employers to obtain an Equal Pay Certificate that shows the pay for female and minority employees is not consistently below that of male and non-minority employees. The Equal Pay Certificate is obtained by submitting an equal pay compliance statement with the Department of Labor, and paying a $150 filing fee. This legislation prohibits the state from contracting with any business of 40 or more full-time employees unless the business has an Equal Pay Certificate, and includes penalties for businesses who fail to obtain the certificate. The IL Department of Labor is in the process of implementing these new requirements and will be communicating instructions for the required registration to Illinois business owners.
Get More Work: Biden's Energy Plan & Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Projects
About 9.6 million charge ports will be required to support 18.7 million EVs in 2030. This represents a significant investment in EV charging infrastructure. President Biden's new Energy Plan calls for 500,000 new EV Charging Stations in the US. His Energy Plan specifically calls for "EVITP" Certified Contractors on these projects.
In order to be a Certified Contractor, a member of your team must complete the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program. This 20 hour course will be conducted at IN-TECH this spring.

Please join us March 31st at 2pm for an information webinar about the EVITP.

Young Professionals of ECA Chicago:
March 31st Event at Top Golf Schaumburg - almost sold out!
IMSCA’s 2021 -- Legislative Initiatives Introduced /
SB178 Assistance Requested
The Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) introduced two bills this year on behalf of the Illinois sub-contracting industry.

SB 178 is sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Linda HolmesSB 178 seeks to amend the Public Construction Bond Act to provide that a local government entity may not require retainage when a contractor has furnished a surety bond or its equivalent. Please click on the link regarding how you can assist with progression of this Bill.

SB 2494 is sponsored by Senator Ram VillivalamSB 2494 seeks to extend a sunset provision in current law that allows the time a commercial construction project may last and still permit the filing of a mechanics lien from 3 to 5 years.  

Please click on the links for further information.
NECA Safety Meeting App Available - Complimentary for all ECA member firms.
As a reminder, the Chicago & Cook County Chapter, NECA has partnered with Safety Meeting App to provide you with a free subscription to Safety Meeting App as a benefit of membership. A number of Association members have not initiated the app. The ECA will cover one registration per company up to a maximum of ten users.
Safety Meeting App is the premier provider of OSHA required safety meetings and checklists. With Safety Meeting App you can easily store current & past meetings in the event they are needed. All records are stored electronically and ready at your fingertips whenever you need them.

Please contact the Safety Meeting App representative, Jenny Hernandez at: (971) 287-9729 or to answer any questions regarding the app, as well as securing the app for your use.
Mayor Lightfoot Announced Transformative Business Initiatives To Support Small, Minority- And Women-Owned Contractors
Three separate initiatives have been designed to offer capital access, improve payment speed, and increase transparency around the utilization of diverse vendors doing business with the City of Chicago. In an effort to further support diverse businesses in Chicago, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot recently announced a series of initiatives to create a more level playing field for potential and current suppliers of goods and services to the City.

These initiatives include the first-of-its-kind City of Chicago Vendor Impact Fund, which aims to offer capital access to diverse contractors and vendors; the Prompt Payment Working Group, which will ensure that City vendors are paid in an efficient and timely manner for their services; and an Executive Order issued by Mayor Lightfoot, requiring enhanced reporting on spending with local certified firms and on business diversity programs.

Please click on the links to Learn More regarding these initiatives.
DPS - Virtual Construction Summit - March 25, 2021
The 2021 Virtual Construction Summit is a one-day conference to be held this year virtually. At the Summit, local construction industry members and practitioners will come together to learn about key trends and concepts for advancing their business.
Subject matter experts will provide insight in 5 different sessions that cover information about upcoming contracting opportunities from key City of Chicago infrastructure departments, which manage hundreds of construction projects annually. The Summit also provides an opportunity to engage with industry leaders, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and other businesspeople that influence the future of the construction industry in the City of Chicago.
NECA NOW - Virtual Conference
-April 13 - 14, 2021
The NECA NOW Conference registration is now open! Please click on the link below for more information / registration.

As a reminder, The ECA Executive Committee approved the educational stipends of the Registration fees for up to two representatives of participating ECA member firms for the NECA NOW Conference on April 13 – 14, 2021. All stipends / reimbursements are made after each conference with registration confirmation(s) forwarded to ECA.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 -- 3:00 PM (ET)
Join Katie McCormick, Executive Director, Convention & Meetings, Stephanie Adamec, Executive Director, Education and Pete Mastrorocco, Vice President, Education and Partnerships for a preview of everything NECA Now 2021 will offer as well as an opportunity to ask questions about the experience.
“Solar & Energy Storage Design & Estimating Course"
May 6th & 7th, 2021
Sponsored by
Powering Chicago - the Labor Management Cooperation Committee of Chicago (LMCC of Chicago) is a proud sponsor of an Illinois IBEW Renewable Energy Fund (IBEW REF) coordinated program called, “Solar & Energy Storage Design & Estimating Course” being presented by Pro Union Consulting.  

POWERING CHICAGO is paying for One representative from each Local 134 Signatory Contractor to attend ($500 value). 
Thursday, May 6, 2021 - Friday, May 7, 2021 sessions are to include the following:
·        Give the electrical contractor the confidence to begin designing and estimating photovoltaic and energy storage jobs.
·        Contractors will spend the two days discussing a range of topics that will answer many of the questions an electrical contractor needs to consider to be competitive, and profitable. 
NECA Virtual Safety Professionals Conference -
May 25 - 26, 2021
The NECA NOW Conference registration is now open! Please click on the link below for more information / registration.

As a reminder, The ECA Executive Committee approved the educational stipends of the Registration fees for up to two representatives of participating ECA member firms for the NECA Safety Professionals Conference on May 25 - 26, 2021. All stipends / reimbursements are made after each conference with registration confirmation(s) forwarded to ECA.
Stay up to date on the latest changes for our Industry including news releases, legislation and Government mandates, workplace safety and preparation guidelines, OSHA alerts, and more that affect electrical contractors in Chicago and Cook County.

March 31, 2021
Virtual Event

March 31, 2021
Top Golf, Schaumburg

April 7, 2021
Virtual Event

April 13 - 14, 2021
Virtual Event

April 15, 2021
Maggiano's Banquets - Chicago

April 22, 2021
Virtual Event

Solar & Energy Storage Design & Estimating Course
May 6 - 7, 2021
Location: INTECH, Alsip

May 10 - 12, 2021
Drake Oak Brook Hotel

May 19, 2021
Drake Oak Brook Hotel

May 27, 2021
Drake Oak Brook Hotel

June 9 - 10, 2021
The American Club - Kohler, WI