For many men and women, becoming a member of IBEW Local 520 provides a quality career where if they work hard, they will earn a quality wage, with benefits and contributions to a retirement. For other members, learning the trade is just the beginning.
Two years ago, IBEW 520 launched a new program for the members who are looking for more — a program that allows members to turn their skills as a journeymen-level electrician into a challenging business opportunity.
Over the past two years, three members have successfully started a new contracting business with the help and direction of IBEW 520.
Mike Grant, Director of Business Development for IBEW 520, advises these new contractors, as they are new to the business end of the electrical industry.
From helping them develop appropriate project bids to the financial logistics of running a business, Grant is open to all questions, as he has more than 30 years of experience in business development.
Through the Local 520 Contractors Incentive Program, members in good standing, who have been with IBEW Local 520 for at least a year, have the opportunity to receive a grant from the Local to start their own business.
Other grant requirements include:
- Must have journeymen-level status
- Take a business class created and provided by IBEW 520
- Create a business plan and get it passed by Local 520’s Executive Board
- Interview to discuss details and the future of your proposed business
Upon approval of the business plan, IBEW 520 will issue a grant for $10,000 to help start a electrical contracting business. This is also on top of receiving the typical advantages of being a signatory contractor with IBEW 520, including the following:
- Highly trained workforce
- Updated safety training
- Little to no time devoted to employee recruitment
- Competitive wages, which create a motivated workforce
Once a new contractor lands their first job, Local 520 will grant them with an additional $15,000.
Ron Frase, current IBEW 520 member and owner of Texas Champion Electric, took advantage of IBEW 520’s Contractors Incentive Program, and has exceeded initial expectations.
“Ron thinks outside of the box, “ Grant said. “He hit the ground running once he got his first job in place.”
Frase has always wanted to have his own business and with the Contractors Incentive Program, he couldn’t pass it up.
“I encourage all members to take this business opportunity,” said Frase. “This is the way to go.”
As a 20 year member, Frase has learned the other side of construction and gained some insightful advice from Grant, who has helped him on the business side of being a contractor.
“Mike has been great and he’s the one to turn to when you have questions about your business,” said Frase.
To find out more information about the Contractors Incentive Program, contact Mike at Mike_Grant@ibew520.org, or call the hall 512-326-9540.