Best Practices for CW/CE Implementation

Current trends in the electrical contracting business indicate a great need to maintain or, preferably, expand the marketplace. While a majority of electrical contractors (ECs) has maintained the traditional personnel base of Foreman, Journeyman, and Apprentice, other firms have incorporated the Construction Wireman/Construction Electrician (CW/ CE) classification into their operations.

The primary purpose of this research was to investigate current CW/CE practices as utilized by well-established EC practitioners and to determine if a CW/CE program improves EC competiveness. Researchers determined early in the process that gathering knowledge from those with direct experience could help shed valuable light on successful CW/ CE implementation. The outcome of the project would then provide a powerful tool for the development of CW/CE programs.

The results of this study show that CW/CE can positively influence the EC business model. Specifically, the CW/CE experience is holistic, adds business value, and offers opportunities for balanced growth. If implemented properly, a team approach to CW/CE by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and members of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) can positively affect critical business areas. Via the study, participants identify improvement in key areas such as IBEW membership, business market share, competiveness, and productivity. Overall, study participants regard CW/CE implementation as a rewarding process.

Understanding the realities of implementation is vital to creating an environment for successful company growth with the aid of CW/CE workers.

  • Although responders recommend that ECs perform their own job applicant interviews, they also recommend using current JATC resources to assist in educating CW/CE hires.
  • When blending CW/CEs into the organization, management should be aware that there may be initial skepticism, particularly from the field workforce. However, with improved communication and education, these challenges can be overcome.
  • Since the CW/CE classification is a newer worker skill level within an older standardized system, responders recommend that ECs implement this team process wisely.
  • CW/CEs can be an integral part of an EC’s overall business plan.
  • With partnerships, the implementation can identify potential obstacles, assist in creating stronger relationships, and aid in the organizational implementation process.
  • Discussing, educating, and documenting successes can all help achieve a successful integration within an EC’s business model.



Todd L. Sirotiak


Diversified Construction Services

Publication Date:

February 2014

Format & Size:

Soft Cover, vii and 41 pages

Index Number:


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