Category: Industry Employees

Helping Wildlife Through Power Line Corridors

For safe and reliable electrical transmission, bushhogging, seeding, and herbicides are used to control weeds. Along high-voltage power line corridors and local distribution systems, a low profile must be implemented so trees and other tall vegetation do not fall onto lines. Tree branches and shrubbery meeting power lines equals interference sparking outages, wildfires, and other issues. Federal and state requirements are in place, which set guidelines for managing vegetation along power line passages.

Utility companies can manage their own power line vegetation issues based on their rights-of-way (ROWs) beyond basic trimming and mowing. By promoting native low-growing vegetative communities, utility companies can offer safe, reliable operation of infrastructure while simultaneously benefiting local wildlife such as songbirds, pollinators, and more. Additionally, adding low-growing, native vegetation can contribute to corporate sustainability goals, lower the site’s carbon footprint, reduce long-term maintenance costs, and beautify the landscape.

Power line ROWs make up substantial property countrywide, meaning implementing these strategies, called Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), could provide nearly five million acres of habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Some of the benefits for wildlife include food sources, shelter, and nesting areas.

Rick Johnstone, president of IVM Partners Inc., explained, “If you use the right techniques and the right chemistry, you’ll restore the habitat that used to be there but hadn’t been allowed to be there due to routine cutting. If you kill the root systems of unwanted species, the seeds in the soil will have a chance to grow.”

According to Johnstone, the typical methods of constant mowing and tree-cutting generally promote regrowth of negative vegetation such as invasive species (aggressive, non-native plants). The relentless re-growth results in frequent maintenance, leading to elevated labor costs.

Instead, IVM is a more enticing practice, as it can deploy appropriate, environmentally-sound, cost-effective methods to control undesirable vegetation. Techniques include bushhogging, mowing, selective tree cutting, herbicide applications, biological controls, and seeding.

“The vegetation pretty much manages itself,” once you get a compatible plant community which usually takes a couple of years, Johnstone said. After that, only periodic treatments will be needed.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Electrical Contractor Industry Affected by Labor Shortages

Now that construction activity is starting to ramp up again following the COVID-19 pandemic, a familiar issue is facing the industry: labor shortages.

Total hires and job openings within the industry as of Dec. 31, 2020 were down slightly from 2019 before the pandemic forced shutdowns and industry layoffs. The 2020 Marcum JOLTS Analysis showed that the number of job openings was equal to 2.6 percent of available construction jobs, meaning there were 195,000 unfilled positions.

The report’s authors wrote, “When the pandemic began, some thought (and hoped) that the massive job losses observed in March and April would mitigate the skilled labor shortages that have frustrated construction firms for years. That simply hasn’t happened to any meaningful degree.”

Thirteen thousand more workers quit their construction jobs than those who were laid off or discharged by their employers as of December 31.

Wages in the employees’ market are also rising; average hourly earnings for construction employees reached their highest level on record: $32.11 in January 2021. Moreover, average weekly hours worked rose to peak level since 2019’s third quarter.

“This is what might be expected from a strong economy operating under normal circumstances, not one facing a lingering pandemic and elevated unemployment,” the report said.

Certain regions are concentrated areas for job openings within the industry. “Parts of the U.S. like the Southeast, Texas, Colorado, and segments of the Mid-Atlantic region have surging residential marketplaces and reasonably stable levels of nonresidential activity. Other areas, like the Northeast and certain parts of the Midwest, where much of the industry’s job losses have occurred and where population has been stagnant or declining for years, are home to an abundance of unemployed construction workers,” the report stated. 

As the pandemic continues to subside, there are three things to watch according to the report:

  1. Whether construction workers who quit/laid off will return
  2. Whether nonresidential construction will rebound like the residential sector
  3. Whether public construction will continue

For all of your electrical construction needs, contact the experts at J&P electrical today.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.