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Thompson Electric, Inc.

thompsonlogo.jpg Offering advanced technical and safety training for electrical workers makes this company a leading provider of electrical services and an exemplary employer.

In Partnership With: IBEW

An innovative partnership that makes worker safety and training a priority 

At a Glance 

Established in 1977, Thompson Electric is one of the largest electrical contractors in Ohio.

Headquarters
Munroe Falls, OH

Website
http://www.thompsonelec.com/

Industry
Electrical Contracting

Union Employees
170 electrical workers

Total Employees
200

Annual Revenues
$30 million

Outlets
N/A

Customers
More than 1,000

Collaboration with workers has been part of Thompson Electric's business strategy since its start in 1977. Three decades later, the company is one of the largest electrical contractors in Ohio, thanks in part to its long-term relationship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

In 2002, Thompson Electric, the IBEW, and industry trade group the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) joined forces in a strategic move to address the biggest issues facing the electrical contracting industry-providing workers with core professional and safety training. Out of the partnership emerged a formal Joint Apprentice Training Committee (JATC), which develops the safety and training programs for electrical contractors in northern Ohio. The company plays a major role in the JATC through the leadership of President Larry Thompson, who chairs the committee.

Through the JATC, electrical contractors receive the most sophisticated job training available through two core programs. The mandatory apprenticeship training program certifies electricians. The journeyman program provides ongoing professional training and development for advanced electricians. While the journeyman program is voluntary, 80-90 percent of Thompson Electric workers opt to participate, and the union and the company negotiated a higher wage scale for participants. Providing more advanced training for electricians lowers injury rates and, explains President Larry Thompson, "results in a better product for the company."

Thompson Electric and IBEW also participate in the highly-praised Helmets to Hardhats program, which offers training and job placement in the construction industry to military veterans returning from active duty. The program enables the company to attract and train workers in a highly-skilled and rapidly changing profession. Thompson Electric has hired several veterans since the program's inception.

President Larry Thompson details the benefits of union cooperation, "The electrical industry is constantly changing and is a technically advanced industry. Thanks to the IBEW and the NECA we have a skilled workforce and can take on technically challenging projects. This helps the company as it brings in new customers and helps us retain existing ones."

Selection Criteria

> Free and fair chance to form a union

> Collaborating as equal partners with workers and their unions to craft innovative strategies on compensation, performance, and productivity to meet business goals and address challenges

> Protecting workers' safety and health

> Providing sustainable wages or progressive increases and worker-friendly benefits

> Creating new jobs and implementing employee retention strategies

> Offering training and professional development opportunities