Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Aug 28, 2020

EHRCBy Alex Hosselet

I joined the electricity sector after working for over a decade in other sectors, and my only regret is not entering sooner. Since joining Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC), I’ve been asking myself: why aren’t more of my fellow Millennials looking for careers in electricity? The pay is great, layoffs are rare, it feels good to provide an essential need to your community, and there’s a spot for almost every function — even marketers like me.

I’m not the only one who’s wondering why more young people aren’t working in electricity: just 5% of the national electrical workforce is under 25. I know there are a lot of stereotypes about Millennials and Gen Zers, but the important facts are 1) studies show they’re as hard-working as previous generations, 2) young people bring new ideas and innovation to organizations, and 3) electricity needs new people to replace the rapidly retiring workforce.

To understand why electricity isn’t attracting more young talent, we conducted a national opinion study with over 1,500 Canadians aged 18-36 to understand their perceptions of the sector, perceptions of other sectors, and what they’re looking for in their careers. The results are collected in our newest report, Generation Impact: Future Workforce Perspectives.

One of the biggest takeaways is that young people have a generally positive view of electricity, especially renewable energy. In fact, perhaps the biggest challenge is simply awareness. We know that young people are very concerned about the environment, but they aren’t aware that Canada is a world leader in carbon non-emitting energy generation. When presented with information about how our electricity sector works and the need for continued growth and transition, opinions toward the sector improved dramatically.

While Millennials and Gen Zers care about the environment and other values, the importance of this may be misunderstood. First and foremost, young people want good pay, job security and flexibility from their careers. Yes, they care about the environment and how they make a difference in society, but at the end of the day we all need to pay our bills and enjoy our time outside of work. This is great news, as the sector has many positions that meet these criteria; it only needs to be better communicated.

When looking at the intersection of youth and other aspects of identity, we see how young people’s attitudes differ. Women were far less likely to be interested in working in electricity, and many said they don’t see people like themselves working in the sector. Racialized and visible minority young people are about as interested as the whole sample group to work in electricity, despite being under-represented. Young Indigenous people were the most enthusiastic group to want to work in electricity, which is a phenomenal opportunity to both diversify the workforce and to foster autonomous energy projects in remote Indigenous communities.

While there are many ways to increase attraction, there are also barriers and misconceptions holding young people back from seeking careers in energy. In terms of concerns, respondents perceived the electricity sector to be less safe than others. Communicating the “safety first” priority is going to be important for any recruiter. Methods of power generation also matter: coal ranked very poorly for perceptions, and nuclear was divided. Focusing on energy transition to renewable sources and showing our excellent track record and the value of nuclear generation can make a big difference in changing perceptions.

Knowing all this, we have a few recommendations to attract more young talent. Firstly: work-integrated learning throughs co-ops, paid internships and other capstone projects is essential, especially during the pandemic and following recovery. To make this feasible, our Empowering Futures program can subsidize a student worker’s wage up to 75%, for a maximum of $7,500. Communicating the right information is important, both in terms of the job perks (pay, benefits, stability, flexibility) as well as your organization’s values (sustainable energy, community impact, keeping the lights on). Diversity, both in terms of committing to meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion programs, as well as communicating the full breadth of your workforce’s identity, can help attract young people who aren’t sure they see themselves in your roles. Resources like our Illuminate Opportunity toolkit can help you accomplish this.

Bringing in the best talent and changing the demography of your team takes time and effort. As the proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago—the second-best time is now.” Understanding what young people are looking for (and what’s holding them back) empowers any recruiter to build effective campaigns and highlight the right features of their job postings. Generation Impact: Future Workforce Perspectives is available freely at

Alex Hosselet is Marketing and Communications Manager for Electricity Human Resources Canada.

Economy EmploymentAs a result of widespread measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian economy contracted 11.6% in April, following a 7.5% drop in March. By the end of May, many businesses had begun to adapt to the new reality by shifting to teleworking, reducing hours, laying off staff, applying for government funding or seeking rent relief.

As pandemic-related restrictions were gradually lifted throughout the summer, the business climate began to improve slightly. For example, real gross domestic product grew 1.2% in August, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, which continued to offset the steepest drops in Canadian economic activity on record that were observed in March and April. 

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Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

“As a distributor, we need to build capabilities around experiences, data and the technologies that are driving change… It’s important that we listen, experiment and help lead our customers forward.” Chief Marketing Officer, Distributor — from the book Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change Series

Mapping your company’s digital transformation begins with an outside-in approach. 

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COVID AirBy Angela Jamieson and Marc Laplante

The importance of clean air has been thrust into the spotlight with the emergence of COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading infections related to it. Examples have emerged around the world showing how aerosols may be playing a role in transmission; the choir practise in Washington State where over 80% of their members were infected (primary or secondary)1 after their final practice before shutting down for COVID restrictions, or the restaurant in Guangzhou, China where COVID-19 was theorized to have spread according to the air movement from an air conditioning system2. 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

When it comes to marketing and customers, some things never change, while some things are always evolving! The parts that never change for marketers are that we need to be where our customers are, when they need us, and with the right information. The parts that are in constant flux are our customers’ buying behaviours and the technologies available to intervene and influence the customer experience.

COVID-19 has forced us all into new habits both personally and in business. For instance, social isolation has caused us to rely more heavily on technology to fill in the gaps. 

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Changing Scene

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Schneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country ...
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ETIM North America (NA) is pleased to announce that the National Electrical Manufacturers ...
Strong rebound in Q3 2020;Revenue up +1.3% organic - Full Year 2020 targets upgraded...   ...
Power management company Eaton Corporation plc announced that earnings per share were $1.11 for the ...
 We may not be able to celebrate in person this year, but EFC would like to invite you to ...
Since 1945 the Stamm family has proudly owned Powrmatic of Canada. Despite this 75 yearlong history ...
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E.B. Horsman & Son is excited to announce EMPOWER, their Employee Share Ownership Plan ...


Zigbee AllianceThe Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced an important movement within the Project Connected Home over IP initiative, forming a team dedicated to the development and promotion of the standard for commercial markets.

This move is in alignment with the overall vision for the initiative, which is to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard, simplifying development for manufacturers and increasing compatibility for customers and consumers.

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EatonPower management company Eaton Corporation plc announced that earnings per share were $1.11 for the third quarter of 2020. Excluding charges of $0.05 per share related to acquisitions and divestitures and $0.02 per share related to a multi-year restructuring program, adjusted earnings per share were $1.18.

Sales in the third quarter of 2020 were $4.5 billion. Organic sales were down 9 percent, and the divestitures of the Lighting and Automotive Fluid Conveyance businesses reduced sales by 8 percent, partially offset by 2 percent growth from acquisitions.



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CEW Stelpro flextherm 400The Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Flextherm, the electric floor heating industry. Flextherm was founded in 1991 by Philippe Charron, who brought a new vision to the market. Sustained work with the standard-setting bodies made it possible to revolutionize the industry by certifying heating cable installations directly on plywood, making the technology accessible to a greater number of people.

Many other innovations, including a complete range of heating cable products and controls and focus on quality and service helped build a strong brand over the years and raised the company to the enviable status it has today. 

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Adrian Thomas and Annette ClaytonSchneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country president, Canada, effective January 1, 2021. Mr. Thomas succeeds Susan Uthayakumar, who held the role of country president for the past three years. Mr. Thomas will report to North American CEO & President, Annette Clayton.

Susan Uthayakumar, has been appointed as the global leader for Schneider Electric's Sustainability Business Division, reporting to Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, Olivier Blum. 


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EFC 2020 Industry Awards

EFC 2020 Industry AwardsWe may not be able to celebrate in person this year, but EFC would like to invite you to their premier Industry Awards in a new and exciting virtual format. 

This year’s Electro-Federation Canada's 2020 Industry Awards will recognize member recipients through a virtual presentation honouring their strong leadership and commitment to contributing to the health of the industry. EFC's National Advisory Council chairman, Steve Branscombe, Independent Electric Supply, will emcee the Awards on Thursday, December 10th, 2020 at 4:30 pm EST.


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Peers & Profiles

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Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
“Never forget to look at the big picture.” These words of advice are from the father of Jason ...
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ElectrimatElectrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the distribution of electrical and lighting products. The company is headquartered in Brossard, Quebec and has four branches on the south shore and north shore of Montreal and Montérégie. It serves the industrial, commercial, institutional, residential, and public service sectors.

Christian Grenier and Mathieu Legris have been leading Electrimat for 10 years. Two friends in life who complement each other at work, and whose company regularly finds itself in the business sections of daily newspapers highlighting their exceptional performance. 

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MercuryBy Blake Marchand

Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, multi-residential/commercial property management, energy service companies (ESCO), and auto dealerships.

“From design to specifications, we offer turn-key services that go beyond the typical distributor model,” explained Mercury Lighting Vice President, Eric Tordjman. Their value-added approach leverages well-established supplier relations to help clients find a lighting solution that suits their needs.



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Jason PrevostBy Line Goyette

“Never forget to look at the big picture.” These words of advice are from the father of Jason Prevost, his first mentor, who worked as a marketing specialist. Jason has repeated them often over the past two years during what might have been the hardest personal crisis of his life.

At a time when he was forced to reassess his professional future, his wife and the mother of his two teenage children was diagnosed with a virulent cancer.


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