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.

David Gordon New 400Everyone is an expert in pricing. It’s either too high or too low based upon your role. Salespeople like it low. Management wants it high. The customer wants it “right” which, usually means “competitive” or “It’s reasonable for the value I am receiving.”

And the term “value” is intriguing as it infers that you understand
• the value that you bring
• the value that your product / service brings
• the competitive landscape (which also includes alternatives and inertia)

But I digress. 

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LDS Magiclite LS 400Magic Lite has announced the signing of Lightspec Canada Inc. as their Specification Sales Agent for the GTA.

As the Canadian Division of Lightspec, LLC, NY, this agency is headed by Steve Danzig as President and Neil Whiteford as Sales Manager. This talented sales team has over 150 years combined experience with Lighting Design, Applications, Lighting Controls, Distribution and Project Management. They are committed to bringing attentive service and expertise to their clients for their designs, projects, lighting requirements and acting as their trusted advisor and partner.

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

EFC has just polled our members to determine the game changers that keep them up at night. Understandably, COVID-19 topped the list this year. However, talent remained the biggest issue outside of the pandemic. In September, members will have a chance to gather insights from EFC’s most recent research study: Talent for an Emerging Workforce. 

This is not intended as a spoiler alert, but “upskilling of current employees” is identified as one of the critical strategies that members need to employ...

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Manufacturing Sales - JuneManufacturing sales rose by a record 20.7% to $48.7 billion in June, following an 11.6% increase in May. Many factories operated at a much higher capacity in June, with the capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector increasing 10.9 percentage points to 73.3%.

Consistent with the increase in sales and capacity utilization in June, the May reference month release of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions indicated that almost one-fourth (23.9%) of manufacturers expected to increase their number of employees over the next three months. Still, the capacity utilization rate remained 8.0 percentage points below the June 2019 level (81.3%). 

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WescoBy John Kerr

Last week Wesco held its first call detailing its results post merger with Anixter. This meeting followed Wesco’s agreement with Competition Bureau Canada to divest its legacy utility businesses (Trydor, Brews and Laprairie), along with its datacom business with annual revenues approaching CDN$200 million, according to the release of August 6.

Canadian Electrical Wholesaler estimates the merged group after divestitures will reach just under CDN$2 billion, making it the largest electrical distributor in Canada ahead of Sonepar and Rexel...

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Changing Scene

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Late April 2020 ECM Industries acquired ILSCO. Since that time, they have been integrating the two ...
Since 1993, E.B. Horsman & Son(EBH) has been a proud supporter of BC Children’s Hospital ...
Southwire has aquired Construction Electrical Products (CEP) of Livermore, CA. Serving the ...
Salex has announced the expansion of its lighting agency to Southwestern Ontario.   ...
IDEA will be hosting a Webinar series that will feature a glimpse of the insight and valuable ...
On August 26th Sonepar Canada's divisions of Dixon, MGM, and Gescan Ontario launched their new web ...
Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) recognizes the importance of maintaining high level ...
Stanpro have announced the retirement of Dennis O'Keefe, releasing the following statement ...
Mr. Steven Wright joins IMARK Electrical, Inc. as the Vice President of Supplier Relations and ...

CEW supplychain efc 400EFC’s 2nd Annual Supply Chain Summit will be held virtually. You won’t want to miss this event…where the electrical industry meets modern supply chain technologies and emerging trends.

Overview: Digital technologies have amplified the features and functionality of our electrical products and are fast-becoming mainstream in how we service our customers and partners. Learn how your organization can pivot its supply chain strategy towards a digitized and automated enterprise, optimizing supply chain management to reach new service levels, lower costs and improve overall operational effectiveness.

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EIN 55 AD NewCanadaWarehouse 400AD is announcing that its new Canada warehouse and meeting center, located in the greater Toronto area, is officially open for business. The new facility provides Canada-based AD members with redistribution of over 75 product lines of industrial, safety and janitorial items, including private-label brand Tuff Grade.

The original warehouse location came to AD as a part of its merger with IDI in 2019. Until now, it was available exclusively for use by members in the Industrial & Safety-Canada Division. The new facility, nearly double in size from the former location, broadens the scope of AD’s warehousing capabilities to all AD divisions in Canada, paving the way for growth and added services for members.

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Steven WrightMr. Steven Wright joins IMARK Electrical, Inc. as the Vice President of Supplier Relations and Development effective September 1, 2020.  Mr. Wright will report to Jerry Knight who is transitioning to President of IMARK Electrical as of November 1, 2020.

Mr. Wright comes to us with a varied background in wholesale distribution with Vallen / Sonepar, WESCO, Ace & True Value Hardware. 

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CEW Ricard Corinne 400The addition of a new member to Ricard Agency’s team is in line with the growth and development strategy the agency has envisioned for the province of Quebec and the Ottawa region.

As an outside sales representative, Corinne Galarneau will mainly cover the south shore of Montreal as well as the eastern side of the island. She will represent and support manufacturers in Ricard agency’s portfolio while developing strong, ongoing relationships with prospects and customers.

With over 12 years of experience in public relations and marketing, Galarneau excels in business development, more specifically in the sales of world-class products and services.

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Peers & Profiles

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Tim King, Southwire Canada’s new President and first Canadian to assume the role, has taken the ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
  Sonepar is excited to introduce Anju Uddin as the new Marketing Manager for their Ontario ...
Electro-Federation Canada’s Young Professional Network (YPN) is a fantastic tool for industry ...
Sean Bernard is the Intelligent Controls Manager, Canada for Ideal Industries. Sean resides in ...
Jenny Ng is a Business Development Manager for the Power Solutions Division of Schneider Electric. ...

CEW 18 PP TimKing 400By Line Goyette

Tim King, Southwire Canada’s new President and first Canadian to assume the role, has taken the helm in the midst of the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Previously, Tim served as Southwire Canada’s Director of Finance, HR and Administration. He has a background in economics and finance from Wilfred Laurier University. As a student, he was convinced that having a solid understanding of finance and economics would be an essential foundation to build his professional future. Over the course of his career, he purposefully acquired a broad range of skills, experience and knowledge to succeed in his new role. “I’ve had the opportunity to have worked for two large Fortune 500 corporations and I was very fortunate to have been exposed to many areas of the business. In fact, I have held 9 different roles in 15 years, in finance, operations, marketing and sales.”

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Trevor ElliottBy CEW Editorial Team

Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran Trevor Elliott. Panduit announced it would move to an agent representation model across North America earlier this year and named MTS as its Canadian representative, outside of the Atlantic provinces.

In this role, Elliott brings a long history in both supply and electrical distribution in Canada and he and his team are experienced in the Panduit electrical product line. Joining Elliott are Jean Pierre La France, Dennis Wight, Keith McRobbie, Kevin Wilkinson and Paul Stoynich. 

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