Jan 29, 2021
By Roxanne Lafond
The electrical industry has shown strong resilience during this pandemic and many businesses have been able to quickly implement a work-from-home strategy to keep operations functioning during the lockdowns. This transformation is possible when your workforce is adaptable to change and has the knowledge they need to connect with customers and partners.
It’s no secret that the workforce skills gap in the electrical industry is a growing concern. In fact, talent was ranked as one of the top game-changers impacting EFC members’ businesses. Professional development and upgrading your employees’ knowledge and skills today will help them advance their careers and better support your organization long-term.
EFC’s Research Report, Talent for an Emerging Workforce, emphasized the importance of professional development. “Recruitment is key to acquiring top talent. However, the professional development of current employees is also very important and provides a powerful way for organizations to demonstrate the high value they place on their employees’ growth.” *
Furthermore, investing in your employees’ professional development also delivers a strong ROI for your organization. More important than ever, businesses must offer a value proposition that sets them apart from the competition. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the market is by investing in your employees’ professional development and providing them with a solid understanding of the electrical industry so they can become the product expert your customers need.
Over the years, EFC has partnered with many groups to offer training resources and programs. One of the strongest partnerships we have is with the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), which offers a plethora of programs, all targeted for the electrical workforce. At one end, NAED offers industry-specific courses to develop a foundational understanding of the electrical distribution industry, and at the other end, they offer courses that focus on sales and electrical product training, known as Electrical Product Training Courses (EPEC).
What is EPEC?
With more than 11,000 graduates in North America, EPEC has become known as the cornerstone of sales and product training in the electrical industry. NAED recently updated its entire library of EPEC courses to include the 2020 NEC and 2018 CE Codes. All three levels (bronze, silver and gold) are now available to members of EFC in English.
Many organizations across North America have already included EPEC as part of their onboarding program and their overall workforce development strategy. This three-level program provides a comprehensive overview of all common electrical products, their applications and how they relate to the entire electrical system. Each level includes several modules, workbooks, assignments/projects, and exams.
French Bronze Program Now Available! To further support the professional growth and development of EFC members, the full EPEC bronze level has been developed into French and will be available to all EFC members the first week of February.
Who is EPEC for?
Though the EPEC program was designed with electrical distributors in mind, there is a significant benefit for agents who represent a wide variety of electrical product lines — and for manufacturers who want to understand where their products fit into the electrical system.
Essentially, the EPEC courses are intended for anyone “looking to increase their level of confidence with electrical products, improve their communication when talking about concepts and ideas in the electrical industry, and enhance their ability to analyse and recommend complete holistic solutions.” (NAED)
Call to action
Make 2021 the year you advance your workforce with the knowledge they need to understand the relationship between different electrical products. Equip your staff with the insights they need to ask the right questions to evaluate customers’ needs and create upselling and cross-selling opportunities to ultimately lead to additional business.
The EPEC program, as well as all other NAED courses, are available to EFC members at the NAED member exclusive rates. To access the full EPEC program in English and/or the Bronze level in French, you can register online.
If you have any questions, please contact Roxanne Lafond at email@example.com.
If your organization is not yet a member of EFC, become a member today and take advantage of the NAED member exclusive rates available for the EPEC program as well as all other services that EFC has to offer. Learn more at www.electrofed.com.
Roxanne Lafond is Quebec Region Coordinator for Electro-Federation Canada.