Third-Generation Electrical Contractor Begins Term as NECA President

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff January 19, 2006

Among the business addressed by the National Electrical Contractors Assn. Board of Governors at their annual meeting in September was voicing their support for E. Milner Irvin as the association’s next president.

At the time, Irvin was serving as District 3 vice president on the NECA Executive Committee; he assumed the office of president on January 1, 2006. Irvin will serve as president for three years. He is the association’s 30th president in its 105-year history.

E. Milner Irvin, III is a third-generation electrical contractor, continuing a proud family tradition of bringing power to the southeastern U.S. His grandfather Eugene M. Irvin, Sr., founded his first company in 1910 in Atlanta, where the company played a key role in converting the city’s streetlights from gas to electric. Irvin, Sr. moved his family to Miami in 1922 and began Riverside Electric Company.

After attending the University of Miami, Irvin began the local electrician apprenticeship program. He worked as a journeyman and foreman and became the estimator for Riverside Electric in 1975. Today he serves as the company’s president and CEO.

“The most important issue we are facing is the lack of skilled workers,” he said. “We have electricians retiring at a much greater rate than we are bringing new talent into the profession. I know it’s hard to look down the road, especially when there isn’t completely full employment, but we have to think about the future. And we’re simply not taking in enough new apprentices at the local JATCs (Joint Apprentice Training Centers) to replace those workers currently leaving or planning to leave.”

Irvin is committed to further developing positive relations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in order to jointly address the impending shortage. “It’s a local issue, and we need the IBEW to support our efforts to bring more people into the industry. It has to be a good working relationship,” he said.

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