The Electrical Connection is uniting rural and urban community building through a highly successful “Shop with a Cop” program.
The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
In December, the labor-management partnership teamed with St. Louis FC to expand its support of the St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program and energize a similar program in Ferguson, MO. Both communities held “Shop with a Cop” holiday giving programs on Dec. 15 thanks to $5,000 donations to each program from the Electrical Connection.
“The strength of our union and electrical contracting partners is our outreach to strengthen Missouri’s urban and rural areas,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “For more than 70 years, our industry-funded apprenticeship program has trained urban and rural residents, free of charge and at no taxpayer expense, to meet the state’s next generation electrical needs. There’s no better value in workforce development. Likewise, we’ve committed our charitable endeavors to strengthen urban and rural communities from which we recruit our workforce and build our projects.”
This year alone, the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership has supported urban programs like Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity and rural programs like “Shop with a Cop” and the flood recovery of Ride on St. Louis (ROSL), an equine assisted therapy program in Kimmswick, Mo. It is also a significant supporter of STEM education in rural and urban school districts.
“For Missouri to prosper, the rural and urban areas we serve must be part of our outreach to strengthen education, workforce development and community vitality,” said Douglas R. Martin, executive vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, NECA.
“The Electrical Connection leadership has a long and proud tradition of giving back to the communities in which we live, work and serve. It is second nature to us to reach out to our partners and work together to build strong and positive relationships,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.
“Shop with a Cop” is one of the most successful law enforcement community trust-building programs. It raises money so law enforcement can take disadvantaged children December holiday shopping to get gifts they would not otherwise receive.
Danny Miller, owner of Total Electric in Farmington, MO, said St. Francois County Sherriff Dan Bullock and the late Dep. George Cobb came up with the idea for the program 24 years ago.
“They talked to me about it, and I jumped on board right away,” Miller said. “It’s a great way to give back to the community and help those in need around the holidays.”
Since then, the Electrical Connection has donated more than $60,000 to the St. Francois County “Shop with Cop,” which serves 500 children annually.
“The Electrical Connection’s commitment to our ‘Shop with a Cop’ program has helped it become the largest in the country,” said Bullock. “And we are pleased they are using their partnership with Saint Louis FC to not only further support of our program, but to expand it to Ferguson, MO.”
BUILDING A BOND
“‘Shop with a Cop’ has been extraordinarily successful in building a bond with the community,” said Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss. “We are grateful the Electrical Connection’s partnership with St. Louis FC is helping us energize our community engagement with ‘Shop with a Cop’ this December.”
The Electrical Connection’s expanded its outreach for “Shop with a Cop” last summer when it introduced and sponsored Saint Louis FC’s “Christmas in July” fundraiser at its July 30, 2016 soccer game. The more than $3,300 raised supported not only the St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program, but helped the Ferguson police department expand its “Shop with a Cop” program.
The St. Francois County and Ferguson “Shop with a Cop” events on Dec. 15 included representatives from Saint Louis FC giving away soccer balls to kids.
Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.