Electrical Connection’s IBEW 1/NECA commit $500,000 to Saint Louis Science Center STEM education programs

THE ELECTRICAL CONNECTION presents a check to the Saint Louis Science Center to support STEM programs. Celebrating the continuing partnership are (from left) Saint Louis Science Center President and CEO Bert Vescolani, St. Louis Chapter National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) CEO Doug Martin, Electrical Connection Executive Vice President Jim Curran and IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs. – Compass Communications photo

The Electrical Connection is strengthening its six-year-long partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center by increasing its financial commitment to $500,000 over the next five years. 

The funding will be used to support the Science Center’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs. 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).

“As the leading organization in the electrical and communication industry, the Electrical Connection has been a great partner,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Science Center. “We are grateful for continued support of our STEM education programs that advance our mission to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.”


In 2013, the Electrical Connection sponsored new state-of-the art lighting for the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and provided relevant industry expertise on the applications of STEM subjects, including robotics, building automation and renewable energy.

“The Science Center’s mission aligns well with our efforts to train the next generation electrical and communications workforce,” Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs said.

“With our NECA partners, we invest $3 million annually in training the workforce that installs and maintains the technology for automation, the digital age, connectivity, renewable and traditional forms of energy.” 

Jacobs serves on the Science Center’s board of trustees.

The Electrical Connection partnership operates the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. Founded in 1941, it is the nation’s first registered electrical training program. Since then, it has trained more electricians and communication technicians than any education program in Missouri. The five-year, 10,000-hour training program is funded by IBEW/NECA at no taxpayer expense.


“Our workforce development spans more than 70 years and is committed to keeping pace with new technologies defining our future,” said Doug Martin, CEO, St. Louis Chapter NECA.  “The Science Center has been a great partner in helping educate the public on the ever more complex electrical and communications infrastructure that our contractors engineer, install and maintain.”

Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection noted that the partnership has been particularly effective in the area of renewable energy. 

“Our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) pairs well with the Science Center’s electric and autonomous vehicle education initiatives,” said Curran.  “For the electric and autonomous vehicle market to thrive there must absolute confidence that quality, licensed contractors and electricians are installing the infrastructure for fixed charging stations supporting the vehicles”


The mission of the Saint Louis Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.

Named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate in 2016, the Saint Louis Science Center features more than 700 interactive exhibits, as well as a five-story OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Hall and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.

For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center, visit slsc.org.

For more information, visit electricalconnection.org.

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