Need a qualified, licensed electrician?
The New York City Department of Buildings suggests you begin your search with a recognized trade organization that fosters “electrical safety and maintains the technical standards of the New York City Electrical Code.”
If you are a Staten Islander, the Staten Island Electrical Contractors Association (S.I.E.C.A.) is the group to contact; it is one of only five such organizations listed on the Building Department’s Web page at www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/model/bec_training.shtml.
For most of the 19th century there wasn’t a need for an electricians’ organization on Staten Island. That would change following 1882, when the newly introduced commodity was used in the borough for the first time with the lighting of the American Linoleum Manufacturing plant in Travis.
A REASON TO UNITE
It took about two decades for the Island’s electricians to band together. With the borough’s population topping an unprecedented 67,000 by the start of the 20th century, there came a greater need for expert electricians to network residences, businesses and streetlights into the expanding grid.
“With demand for their services growing, some of the better-qualified electricians discovered it made good sense to share work with others in their field,” said Douglas MacKenzie, president of the 110-year-old Staten Island Electrical Contractors Association (S.I.E.C.A.) and owner of Kinetic Electrical Contracting Corp. in Port Richmond. “They were smart enough to see each other as potential colleagues.”
Having begun as the Staten Island Electrical Contractor’s League, the group’s ultimate success attracted industry-related suppliers and manufacturers to join its roster of licensed electricians.
Today, more than a century after its birth, S.I.E.C.A. continues to embrace the same tenets, high moral standards and cooperative spirit that inspired its founders.
MISSION REMAINS CLEAR
“Our mission,” MacKenzie said, “is to promote the well-being of our members in our business community; to educate the public about electrical safety, and to help our fellow citizens live a better life through the proper use of electrical energy.”
Although the camaraderie is undeniable among its members, the monthly meetings focus to a large extent on industry issues.
“The Staten Island Electrical Contractor Association helps us stay current on changes in the New York City Building Code that directly affect our responsibilities and the safety of consumers,” said Annadale resident Dominic Cutrone, the group’s treasurer and owner of Brooklyn-based Manhattan Electrical Supply Corp.
DEPENDING ON EACH OTHER
Facing the Islandwide damage caused by the now-infamous storm on March 12, S.I.E.C.A. electricians reliably handled all the emergency and restoration needs of Islanders by utilizing the benefits of their membership.
“During the storm, we all banded together, and we shared the abundance of work among us,” said Michael Gambardella, S.I.E.C.A. vice president and owner of True Electric Corp. in South Beach.
And just as the organization’s founders had intended, mutual cooperation remains a benefit of S.I.E.C.A. membership.
“When we’re booked up, we recommend one another for available jobs because each member has a solid history of expertise and dependability,” MacKenzie said. “We all know we can rely on each and every member of the Staten Island Electrical Contractors Association to get a job done, and have it done right. It’s because of this trust that so many homeowners and businessowners wouldn’t even consider hiring an electrician that’s not a member of our group.
HIGH MORAL STANDARDS
S.I.E.C.A. membership is restricted to only those licensed electricians and members of affiliated industries with the highest moral character and business standards.
For information on becoming a member of the Staten Island Electrical Contractors Association, or to obtain a list of licensed members of the organization, call MacKenzie at 718-447-6082.