Archive for February, 2024

Continuing Education Opportunities for Electricians

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024

During the day, the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) Training Center provides apprenticeship training through classroom learning and hands-on labs to electricians looking to find their way into the field. After hours, however, the training center opens its doors to experienced electricians and field leaders who are wrapping up their day on the jobsite to gain additional instruction, training, and continuing education. 

Egan Company recently added these continuing education opportunities to trades professionals. In the past, there had been similar courses which were well-attended but had stopped during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In the fall of 2023, Egan’s Industrial Controls team sought to bring these courses back to their electricians to further refine their skills and provide new opportunities to learn and grow professionally. 

From Instrumentation and Control Drawings Print Reading (P&ID) to Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and basic motor controls, the monthly courses offered through JATC have given electricians hands-on experience working with projects they may not have a chance to otherwise, and have become popular among Egan electricians. 


The JATC courses typically start with classroom instruction, taught by JATC instructors. This part of the course brushes up on technical knowledge, refreshes the students on key concepts, and covers what they can expect to see when they get to the lab portion. For some, the material is a breeze, as they have recently completed their own apprenticeships or are using similar skills currently on the jobsite. Others find these courses to be a challenge, entering into unfamiliar territory due to not needing certain skill sets or knowledge in their field experience thus far. No matter where participating electricians are at, they find encouragement, collaboration, and support during these courses, and they enjoy refining their skills and improving themselves as skilled trades professionals. 

After the classroom part of the night, participants are treated to dinner, which gives everyone a chance to catch up and get to know each other better. Many electricians in these courses know each other from their apprenticeships, past jobs, and even past continuing education courses. 

Then comes the fun part: the lab portion of the evening. In the lab, electricians get hands-on practice applying their skills and what they just learned in the classroom. Practicing their skills in a controlled environment gives students the opportunity to talk things through without the pressure of completing the job or making a mistake that can set a project’s timeline back. Of course, safety precautions are still essential in the lab, but the risk is lower in a controlled environment, with power being shut off to each module until teams are ready to test their work. 

During the lab portion, JATC instructors and Egan employees are available to help, to troubleshoot, and to provide answers where needed. This is truly a collaborative, learning environment where electricians aren’t afraid to ask questions, help each other where they can, and share in their excitement when they complete their lab successfully. 


The ultimate goal of these continuing education courses is to improve the technical knowledge and skills of electricians working in the field. By working in a collaborative, controlled environment where they can touch up on different skill sets with like-minded teammates, Egan’s trades professionals can continue to learn and grow, bringing their new skills back to the jobsite. 

Some electricians find themselves attending month after month, while others seek out specific courses to refresh their skills. Most recently at the basic motor controls class, one electrician noted that he thought this topic sounded interesting, and that it had been a while since he worked on anything like this. No matter the topic, there is never a doubt whether or not these classes will fill up, with a few courses adding second dates due to popularity. Every month, attendance reaches capacity, from new students hearing about the courses to returning electricians looking for new challenges. 

Egan’s entire team, from administration professionals to trades professionals, is dedicated to continuously improving in order to be safe on the jobsite and to deliver best-in-class service and products to customers every day. 

Driving Toward a Carbon-Free Future

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Out of the 15 Minnesota-based Fortune 500 companies, at least 11 have laid out formal plans to achieve net-zero emissions within varying timelines, all before 2050. Achieving these lofty goals to see significant reductions in their carbon footprint will require teams of consultants, engineers, contractors, and partners to design and execute plans that are aspirational yet practical. 


In the last decade, companies have focused hard on improving carbon reduction through transportation initiatives.  While this has shown success, the next area of focus for many will be the buildings, facilities, and operations of the companies themselves. 

Commercial and industrial facilities will need to take a multi-pronged approach to ensure they’re truly producing fewer carbon emissions in the future. Engineering firms have identified key areas to focus on and develop innovative solutions that eliminate carbon emissions while minimizing downtime and ensuring a smooth rollout and implementation.

1. Heating and Cooling

One of the largest areas of improvement for companies big and small is in HVAC systems. Heating and cooling buildings — especially in states with extreme weather such as Minnesota — can quickly become expensive and can increase carbon footprints. In order to effectively achieve carbon neutrality, commercial facilities will need to target their mechanical HVAC systems internally, as well as external factors that can affect their efficiency. 

2. Energy Production

Commercial entities can make significant strides in emission reduction efforts by implementing renewable technology. Onsite solar and wind generation are fairly well-known sources of clean energy, and new solutions are nearing market-readiness as well. Building-integrated photovoltaic solar (BIPV) is another form of on-site solar that industrial and commercial customers can consider. Acting as both an insulated exterior as well as a solar panel, BIPV technology is making its way into the industry, allowing larger-scale opportunities to generate electricity on-site while improving the aesthetics, insulation, and efficiencies of commercial buildings. 

3. Smart Buildings

Honing in on “smart buildings” is a priority for engineering and architectural firms around the country. Focusing on energy efficient LED lighting, building automation, and LEED certifications will change the way buildings are operated and companies are run. For both new builds as well as retrofit projects, engineers and contractors calculate carbon reduction through equipment replacement and overhauls, as well as integrating energy management systems. This equipment and technology enables property owners, building managers, and project leads to connect to their buildings 24/7/365, and can even qualify for various tax incentives. Engineers and contractors work together to conduct building audits to identify areas of improvement and provide recommendations to increase efficiency and reduce carbon output. 


Engineers and architects are already hard at work designing custom solutions for new projects and retrofits around the state and country. Many are finding local CPA firms to partner with in order to package tax incentives and other benefits to project managers as a result of implementing carbon-reduction initiatives. The next step in the process is then to execute the plans, which requires dedicated teams of electrical and mechanical experts who understand the intricacies of installing and retrofitting such equipment. 

Oftentimes, building-wide changes such as these require multiple contractors to work alongside or around each other. Selecting a single partner to complete building-wide overhauls and renovations adds conveniences and reduces bottlenecks in scheduling, as well as sharing plans and spaces. 

Egan Company is uniquely positioned to become a single-source contracting partner for engineering and CPA firms seeking to deliver a single package of services to GCs, property developers, and building owners. With 12 specialty trades — including in-house MEP trades and professional services — Egan is able to plan, design, and build projects focused on decarbonization. By partnering with engineering firms who are looking for competitive packages, Egan is able to cut down on the costs of an additional contractor and keep the project tight-knit and expertly completed. 

Decarbonization projects are on the rise, and both new builds and retrofits are ideal places to continue your carbon neutrality efforts. Select the right partners who have a strong position in the market to execute your plans and help achieve your goals. Egan Company continues to invest in new technology, training, and partnerships with local engineering firms who are dedicated to finding carbon-neutral solutions on a global scale.

How We Stay Safe: Safety Absolutes

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

There is one topic of conversation at Egan Company that every employee can join in on: safety. Every day, conversations around safety are held to ensure jobsites, offices, and every employee is following safe practices and goes home without  injury. While every conversation around safety is different, there are 11 recurring themes that are often at the center of safety discussions. 

Egan’s Safety Absolutes are guiding principles that are designed to reduce incidents and keep our employees, our customers, and our environment safe. The Absolutes were created to reiterate baseline expectations for performing work safely and have been a foundational part of Egan’s Safety Program. They are shared at orientation and posted on jobsites, in shops, around the office, and online to keep them fresh in everyone’s mind. These Safety Absolutes are just part of our company-wide initiatives to prioritize safety everywhere we work. This vigilance on safety resulted in a record-low 1.27 incident rate in 2023, and our Safety Absolutes will contribute to our future efforts of achieving zero incidents. 


Stop Work Expectation: All employees are expected to stop work if an unsafe condition exists.

Fall Protection: Proper fall protection will be used when working at heights at or above 6 feet. Some customers require fall protection at or above 4 feet.

Preventing Utility Hits: Prior to beginning any work activity that could damage an underground utility, there will be active locate tickets, and pre-dig photos or videos captured. Safe digging practices within 2 feet of locate marks will be used.

Excavation / Trenching: Excavations will be properly sloped, benched, and/or protected from cave-in.

Lockout / Tagout: All sources of energy will be properly isolated using locks and tags.

Energized Work: Equipment will be de-energized, unless deemed infeasible (troubleshooting, certain life critical equipment) to turn off by all parties. Workers must be trained and authorized to perform this work using PPE, a signed permit, and approval from Egan Company management. First choice must always be to de-energize.

Hoisting And Rigging: Only authorized employees and proper equipment will be involved in all hoisting and rigging operations.

Confined Space: Confined space work will have documented training, air monitoring, permits, and rescue plans in place.

Operating Vehicles And Equipment: Vehicles and equipment will only be operated by trained and authorized employees.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Egan’s baseline minimum PPE must be worn, including hard hat, safety glasses, cut-resistant gloves, and proper footwear. The task or customer may require additional PPE such as a face shield or high-visibility vest.

Daily Safety Planning: Daily Safety Plans and Weekly Toolbox Talks will be completed daily/weekly and Egan’s Active Stretching will be completed daily.


These 11 Safety Absolutes aren’t just guidelines; they are essential focus points for every Egan employee to keep in mind every time they begin work. With these principles at the forefront of the work we do, we can continue to promote safety in the office and on the jobsite, and we can help keep ourselves, our colleagues, and our environment as safe as possible. Everything adds up to ensure we can go home to our families every day.