By Carol McGlogan
Tis the season for EFC Holiday receptions, and as I travel from one reception to another, the robust attendance at each event is reflective of the growth we’ve seen this year. In comparison to 2022, the rising interest rates certainly dampened this year’s performance. However, given the underpinnings of our industry amid electrification, we stand above the rest. For 2024, the sentiment from membership is mixed but most are confident that we will continue to experience growth, albeit at a more moderate pace.
EFC mirrored the success of the industry in 2023 and had another good year with growth in membership, improved member satisfaction and improved member engagement. Our financials reflected the growth in engagement, and I am pleased to report that the board has decided to re-invest in our government relations activities and talent attraction initiative.
The mandate for government relations is to accelerate the modernization and expansion of the electrical grid, increase the capacity of the public EV charging network, and to increase the adoption of energy efficient clean building technologies. These three pillars are being promoted at federal and provincial levels of government, paying extra attention to the departments responsible for the relevant portfolios to our cause. Our aim is to accelerate progress, improve funding and investment mechanisms and promote technologies to unlock progress. Success in these areas will assist Canada in reaching its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The objective of our talent campaign was to promote the electrical and automation industries as exciting destinations for a career. Our talent campaign reached half of the Canadian population of young professionals aged 25-34 years and resulted in an improved perception of our industry during post campaign testing. We will be continuing the campaign in 2024 with a stronger link to our member’s web sites and job opportunities. Talent continues to be a top concern for EFC membership.
EFC will continue to support other initiatives related to talent including workforce development and best practices in diversity, equality, and inclusion. Our industry is still at half the national average when it comes to diversity, however, there is a definite change within our community as over 80% of our members have enacted formal diversity and inclusion initiatives to reverse this trend. At EFC’s recent Future Forum, there was clear evidence of the diversity that is entering our industry. Young professionals of all backgrounds assembled to learn about artificial intelligence signaling a change is underfoot.
Another continued concern for our industry is cybersecurity. Our new EFC IT network is open to collaborate with all IT professionals within EFC membership to learn about best practices on cybersecurity and other topics of interest. Like other networks within EFC (marketing, supply chain, HR), the IT network will focus on providing education on top-of-mind concerns for that professional vertical. Topics will evolve over time, and we look forward to the IT community reaping the same rewards as other networks within EFC.
Finally, we know that one of the most valued benefits of EFC is the statistics and market data we provide. In 2023, we included the Pathfinder report to all members as part of their member dues. At the same time, our investment in a data analyst provided new reporting for our CEMRA community and new forecasting models for various member segments within EFC. Reliable data allows for informed decision making and we will continue to expand and improve in this area.
As EFC continues to evolve, I am excited to see our continued progress as an industry in 2024. Members who engage in EFC will reap the most benefits. We have expanded programming and investment in multiple areas, and I encourage all members of EFC to get engaged to take advantage of the opportunities to leverage membership to grow, lead and compete.
Carol McGlogan | President & CEO