Electrical distributors appear to be making good use of the sluggish economy by devoting more time and resources to training their people. The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, said training across its professional development programs in 2011 was up nearly 45 percent over 2010.

NAED said its 2011-2012 Annual Contribution Campaign supporting the NAED Education and Research Foundation is already nearly halfway to its $200,000 goal.

“From rapid advances in technology to developments in alternative energy, dramatic changes are transforming the way we in the electrical distribution channel do business,” said Foundation Chair Joe Huffman, vice president of supplier relations with Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc. (CED), Irving, Texas. “Training is vital to remaining competitive and preparing our people to best serve the evolving needs of our customers.”

Among its top supporters, the NAED Education and Research Foundation has received a $15,000 donation from CED and $10,000 donations from both Philips and Siemens Industry, Inc.

“We are honored to receive such generous donations from CED, Philips and Siemens,” said Michelle McNamara, NAED senior vice president and executive director of the NAED Education and Research Foundation. “These contributions will help us continue pursuing the education and research programs that are so important to the ongoing success of our members.”

The NAED Foundation's Annual Contribution Campaign runs through June 2012. For more information, contact Erika TenEyck at eteneyck@naed.org.