Lighting Up with Certainty in Uncertain Times

by Katie

Management Trainee, Colorado

My initial thoughts on the electrical distribution industry were not complex nor were they anything flashy or exciting. I thought it was a simple, efficient, and hard-working industry that didn’t mind getting dirty from time-to-time. While these qualities do exemplify some characteristics of the industry, they do not even begin to scratch the surface. The electrical industry has a vast amount of moving parts orchestrated by some of the most resilient individuals I’ve ever met. There is an aura of competitiveness and eagerness that fuels a desire for continual growth. While growth may seem delusional relative to the numerous businesses barely profiting due to the current COVID-19 Global Pandemic, CED and its counterparts have not backed down to the challenge.

Without an electrical industry, infrastructure would be jeopardized, hospitals would not be able to operate, gas could not be pumped, people’s home-lives would be dramatically altered, and so on. Due to the severity and sheer speed of the situation, it’s important to be empathetic to its impact, solutions need to be swift and leaders need to trust their people. Across the nation, electrical work has been deemed essential and in order for electricians and contractors to continue functioning properly, they need their distributors and supply houses working just as hard as they do. Distribution leans on face-to-face interactions whether that comes from a salesperson visiting a customer site, contractors buying directly from the counter, or daily employee-to-employee collaboration. All of which are tools that can no longer be utilized. These new circumstances are a burden to the company’s overall growth plan. Yet even with every obstacle against us, our grit, leadership and flexibility has allowed us to continue servicing our customers who need it most.

As a management trainee and a young professional, I have yet to personally experience anything close to this pandemic. However, it seems as though the contemporary social standard is that companies should prioritize the well-being of their employees. One of the main reasons why CED initially stood out as a business to me was the fact that they took such good care of their employees and this pandemic has done nothing but reinforce my previous feelings. Since joining the CED team, I have never felt as though my job was temporary. This has not changed even while thousands of people are being laid off, including those close to me. Companies are cutting employees’ hours, and some are closing indefinitely. Sadly, it is becoming a sink or swim environment and CED’s dedication to their employees has allowed us to swim the breaststroke. It may not be the most expedient technique, but when all is said and done, it can be the most rewarding. The strategic adjustments taken in this time will act as a catalyst for the uphill swing that we will experience in the years following the pandemic.

I knew when searching for my first source of employment out of college that I wanted a career, not just a job; with a company that would help me personally and professionally grow. I was looking for a company that wanted me to be a part of their culture as much as I wanted to be a part of theirs and not just for the immediate time, but indefinitely. Although, this is not exactly what I planned to experience in my first year of starting a career, CED’s positive responses to their customers and employees in this crisis have wholeheartedly supported my decision to be a part of the family.

With the world spiraling around us, CED is still investing in the future. This is exemplified through their Management Training Program which provides the opportunity for driven professionals to run a profit center successfully and creatively. Being able to experience a pandemic like this supported by CED’s mentors has been a valuable opportunity. Although times may seem ominous, I am continually supported and encouraged by the CED team to pursue my career and service our customers.