On April 27th, 2021, Jaime Lopez, an electrician with Local #3, shared his insights as a guest panelist for the ACE Team 8 Career Day program. Mr. Lopez is currently an Electrical Foreman with Forest Electric. His most recent project is the 1 Penn Plaza Lobby Renovation.
Mr. Lopez received his Bachelor’s Degree from Empire State College and was the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award in 2016. Mr. Lopez has an 18-year career as an electrical engineer. He has both vocational training and a Bachelor of Science and has worked for a variety of electrical contracting companies. Mr. Lopez applies his knowledge and skills to his academic, artistic, social, and professional endeavors. Forest Electrics has had contracts with The New York Times, L’Oréal USA, Madison Square Garden, and Vornado Realty Trust.
Mr. Lopez explained how building trade professionals collaborate with engineers and architects and his day- to-day duties as an electrician. He also described what it takes to manage various projects, which can be as small as installing outlets for tenant occupants in high rise buildings to running a crew for a multi-floor renovation. As engineers and architects work on designing a project, engineers like Mr. Lopez come in at the end of the design process and help the architects and engineers complete their vision. Team 8 students learned that both building trades in the field, project managers, superintendents, architects and engineers must all work together to finalize a project. He also noted that the success of a project depends on how creatively you can tackle and overcome the challenges that can arise with relationships and the building process.
Mr. Lopez stated, “It is important for students to understand, as you look for your career options, to consider the pace in which technology advances and continually add relevant skills and be adaptive to the changing work conditions.”
While taking a public art class in college, Mr. Lopez began to collaborate with Professor Barrie Cline. They worked with various types of materials and lighting to create public sculptures, later co-founding the Workers Art Coalition where building trades members and artists explore the definition of art while building new forms for the world.
Mr. Lopez is currently working in One Penn Plaza, renovating the lobby and installing lights, security cameras, fire alarms, main panels, lobby desk, kitchens, turnstiles, exit lighting, etc. One Penn Plaza had been under development since 2019 and should be completed by 2022.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc