KV Electric, NECA-IBEW Electricians’ latest signatory contractor, has pivoted its business to capitalize on COVID-inspired homeowner trends.
“More and more people are canceling vacations, staying home and spending money on home improvement projects; many of which require electrical upgrades,” said Ken Vigorito, owner of KV Electric.
Vigorito referenced swimming pools, hot tubs and home generators particularly trending upward. The hot real estate market is also driving business in the form of home inspection upgrades and repairs.
“We’ve done 2-3 times as many pools and hot tubs already this year than we did all of last year, and we’re running great specials on home generator installations right now. People don’t like being without power in the winter,” he said.
He estimated KV Electric, of Niles, is doing roughly 80 percent residential work compared to 20 percent commercial and industrial. Last year it was the complete opposite.
Vigorito started his business in 2012 as a non-union shop. He was inspired to pursue a career in the building trades after remodeling houses with his father from the time he was 12 years old.
He completed the commercial electrical apprentice program with IBEW Local 573 in Warren right out of high school. Much of the experience he now applies to his own business he credits to his time being mentored at VEC, Inc. There, he saw a huge variety of work, including high voltage jobs and several projects at GM and Delphi. He also soaked in a lot of the journeyman code continuation classes offered at the Warren JATC.
Last year, KV Electric recognized the value of becoming signatory to IBEW Local 573.
“It was hard to find good employees; people who knew the trade, who viewed it as a career rather than a job, and who would put their heart and soul into it,” Vigorito said. “The union apprenticeship program is so much stronger and more advanced. There, you know what you’re getting and you know it’s going to be quality.”
Vigorito’s own daughter is a second-year residential electrical apprentice at the Warren JATC after transferring in from a non-union apprenticeship last year. His oldest son is a civil engineering student at Youngstown State University and his youngest son just enlisted in the Marines after finishing high school this spring.
“KV Electric is a great example of how we can help contractors in need of manpower and also help them grow,” said Mark Phillips, president, IBEW Local 573. “We pride ourselves in our apprenticeship and ongoing training programs. He recognized this, so he and the local worked collaboratively to strengthen his workforce and company. We welcome him and will help him with any ongoing needs.”
Vigorito’s entrepreneurial spirit extends to buying and fixing up rental properties and investing in a new bar/restaurant in downtown Youngstown.
“It’s called Gringos Tacos and Tequila and we hope to open in August,” Vigorito said.
His role is the construction and remodeling of the space on Phelps Street, while the owner of Margheritas Grille in Girard handles the food service end.
NECA-IBEW Electricians is an association of signatory contractors in the Mahoning Valley and IBEW Local 573 in Warren and IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown. Click here to view a full list of member contractors.