With all due respect to the old-school, muscle-flexin' firefighters in Local 42 (raises for everyone at City Hall!), we'd like to point out the good works of the Local 124 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Over the last few years, minorities and women have been left out of the city's multi-billion-dollar building boom. What are we, still living in the 1950s? Folks might not know that over the past 10 years, several unions have committed to more diversity in their workforce -- notably ironworkers, cement masons and sheet-metal workers, says Bridgette Williams, head of the local AFL-CIO. They've stepped up to work with the Full Employment Council, where an effort called Project Prepare recruits minority workers and gets them ready for crucial apprenticeships in various trades. But Williams credits Local 124 for recent efforts to change the perception of electricians. "Everyone's very sensitive about the diversity issues in Kansas City," says the Local 124's business manager, Jim Beem. (Love that construction-workin' last name, bro.) "I came in last July, and the demographics of our union aren't that great. We need a lot of improvement." Beem tells us that Project Prepare grads now work for various electrical contractors around town. "We're just doing what we think is right," Beem says. We hope these electrical workers can give a little jolt to the rest of the construction industry in town.