James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney, once said, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” This state-ment has never been more true than it is with the phenomenal growth of 811.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of 811
this year, Common Ground Alliance (CGA) was established in 2000 and is now the leading organization in efforts to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America. With the spirit of shared responsibility, CGA welcomes all industry stake-holders to be a part of the identification and promotion of best practices that lead to a reduction in damage.
Forces in Canada came to the forefront in 2013 when the Canadian CGA introduced its Damage Prevention Symposium. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the CCGA Damage Prevention Symposium is to be held in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario, at the historic Delta Hotel, September 19-21, 2017. CCGA uses Click Before You Dig rather than 811, but the mission is the same. Sessions and networking events provide exposure to excellent ideas that can be adapted for use in other countries.
International forces continue to come together with the inaugural Oceania Damage Prevention Conference on August 21-23, 2018, on Australia’s Gold Coast. This event is a direct result of Australian delegates attending the North American events for many years.The conference will focus on Dial Before You Dig and damage prevention in Australia, as
well as topics of importance in New Zealand, Singapore, and other countries in the Oceania region. Already, there has been a huge interest expressed by stakeholders from around the world to head to Australia to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
The CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo and the CCGA Damage Prevention Symposium both have a history of attracting international attendees and over the years have hosted delegates from Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, France, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
I believe that these live events are extremely important to our industry. There is no better place to exchange information with colleagues and learn from industry experts than participating in events that specifically draw together these highly-involved individuals. As these events grow on an international level and the rich history of damage prevention education and public awareness initiatives continue to expand into new areas around the world, our knowledge and ability to react to threats to the infrastructure and to provide continuous improvement only grows.
I look forward to seeing you in Ottawa, September 19-21, 2017, for the CCGA Damage Prevention Symposium, in Phoenix, March 6-8, 2018, for the next CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo, and in Queensland, August 21-23, 2018, for the Oceana Damage Prevention Conference. With all these forces working together, the future is definitely looking bright!