PCCA Prepared for a Productive 2019

Founded in 1945 and active across North America, the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) is a national trade association for companies constructing electric power facilities, including transmission and distribution lines and substations and telephone, fiber optic, and cable television systems. Other areas of members’ business activities include directional drilling, local area and premises wiring, water and sewer utilities, and gas and oil pipelines.

Following a busy 2018, PCCA is charging into 2019 with plans to vigorously pursue advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., expanding its education initiatives, and holding fun and valuable meetings that provide members opportunities to meet with their colleagues from around the country and learn more about running successful construction businesses. PCCA will hold two meetings in 2019: its 74th Annual Convention in March in St. Kitts, and a Mid-Year Meeting in July in Park City, Utah.

PCCA 1st Vice President John Fluharty, Mears Group, was recently named to the CGA Board of Directors.

Raising the Industry’s Voice

PCCA’s always-busy Government & Industry Affairs Committee traveled to Washington, D.C. three times in 2018 to meet with lawmakers, congressional staff, federal agencies, owners groups, and other industry groups. At these meetings, PCCA advocated on behalf of its members and educated legislators and regulators about the many benefits of power and broadband construction.

PCCA President Larry Pribyl, MP Nexlevel, has presided over a very busy year for the association.

Top issues for PCCA include regulatory relief, permitting reform, DOT hours-of-service rules, and increased federal spending for power and broadband construction, particularly in underserved areas. The committee has also discussed damage prevention on its D.C. visits, meeting with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and Nulca, as well as other excavating groups. In these discussions, PCCA promoted three principal pillars of damage prevention: 1) membership of all owners/operators of underground facilities in the state One Call Center, 2) accurate locating, and 3) potholing of underground facilities. A top goal for 2019 is to increase excavator participation in CGA’s DIRT Report.

Building up the Workforce

A common refrain from PCCA’s contractor and associate members from around the country is they simply don’t have enough qualified workers to pursue all the work available. The PCCA Education & Research Foundation is addressing the industry’s worker shortage with two initiatives. The first is a scholarship fund that awards financial assistance to the children and other dependents of PCCA members’ employees. PCCA Past Presidents oversee the scholarship program and meet every year to select the winners. In 2018, PCCA awarded scholarships to Oscar Zapien Maynez of Norman, Oklahoma, Garrett Vincent of Paoli, Indiana, and Emma Syverson of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

PCCA also works to develop and endorse utility construction programs for technical schools and community colleges around the nation. PCCA member Sellenriek Construction, Jonesburg, Missouri, has been working with the State Technical College of Missouri, and students started in the school’s new Utility Systems Technician program this fall. PCCA and Push, Inc. helped develop a utility construction technician program at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and classes began in November.

PCCA Meetings: Important Information, Great Times

PCCA held its 73rd Annual Convention in March where nearly 350 industry professionals, family, and friends met in Kauai, Hawaii, for topical education, great speakers, relaxed networking, fascinating tours, and plenty of good times. The meeting program was filled with educational opportunities, including sessions on workforce development, client relationships, and the state of the utility construction industry.

The 2018 PCCA Mid-Year Meeting drew more than 150 association members and their families to Southampton, Bermuda, in September. The meeting included sessions on crisis leadership and navigating the new tax law, roundtables on education and government affairs, and plenty of time for socializing. The Construction Industry Roundtable featured frank discussions on a variety of challenges facing the industry, including damage prevention. CGA Secretary Josh Heinrichs, ELM Companies, provided insights into the underground utility locating industry and discussed ways to improve the process, including training/certification, better retention of locating technicians, and engagement with excavators.

To learn more about PCCA, visit www.pccaweb.org.

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