PCCA Shows Strength In Tough Economy

The year 2010 had many positive aspects for the Power Communications Contractors Association (PCCA) and its members, observed Kevin Mason as he nears the end of his one-year term as the association’s president.

“Like many of its members and most of the industry, the association was challenged by the difficult economy in 2010,” Mason said. “But we maintained a positive bottom line and even increased membership — at the close of 2010, PCCA had 203 members, a three percent increase from 2009.”

Mason is president of ElectriCom, Paoli, IN, a contractor specializing in power and telecommunications construction. Taking over as PCCA president in March will be Larry Libla, president of W&L Construction, a utility and pole-line contractor based in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Mason said attendance at the association’s 2010 annual convention increased more than 100 over 2009 and was the most at a PCCA meeting since 2001. An overflowing ballroom hosted a Construction Industry Roundtable, which featured a fast-paced and informative discussion on the impact of federal stimulus money on telecom work, the effects of new healthcare mandates, difficulties with the Davis-Bacon Act’s prevailing wage requirements, the increased cost of fiber and other commodities, and the rate of economic recovery.

Attendance at the mid-year meeting also was up, Mason continued. Timely educational sessions included a presentation by a Davis-Bacon expert, who advised members about the most economic ways to comply with the act’s requirements.

Washington meeting
In November, a PCCA delegation met with high-ranking officials at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., to explain PCCA members’ problems with Davis-Bacon Act job classifications and wage determinations, and to seek the agency’s guidance and assistance in complying with Davis-Bacon on contracts financed by federal stimulus funds.

“The meeting,” said Mason, “provided a frank exchange of problems and needs faced by both groups and an agreement to continue working to resolve issues.”

The PCCA delegation at the meeting was composed of: Jim Dillahunty, Henkels & McCoy; Walt Donovan, Quanta Services; Jerrod Henschel, Michels Corp.; Kevin Mason, ElectriCom; Todd Myers, Kenneth G. Myers Construction; Steve Nielson, Dycom Industries; Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction; and Tim Wagner, PCCA.

Mason cited several other important activities during 2010:
• PCCA continued working with the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Utilities Program and the Association of Communication Engineers (ACE) to revise RUS Form 515, the form contract for telecommunications system construction;
• Maintained the association’s amicable relationship with the USDA’s rural development staff throughout the year. David Villano, assistant administrator telecommunications program for the Rural Utility Service, attended the mid-year meeting and gave a presentation during the Construction Industry Roundtable;
• Saw continued growth of PCCA’s Young Construction Professionals (YCP) program which appeals to upwardly moving employees at member companies and prospective members. The YCP provides younger members as well as those rising in the management ranks broader business/industry exposure, executive/leadership training and lessons from experienced association members; and
• The PCCA Journal continued to inform its members on relevant industry and government news and educate them with articles written by industry experts on topics such as market conditions, troublesome contract terms, managing subcontractors, complying with Davis-Bacon, human resources and other topics.

Also in 2010, the PCCA promoted the organization and its members at the annual UCT show in Tampa, FL, and at Windpower 2010 in Dallas, TX, where the PCCA Pavilion contained exhibits of the association. Six members were on hand to provide delegates a complete picture of the association and its activities.

Positive future
“In general,” said Mason, “the industry is healthy, and prospects for the next three to five years look good. It is a good time to be in this industry, and for companies in the industry, the PCCA is a good organization to be part of as it continues outreach to the USDA on rural development issues and the Labor Department about Davis-Bacon, and continues to report on other relevant federal agencies, including OSHA, FCC, NTIA, DOT and FCC. We will continue to promote the association and its members at leading industry shows, including UCT in Houston, Windpower 2011 in Anaheim, and ICUEE in Louisville.”

Established in 1945, the PCCA is comprised of leading construction, manufacturing, supply and service companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In addition to the telecommunications and power industries, PCCA member contractors also perform both open-cut and trenchless construction for natural gas and oil pipelines and water and sewer utilities. PCCA is headquartered in Alexandria, VA. Its web site is www.pccaweb.org.

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