PCCA Addresses Industry Issues

The members of the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) enjoyed a stable year through 2012, said Tommy Muse, the association’s president.

The association provides its contractor and associate members with essential information about the telecom and power industries, conducts ongoing education programs, is a voice of advocacy for the industry and provides networking opportunities to help its members operate successful businesses.

“PCCA had a solid year in 2012, maintaining a positive bottom line, conducting two successful meetings and holding its membership numbers steady,” Muse continued.

PCCA’s annual meeting in March 2012 focused on topics vital to telecom and power construction. “Most notable,” said Muse, “was the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed changes to the Connect America Fund, Universal Service Fund and Inter-Carrier Compensation. These programs have been crucial in bringing broadband and all its benefits to rural communities across the country, and their uncertain future is slowing down this very important work.”

At the meeting, the Construction Industry Roundtable discussed several vital topics, he added. In addition to Rural Utilities Service (RUS) programs and wage rates, information was presented on the ongoing worldwide fiber shortage, increasing commodity prices, federal emissions requirements, natural-gas-powered construction equipment and the E-Verify program to check employment eligibility of employees.

The convention also featured a Young Construction Professionals (YCP) program about market analysis and strategic planning that included a presentation by Chris Daum of FMI regarding a positive outlook for PCCA members. There also were sessions about increasing profitability and reducing risk.

The 2012 convention was dedicated to the memory of former PCCA President Larry Libla, DCA friend and colleague, who died suddenly in November 2011. Larry’s wife of 39 years, Pam, and his three daughters were present to share in the remembrances and to enjoy the convention that Larry and Pam worked hard to plan.

DC meeting

In July, several PCCA contractors traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with officials from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division to learn more about the wage determination process and how PCCA members can get more involved.

“The meeting was informative and constructive, and DOL encouraged member input,” said Division of Wage Determinations Director Diane Koplewski. “The more data we receive, the happier we are.”

Davis-Bacon Act mandates attached to stimulus funding of recent broadband projects, said Muse, have caused many PCCA members to deal with prevailing wage requirements for the first time and have come to realize that the wage classifications and determinations do not reflect the actual work being performed on these projects, He said PCCA is addressing this issue so that the wage classifications better match the work that employees perform and the wage determinations are what is actually paid for with that work.

PCCA contractors attending the meeting were Bob Breeden, ElectriCom; Jim Dillahunty, Henkels & McCoy; John Fluharty, Mears Group; Cory Heigl and Tim Killoren, CCI Systems; Jerrod Henschel, Michels Corporation; Todd Myers, Kenneth G. Myers Construction; Rob Pribyl, MP Nexlevel; and Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction.

The Mid-Year Meeting in September included a general session about leading and developing the next generation of workers and meetings of the association’s Labor Issues Committee and Membership/Welcoming Committee. Other presenters during the roundtable included capital construction expert Mark Bridgers of the Continuum Advisory Group; Dean Mischke representing the American Communications Engineers; Jerrod Henschel of Michels Corporation reporting on PCCA’s prevailing wage initiative; and Robert Orr, of Sherman + Reilly, covering topics important to the association’s manufacturer and supplier members.

At the Construction Industry Roundtable Jonathan Claffey, deputy assistant administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Telecom Program, discussed the challenges the agency faces in keeping the stimulus funding for broadband construction moving. He said that the proposed changes to the Universal Service Fund have removed predictability from the process.

Also in 2012:

• PCCA’s Young Construction Professionals program continued to grow and attract the interest of upwardly moving employees at member companies and of prospective members. Muse said the YCP provides younger members as well as those rising in the management ranks broader business/industry exposure, executive/leadership training and lessons are gaining from more experienced association members;
• The PCCA Journal informed members about relevant industry and government news and published articles written by industry experts;
• PCCA continued working with the RUS and the American Communication Engineers (ACE) to revise RUS Form 515, the form contract for telecommunications system construction; and
• The association promoted its members at the UCT show, Windpower 2012 and Outside Plant trade shows.

Muse is president and chief executive officer of Aubrey Silvey Enterprises. His term as PCCA president will end at the 2013 meeting in March when Glen Amerine, owner of Amerine Utilities Construction, will assume the office.

PCCA offices are in Alexandria, VA, (800) 542-7222. Details about the association are available on its web site, www.pcaweb.org.

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