PCCA Launches Education Initiatives

Establishment of new educational programs, creation of a task force to address the growing shortage of labor, successful annual and midyear meetings and membership growth were among highlights of 2013 for the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA).

The association represents the interests of contractors, manufacturers and suppliers active in power and communications construction. It provides members with an advocacy voice, ongoing educational programs and other resources, and valuable networking opportunities to share ideas about their industry.

The first event of the year was the 2013 annual meeting that included a keynote address by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Outing PCCA President Glen Amerine and wife Pat, greet an attendee during the 2013 midyear convention.

“Education always is the centerpiece of PCCA meetings and the annual meeting was filled with informative sessions,” said President Glen Amerine. “Members packed two tiers of seats for the biannual Construction Industry Roundtable which covered several vital industry topics.”

The midyear roundtable also was well attended and included a report about funding for rural power and communications services from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utility Service (RUS).

Amerine said the growing shortage of skilled labor is a concern that is being addressed by a PCCA task force considering ways to attract new skilled labor, training to develop skill sets of the current workforce, filling gaps resulting from workers leaving the industry or retiring and replacing knowledge retiring workers take with them.

Education initiatives

The first of new PCCA educational initiatives will be launched at the association’s 2014 annual meeting March 14-19.

“Our goals,” Amerine said, “are to provide participants with an improved ability to lead and grow their businesses by implementing and executing sound management processes, managing multiple moderate-to-large contract projects, understanding and controlling enterprise risk and strengthening customer relationships and trust.”

Amerine said course material was developed with construction and engineering research and consulting firm FMI. It not only is construction-industry specific, but also customized using PCCA information for examples directly connected to power and communication construction.

“At the project manager level, PCCA launched its Project Manager Academy early in 2013,” Amerine continued. “PCCA is also working with FMI to offer advanced project manager training that is customized for power and communication construction. The program is based on FMI’s successful project manager academy, a high-level, immersion experience built around core themes, which are developed through intense, experience-based exercises, coaching from FMI’s industry experts and interactive guest lectures.”

The PCCA/FMI team is creating a course curriculum that includes six one-day modules to be delivered each year at the convention. There will also be a two-hour debriefing session during the convention for questions and answers with experts who will share real-life experiences.

Ongoing accomplishments during 2013 included:

• An expansion of the association’s Young Construction Professionals Program to offer a deeper, more coordinated curriculum designed to improve the business acumen and performance of PCCA member companies;
• PCCA represented its members at the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition in Houston, Windpower 2013 in Chicago and International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition in Louisville, KY;
• The PCCA Journal continued to keep members informed about relevant industry and government news and publish articles written by industry experts about topics such as market conditions, troublesome contract terms, managing subcontractors, complying with Davis-Bacon requirements, human resources and other timely events and issues.

Amerine said implementation of new educational programs will be a PCCA priority in 2014, along with outreach to the USDA about rural development issues, the Department of Labor regarding Davis-Bacon, and will continue to report on other relevant federal agencies, including OSHA, National Telecommunications & Information Association, Department of Transportation and Federal Communications Commission.

Amerine is owner of Amerine Utilities Construction and his term as PCCA president will end in March at the 2014 annual meeting. Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction, will take over the presidency.

PCCA, (800) 542-7222, www.pcaweb.org

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