February 2019 Vol. 74 No. 2


PCCA Looks Forward to Busy 2019

The Power & Communications Contractors Association (PCCA), led by President Larry Pribyl, MP Nexlevel, plans to follow a productive 2018 with a new year that focuses on aggressive advocacy eff orts in our nation's capital, continued expansion of its educational initiatives and meetings that help its members run more successful businesses.

PCCA President Larry Pribyl

PCCA will hold three meetings in 2019: a Congressional Fly-in to Washington, D.C.; its 74th Annual Convention in March in St. Kitts; and a Mid-Year Meeting in July in Park City, Utah.

Joining Pribyl in leading the association are President-Elect Dave Aubrey, Okay Construction; 1st Vice President John Fluharty, Mears Group; 2nd Vice President Bob Breeden, ElectriCom; Treasurer Jerrod Henschel, Michels Corporation; Secretary Ed Campbell, HMI Communications; and Past Presidents Jim Dillahunty, Henkels & McCoy and Todd Myers, Kenneth G. Myers Construction.

The Education Committee efforts are led by Heath Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction, and Chase Lapcinski, Push Inc. PCCA's advocacy work is truly a team eff ort by the Government & Industry Affairs Committee, led by Eben Wyman of Wyman Associates.

Fly-in highlights 2019 agenda

While the Government & Industry Affairs Committee has regularly met in Washington over the years, including three times in 2018, PCCA decided to put more members on the ground on Capitol Hill this year. At the end of January, PCCA members visited with their federal lawmakers to advocate for power and broadband construction funding, especially in underserved areas, regulatory relief, and other pro-business initiatives.

John Fluharty makes a point during the annual Contractors Roundtable.

PCCA has also been discussing damage prevention on its D.C. visits, meeting with the Common Ground Alliance and the National Utility Locating Contractors Association and other excavating groups. In these discussions, PCCA promotes three principal pillars of damage prevention: membership of all owners/operators of underground facilities in the state one-call center; accurate locating; and potholing of underground facilities. A top goal for 2019 is to increase excavator participation in CGA's DIRT Report.

Banking on education

As with most of the U.S. construction industry, contractors working in the power and broadband sectors are experiencing serious worker shortages, especially for skilled positions. The PCCA Education & Research Foundation has been 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, Okla., Garrett Vincent of Paoli, Ind., and Emma Syverson of Menomonee Falls, Wis.

PCCA also works to develop and endorse utility construction programs for technical schools and community colleges around the nation. PCCA member Sellenriek Construction, Jonesburg, Mo., has been working with the State Technical College of Missouri, and students started in the school's new Utility Systems Technician program in the fall of 2018. PCCA and Push Inc. helped develop a utility construction technician program at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake, Wis., and classes began in November.

Value of PCCA meetings

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 lots 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.

Long-time PCCA members Steve Spears and Robert Breeden enjoy a reception.

One of the convention's most anticipated sessions was PCCA Solutions in Action: Who Will Do the Work?. This introduced members to the innovators and leaders who have pushed forward PCCA’s eff orts to support workforce development. Led by Mark Bridgers, Continuum Capital, the panel included the three presidents from the schools where PCCA is working to develop utility construction programs and the three contractors who have been working diligently alongside them. Participants learned about the challenges of getting a program up and running (it takes a lot of time and money), the strategies being used, and the quality graduates that the schools already produce.

During the convention, PCCA announced that it will restart its Leadership Development Program (LDP) from the beginning in 2020. The original LDP series – six, one-day modules delivered by FMI each year at the convention to improve the business acumen and performance of PCCA member companies – will finish in March in St. Kitts with a session on Strategic Thinking and Organizational Change. PCCA decided to restart the series in 2020 and keep rotating through it so that people can jump in at any time. The other modules in the series are Leadership Overview, Executive Communication, Financial Management, Negotiating Skills, and Client Relationships. PCCA and FMI are working to develop a senior-level executive training program, which will take place at PCCA Mid-Year Meetings.

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.

PCCA 2018-19 Officers & Board of Directors:

President Larry Pribyl, MP Nexlevel

President-Elect David Aubrey, Irby Construction Co.

1st Vice President John Fluharty, Mears Group

2nd Vice President Robert Breeden, ElectriCom

Treasurer Jerrod Henschel, Michels Corporation

Secretary Ed Campbell, HMI Communications

General Directors: Garrett Akin, Brooks Construction Co. Craig Amerine, Amerine Utilities Construction Nick Anderson, Anderson Underground John Audi, MasTec North America Tony Briggs, Vermeer Corporation Josh DeBruine, Michels Corporation Jim Dillahunty, Henkels & McCoy Tucker Dotson, Ditch Witch Matthew Gabrielse, Gabe's Construction Co. Robin Gilbertson, J&R Underground John Hale, Jr., John Deere Chase Lapcinski, Push, Inc. Todd Myers, Kenneth G. Myers Construction Rob Pribyl, MP Nexlevel Heath Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction Ryan Steinbecker, Altec Industries Sam Stephens, Tjader & Highstrom Jason Tyler, Brooks Construction Chris Wozniak, Intercon Construction  

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

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