PCCA 2024 Workforce Panel

79th Annual PCCA Convention – Big Crowd, Big Program, Big Hearts

The Power & Communications Contractors Association (PCCA) held its largest meeting in more than 20 years in March with 475 attendees, including 34 first timers, at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

The program was full of educational and networking opportunities, and members learned about the association’s tremendous progress in workforce development, government affairs, grassroots advocacy, education, membership, and the promotion of broadband and power construction. PCCA members also raised more than $120,000 for the people of Lahaina in Maui who experienced the horrific fire of August 2023.

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During the convention, members honored outgoing chairman Ed Campbell, Quanta Services, with the 2024 PCCA Distinguished Service Award and welcomed new chairman Matt Gabrielse, Gabe’s Construction Co., Inc. Other new officers for 2024-25 are chairman-elect Rob Pribyl, MP Nexlevel; 1st vice chairman Craig Amerine, Amerine Utilities Construction; 2nd vice chairman Heath Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction; treasurer Chase Lapcinski, Push, Inc.; and secretary John Audi, Mears Group. Incoming board members are Andy Christine, Sellenriek Construction, and Jake Jeffords, Vermeer Corp.

Outgoing PCCA Chairman Ed Campbell, Quanta Services
Outgoing PCCA Chair Ed Campbell, Quanta Services, told the Opening Session audience, “Carol and I have been coming to PCCA meetings for 20 years now, and it’s really about the people, the people in this room. And the room is getting bigger every year.”
New PCCA Chairman, Matt Gabrielse, Gabe's Construction Co.
New PCCA Chairman, Matt Gabrielse, Gabe’s Construction Co., discusses plans for the coming year, including July’s Mid-Year Meeting in Traverse City, Michigan.

Education at PCCA meetings comes in many forms and at Turtle Bay included the Leadership Development Program on building long-term client relationships, the Annual PCCA/CGA/NULCA Excavation Safety Summit, sessions on economic issues and the utility construction market, panels on education issues and government affairs, and the Annual Associates Exhibit. Even the Opening Session proved educational.

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Keynote speaker Garrison Wynn was hilarious, but among the jokes was a thought-provoking message about dealing with change and the stress that comes with it. “Change is not the issue; it’s resistance to change that is the issue,” he said. “Action and adaptability create opportunity.

The Education Panel reflected PCCA’s strategy of tackling the industry’s workforce problem in many ways: registered apprenticeship, technical schools, veterans, recruiting videos, research on need and wages, and working with states, manufacturers, and other industry groups. The Government Affairs Panel included Gary Bolton, Fiber Broadband Association, on the state of fiber in North America and Mark Bridgers, Continuum Capital, on PCCA’s work in various states to improve one-call laws. Also discussed were NTIA’s recent Buy America waivers that PCCA worked hard for.

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In his Utility Construction Industry Overview, FMI President and CEO Chris Daum had a positive outlook for power and broadband contractors but said they could face challenging headwinds from inflation, geopolitical risk, available workforce, labor agreements, and bottlenecks from congressional dysfunction, rule-writing, engineering, permitting, and more.

The Economic Issues Panel featured Mark Bridgers and Dan Shumate, FMI Corporation. Bridgers noted several troubling geopolitical and economic factors that could derail our economy, but he concluded his presentation on an upbeat note: “This is perhaps the best time in modern history to be a competent utility contractor.”

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2024 PCCA Convention Luau
PCCA closed out its 79th Annual Convention with a luau on a gorgeous night at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu.

On Sunday morning during the convention, PCCA held its 52nd Annual Prayer Breakfast, where Pastor Steve Santos of the Calvary Chapel Westside in Lahaina on the island of Maui recounted the horrible fire of August 2023, how it impacted his church, and how he and his parishioners are rebuilding with faith. “Don’t forget Lahaina,” he said. “Pray for the people of Lahaina.” And at the Live Auction that night, PCCA members contributed $122,000 for his work.

SOURCE – PCCA

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