Workforce development, pipeline safety and perseverance permeated much of the dialog at the 57th Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) Annual Convention Feb. 25 to March 1 at the Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California.
The event began with a Welcome Dinner hosted by Caterpillar and the CAT Dealers on the grounds of the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The following morning, CASE Construction Equipment hosted the opening breakfast and the workforce development issues became a primary topic to the event. McElroy Mfg. sponsored the breakfast keynote speaker, Mike Rowe. Attendees listened to the story behind Rowe’s hit TV show, “Dirty Jobs” and how mikeroweWorks.com is supporting the SkillsUSA program.
The same day, Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA, led the Workforce Development Meeting open to all members. DCA is partnering with SkillsUSA to promote construction industry jobs to high school-aged students.
The first day was busy with committee meetings and a well-attended business session led by Alan Mayberry, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, PHMSA. Mayberry covered several PHMSA topics pertaining to DCA members.
The first day closed with the ever-popular Live & Silent Auctions, sponsored by Ritchie Brothers and Express 4 x 4 Truck Rental. All proceeds going towards scholarships and DCA activities. This years’ record setting auction reached $1,080,000, breaking the million-dollar mark for the first time.
The following morning began with an inspiring story from Kechi Okuwichi, one of two plane crash survivors in Nigeria and a 2017 finalist on “America’s Got Talent: (sponsored by Ditch Witch and Subsite). She overcame the loss of classmates in the crash, burns over 65 percent of her body resulting in over 100 surgeries, but that won’t stop her from sharing her voice and story. The day wrapped up with more committee meetings and networking events for the more than 500 attendees.
The event closed on Thursday evening with the Presidents Dinner, honoring the outgoing president Dale Mykte, Pe Ben USA and the swearing in of the new president and officers: president, Jay Osborn, Primoris Services Corp.; vice president, Michael Hickey, The Hallen Construction; treasurer Ben Nelson, Michels Corp.; immediate past president, Dale Mykte, Pe Ben USA; and DCA executive vice president – Robert Darden.