Power and Communications Contractors Association (PCCA) chairman Bob Breeden, ElectriCom Inc., looked around the crowded ballroom at the opening session of the 77th Annual PCCA Convention, smiled, and then thanked the members for showing up in such strong numbers – 405 attendees, 250 primary attendees and more first-timers than ever before.
“Because of you, we’re growing and we’re doing the things we need to do,” he said.
The 2022 PCCA Convention, March 4-9 in Scottsdale, Arizona, was a showcase for “doing the things we need to do.” PCCA members are tackling serious issues, including the nation’s flawed 811 system, the industry’s critical worker shortage, challenges coming from all levels of government, and severe supply chain issues.
At the 2nd Annual PCCA/CGA/NULCA Excavation Safety Summit, members discussed CGA Next Practices, GIS mapping of underground utilities, the future of the Gold Shovel Association, and the Emergency 811 study, which PCCA co-sponsored as part of the Infrastructure Protection Coalition — ipcweb.org.
PCCA’s workforce development efforts were highlighted in several events during the convention. At the TIRAP Apprenticeship Program Primer, members already in TIRAP explained how they got their apprenticeship programs up and running and how the programs benefit both the company and the employees. PCCA also helps develop utility construction programs for technical schools and community colleges around the nation, and during the Education Issues Roundtable members received updates from PCCA-affiliated schools.
PCCA maintains an aggressive advocacy agenda in Washington, D.C., and members heard updates and shared their views during the Government & Industry Affairs Roundtable. Eben Wyman, Wyman Associates, said the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill passed last year, which PCCA supported, will pump tens of billions of dollars into broadband deployment and strengthen the electric grid. On the other hand, the law’s clear bias toward union labor, overreaching climate proposals, and anti-employer worksite safety policies will require PCCA diligence.
During his Utility Construction Industry Overview, Chris Daum of FMI provided a largely positive report for the power and communication markets. “You should leave here encouraged; the long-term fundamentals of this industry are great,” he said.
Keynote speaker Chad Hymas shared his emotional story of tackling life’s challenges following a tragic accident and how he developed purpose, passion, and perspective in his life. “Don’t let anybody dictate to you what your limits are,” he said.