NUCA Chairman’s Message: Full Steam Ahead

Jeff-RumerSeveral years ago, we all faced the worst recession in the construction industry in 30 years (and hopefully the worst in our lifetimes). As we all watched the housing market collapse and bank lending all but dry up, we quickly realized our industry and our companies would not be immune from that recession, and we soon all began to feel the effects of the brutal downturn. NUCA’s then-leadership had the foresight to know that the association could also take a big hit, and they quickly moved to create a strong and focused strategic plan to ensure NUCA’s continued support of member companies and the industry as a whole. That strategic plan focused on unifying the organization, growing membership, developing new chapters and rebranding the association to promote the new face of NUCA. As a result, we emerged from the recession a stronger and more unified organization.

But our work is far from over.

Today, we face new challenges and many of us find ourselves redefining who we are in the marketplace. Our industry continues to struggle because federal and state funding for infrastructure development has stagnated or even declined. And as many of us struggle to grow our companies again, we are also struggling to find new talent.
We still face ever-increasing regulation and a lack of competent leadership in Congress. With the challenges we face, it’s important for NUCA to remain focused and continue to build on the strategies that will effectively guide our future.

In May, prior to the Washington Summit (see page 38 for details), our Strategic Planning Committee and senior NUCA staff will hold a facilitated planning meeting to develop a new plan and strategies to carry us into the future. We will then reach out to the broader association community for feedback. Our goals include an increased emphasis on member programs and strengthening the collaboration and support of our chapters. We have also formed a new Chapter Presidents Council that will begin regular meetings this month. I’d like to personally thank NUCA Texas President Alex Kocher from Western Summit Contractors for agreeing to chair the council.

You may have already noticed that Benjamin Media Inc. (BMI), the publisher of the official NUCA magazine, Utility Contractor, is also adjusting its strategies and efforts to bring us a better magazine as we, utility contractors, continue to recover. As NUCA’s members felt the pain of the recession, BMI faced its own challenges publishing a magazine for our struggling industry. But just as many of us who survived the recession are emerging stronger and adjusting our position in the market, BMI has made a greater investment in our magazine. From the quality of the content to an overall redesign for a more professional look, Utility Contractor has emerged as a stronger publication the association and its members can be proud of. As NUCA’s Media Sponsor, BMI has also increased its reach with a newly redesigned website, www.utilitycontractoronline.com, featuring new content every day.

Big things are happening at NUCA, and we want and need you to be a part of them. The strength and growth of our association depends on utility contractors and suppliers who will get involved and stay engaged. The personal and business benefits you will find through participation will astound you. But more importantly, by giving just a fraction of the passion, energy and knowledge you have put into your company to the organization that stands behind you and your industry, you will not just help your company, but you will help the entire industry fight stringent regulations, help ensure a more business friendly environment and ensure that Congress confronts the infrastructure crisis in America and agrees to deal with it through funding, not posturing. NUCA’s Washington Summit is a great place to start.

See you on the Hill!

Jeff Rumer
NUCA Chairman of the Board
Underground Infrastructure Technologies

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