As promised in the last message, this month I have the pleasure to share the successes of a few of our chapters. As I am limited on space, the following only represents a tiny drop of what our chapters are doing not only for our industry, but for their communities as well. The local chapters are the backbone of this association. The chapter executive directors are the unsung heroes of our association, and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and passion. How would you like to try and herd a bunch of contractors! I also want to thank the chapter officers and board members for their willingness to provide their time and effort to enhance our industry.
All across the country, our chapters are focused on member enrichment and are providing an abundance of education (through guest speakers and webinars), safety training, and regular networking opportunities. They are also focused on issues that impact their livelihood whether it’s burdensome regulations or lack of representation on boards that regulate their businesses.
- NUCA of DC was successful in changing DC Water’s retention policy, which will undoubtedly improve contractors’ cash flow.
- NUCA of Pennsylvania was instrumental in the formation of the Public Utilities Division DP Committee and ensuring that contractors hold two committee seats.
- NUCA of Central & Southwest Virginia, one of NUCA’s smallest chapters, held its annual Congressional Infrastructure Luncheon, which was attended by two Congressmen, engineers, and utility representatives.
NUCA chapters are actively engaged in workforce development, working hard to change perceptions and attract more young people into the industry.
- SUCA partnered with FDOT and bussed in 1,000 HS kids for their 3rd Construction Career Days, which included 36 learning labs, a career center, and hands-on equipment operations.
- SUCA also partnered with Polk State College to develop an Infrastructure Apprentice Program that should launch early this year.
- NUCA of Nebraska supports a successful Heavy Equipment Operator Tech Program at the Community College and held 3 Construction Career Days.
- NUCA of N Florida established a young professionals’ group this year.
- NUCA of SW Florida prepared and distributed Construction Career Opportunities brochures for use at job fairs and as hand-outs at high schools.
- NUCA of Washington held its third year of Dozer Days, which brings in thousands of young kids who can climb on construction equipment and sit with an adult and work the equipment.
- Most Chapters held fundraisers, including auctions, golf, and fishing tournaments to raise funds for scholarships for students pursuing careers in construction.
Many chapter members play active roles in their communities – donating materials, equipment, and labor for community projects:
• NUCA of Greater Kansas City Region installed a sewer system for a veterans’ community (Tiny Homes).
• NUCA of N Florida raised nearly $10,000 for Seamark Ranch, a safe and nurturing place for foster kids.
• NUCA of Virginia members provided the materials and knowhow to build a confined-space training facility for Virginia Fire and Rescue, which won a national award.
As I prepare to pass on the gavel to Dan Buckley, I want you to know that you are in good hands and the future is bright for NUCA. Dan along with the rest of the leadership team of Fred Chesney, Kevin Cripps, Lauren Atwell, and our incoming Secretary Ryan Kinning all deeply care about this association. In addition, all of the board members, committee chairpersons, chapter officers, national partners, and executive directors have made an impression on me and I am proud to not only say they are my fellow NUCAns, but more importantly my friends. I have yet to meet anyone associated with this organization who doesn’t bleed NUCA. Take time to thank them for giving their time, and more importantly, take your next step and become more involved. You won’t regret it. I know after my 10 plus years I have no regrets.
Mark Fuglevand, NUCA Chairman of the Board/KBA Inc.