Making Strides to Improve Utility Construction Education

NUCA education committee
From Left: NUCA CEO Bill Hillman participates in discussion with Education Committee Chairman Bill Bocchino and two other committee members regarding providing the best educational programming for your industry.

In early 2016, NUCA’s Education Committee, in keeping with NUCA’s strategic plan, was charged with developing and providing members educational resources that are relevant, up-to-date, of high quality, easy to use, accessible, and affordable.

The committee, under the chairmanship of Bill Bocchino (Vogel Bros. Building Co., Lakeland, Florida), has remained committed to meeting NUCA’s strategic plan. In May 2017, NUCA hired a full-time Director of Education, Jim Stepahin, to lead the staff effort carry out the committee’s plan to meet the three-year goals of the strategic plan.

The committee holds monthly conference calls to discuss committee and staff activity to ensure that efforts stay focused on meeting the strategic plan.

Since NUCA’s Fall Leadership Conference, the committee has been working to develop educational programs for NUCA’s annual convention, March 6-9, in San Antonio. The committee was intent on seeking out and providing substantive and diverse content that attendees can put into practice right away. From the its popular two-day Crew Leader Training Program, a half-day session for experienced project managers who need the skills to move to project leaders, to a 3.5-hour Geotech Essentials Session for Construction Pros, the committee believes that this year’s convention will offer some of the best educational programming in recent years. A full run-down of educational program can be found in the convention program in this issue of Utility Contractor.

In the next few months, the Education Committee will begin Webinar Wednesday — a simple way to get information to members. The committee has already lined up webinars for the first quarter of 2018. The first is a talk with retired general Marianne Watson from the Center for America”who will discuss how contractors can find and hire from the enormous pool of vets that have the skills sets contractors need. The second webinar will help contractors address sexual harassment in the workplace. Bob Dunlevey, an OSBA board certified labor and employment law specialist, will discuss and answer questions on this timely subject.

NUCA, with the help of the Educational Committee, is developing its first mobile application. The goal is to more efficiently disseminate information from NUCA to members, such as safety alerts and toolbox talks, but also allow members to quickly and easily find the information they need for their companies. Eventually, the committee would like the app to have the capability to stream training programs to employees. The app is still in the initial stages, but the committee thinks this will be an excellent benefit to NUCA members once it is put in place.

NUCA’s Education Committee is an active group of members who are determined to develop better, more efficient, and easy-to-access education for member companies and their employees. In the not-too-distant future, the committee will be rolling out NUCA University with a diverse set of offerings for all employees of all levels for member companies. There are many educational issues important to our industry that the committee is working to address. If you are interested in participating in the committee, please contact NUCA’s Director of Education Committee, Jim Stephani, or Education Committee Chair and NUCA contractor, Bill Bocchino,

Any NUCA member may attend and join the Education Committee. Please contact Jim Stepahin or Bill Bocchino for details.

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