They say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Well, I hope not! I felt tremendous energy and momentum everywhere I turned at our annual convention, and it was fantastic! I believe this momentum will become more powerful this year as we continue to focus on our three-year strategic plan, created last year by NUCA’s leadership. The plan identifies five key areas important to NUCA and the industry: workforce development, education, advocacy, chapter and member engagement and organizational growth and communication.
I was inspired to hear all the discussion and ideas in committee meetings and the enthusiasm to move committee initiatives forward. As I listened to members talking, it occurred to me how critical our grassroots efforts are to successful initiatives. NUCA represents our industry on the national level and plays a very important role for chapters and their members. Members are affected by national issues, but they also face and are affected by local initiatives and our chapters play an equally important role for members at the local level.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Let’s not reinvent the wheel.” And one of my many goals this year is to find new ways for NUCA chapters and members to share information. The amount of knowledge and experience of NUCA and chapter leadership, members and staff is extraordinary, and many of these individuals would gladly share information and resources. We simply need to find the most effective way to communicate it.
I recently discovered several chapter initiatives that could be shared between chapters. NUCA of Washington shared information on Dozer Days — a workforce development event that has been templated by the original event creators so it can easily be replicated. NUCA of Indiana shared a book of one-call recommendations developed for its state representatives, which contains information that could prove invaluable for members in other states facing one-call reform. NUCA of Pennsylvania shared a copy of a unique, professionally developed marketing piece for prospective members, which could be easily tailored to different chapter areas.
NUCA plans to support a series of Dropboxes to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas. A Safety and Damage Prevention Dropbox with successful one-call advocacy and best practices information has already been created, and we will continue to create informational Dropboxes on other issues as the need arises. NUCA, as a national organization, is only as strong as our chapters, and our chapters can and should help each other thrive!
Grassroots political movements are incredibly important in contemporary politics — which brings me to my final rallying point: Please attend NUCA’s Washington Summit, May 16-18, in Washington, D.C. Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill coined the phrase, “All politics is local,” by which he meant that politicians must understand and respond to the everyday concerns of the people in their community who elect them to remain successful. And let’s face it, many of our elected officials are largely oblivious to our industry’s concerns. They need to hear and understand them and respond.
We must tell our congressional representatives that we support financing opportunities for infrastructure that include SRF appropriations and tax code reforms. We support workforce development that will help grow, train and strengthen our labor force. We do not support costly and burdensome regulations that make building and improving America’s infrastructure more difficult. We will take these priorities to Capitol Hill, and you should join us because they matter to you and our industry.
A strong turnout at NUCA’s Washington Summit is critical to the success of our advocacy efforts. I have no doubt that making the trip to Washington, D.C., will change your perspective on the importance of national and grassroots advocacy and the difference your involvement can make in your business and industry.
I look forward to seeing you there. Until then, work safe, stay informed, remain involved and always be NUCA proud.
Kara Habrock | NUCA Chairwoman of the Board
L.G. Roloff Construction Co. Inc.