NUCA Committee Updates: Workforce Development – Local Chapters Heed the Call

Workforce development is a matter that is near and dear to the hearts of many NUCA members. In a tight job market, recruiting, training and retaining workers is a must for maintaining current business levels and positioning for the future.

NUCA is helping to meet the needs of member companies with a variety of initiatives not only at the national level through the Workforce Development Committee, but at the local level as well through its chapters.

The following are examples of what various chapters are doing to achieve the mission of the Workforce Development Committee:

NUCA of Eastern Washington & North Idaho

NUCA of Eastern Washington & North Idaho hosted Dozer Day
NUCA of Eastern Washington & North Idaho hosted Dozer Day in May.

Dozer Day, May 18-19. The chapter held a very successful Dozer Day in May to get local kids and their families interested in construction fields. The chapter also hosted a “career fair” type event May 17 where local high school kids interested in the trades were invited to tour the Dozer Day site where many of our sponsors (NPL Gas Installers, Avista Power Co., Fatbeam, AGC Apprenticeship, and others) hosted a booth and activity for the kids to have hands-on exposure. The Friday event attendance was affected by poor weather conditions, but the sponsor companies were enthusiastic about the event. The 2019 event gave the chapter a good building block for this year and following years.

NUCA of Eastern Washington & North Idaho hosted Dozer Day
Giving kids hands-on exposure is the hallmark of Dozer Day.

NUCA of Greater Kansas City Region

The Greater Kansan City chapter hosted is first Dozer Day
Long lines: The Greater Kansan City chapter hosted is first Dozer Day in October.

Dozer Day, October 5-6. The chapter held its first Dozer Day in October for local attendees at the Kansas Speedway. The chapter partnered with dozens of sponsors to bring Dozer Day to Kansas City area, focusing on children 2-12. The event aimed to build awareness about careers in construction and teach the value of building sustainable communities. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, and included lots of construction equipment, games and food, plus autographs from NASCAR Truck Series’ Jennifer Jo Cobb.

NASCAR Truck Series’ Jennifer Jo Cobb
JJ Racing: NASCAR Truck Series’ Jennifer Jo Cobb (center) was a popular draw.

Suncoast Utility Contractors Association

SUCA held its annual career day
SUCA held its annual career day event in February.

Tampa Bay Construction Career Days Event, February 21. SUCA held its annual career day event in February. The fourth one was held in February, with more than 750 students across the Tampa Bay area attending it at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds to get hands-on experience and learn about the construction industry. From operating 18 pieces of heavy machinery to learning about concrete, paving, traffic c ontrol, engineering and more in interactive “learning labs,” the attendees were able to connect with representatives from the Florida DOT and various engineering firms and contractors, many of which are looking to hire students right out of high school. For more information about the 2020 event scheduled for February 20, 2020, visit ccdfl.org/tampa/.

SUCA held its annual career day
The event provided hands-on experience as well as the opportunity to learn about the construction industry.

NUCA of Middle Tennessee

The Middle Tennessee Kids Fun Fest
The Middle Tennessee event was well-attended by parents and kids in the 3-12 age group.

Kids Construction Fun Fest, June 1. The newest NUCA chapter partnered with a local farm in Eagleville, Tennessee, and Bobcat of Nashville, on their inaugural workforce development event. The event was well-attended by parents and kids in the 3-12 age group. NUCA, Tennessee 811, and Cleary Construction set up canopies and exhibits at the event. The Nashville branch of Core & Main provided plastic pipes for a special sandbox area to enable kids to play in. Clearly Construction provided an excavator simulator and did demos for the children on using the machinery. The NUCA MidTN Board will continue to evaluate whether to partner again next year, perhaps expanding the event and involving more NUCA member companies, such as the equipment dealers providing the demonstration vehicles.

For more information on NUCA’s Workforce Development Committee, its activities, and how you can get involved, contact staff liaison Robert Baylor (robert@nuca.com).

RELATED: Utility Contractor’s Publishing House Launches Kids Construction Magazine

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