NUCA of Kentucky’s First Event for VIP Excavation Contractors Opens New Era For State’s Industry
After a busy year that ended in the presentation of NUCA of Kentucky’s founding charter last February, the state’s premier association for excavation contractors held its first event for its membership on May 13 in Louisville.
“It was terrific seeing such turnout of excavation contractors to our first-ever event,” said Adam Terry, the chapter’s new president. “Over the next year, we’re going to work to make sure our chapter’s focus is on promoting safety to our members. Our jobsites are where we work to build Kentucky’s new underground infrastructure, and NUCA of Kentucky wants to make sure our members have the tools to make them as safe as humanly possible. Our member’s employees are our greatest asset.”
Both NUCA’s Chairman Lauren Atwell of Jacksonville, Florida, and NUCA’s CEO Doug Carlson were on hand to congratulate the chapter for its rapid success over the last several months. It was just over one year ago that the first organizing meeting of the chapter was held, bringing together seven state contractors who knew about the numerous business advantages membership delivers to them in a trade association like NUCA of Kentucky.
With the growing excitement in Congress to pass historic infrastructure legislation this year, the chapter is also focused on workforce development in the state. New projects to rebuild municipal wastewater systems, remove lead service lines, or build entirely new water infrastructure for growing county populations are going to require a skilled workforce.
The industry’s labor shortage will become more acute as the state’s economy grows out of the 2020 pandemic, so ensuring these new projects have enough employees will be a challenge for the chapter’s members. Underground utility work can deliver a high-paying job building the actual foundation of local communities, a gratifying experience sought today by many younger Kentuckians looking for their first job and seeking to give something meaningful back to their hometowns and cities.
The May 13 event also gave President Terry the opportunity to present several of the chapter’s members industry awards. Recognizing its members for the hard work and difficult projects they complete is part of NUCA of Kentucky’s mission. Underground utility construction can be hard to remember once it is covered, but the efforts of chapter members will always be remembered by their peers. Neal Biggs, MAC Construction, won the chapter’s 2020 “Ditchdigger of the Year” award, followed by Joey Ashby of the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District, winning the 2020 “Excellence in Action” award.
The event’s location was generously donated by Louisville Paving and Construction at its Louisville facility.
NUCA of Kentucky is seeking to make its first year a memorable period for its members, and to expand its membership to more industry contractors and suppliers. Many contractors join trade associations like NUCA for networking, finding the next project, and using its business benefits to better the lives of their employees. They also are able to enjoy fun social events like the Utility Construction Kickoff of 2021 and talk shop with fellow diggers.
Underground construction is literally the underpinning for the state’s economy and to delivering a comfortable and healthy life for every Kentuckian. President Terry is looking forward to more industry businesses becoming part of this new chapter. The state chapter can be found online at www.nucaKY.com.