PCCA Enjoys Strong, Productive Year

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | February 2009 Vol. 236 No. 2

PCCA President Ron Tagliapietra

Buyer's Guide

The year 2008 represented significant accomplishments for the Power and Communications Contractors Association (PCCA) and its members, reports association president Ron Tagliapietra, senior vice president at Michels Corp.

"At the end of the year, our membership – like the rest of the construction industry – was dealing with a down economy," said Tagliapietra. "However, we are facing it with a positive, optimistic attitude. Our association has been through this before, and fairly recently with the telecom crash earlier this decade. Taking guidance from our members, we got lean when times got tough and we've stayed lean even though we have had several very strong years in a row."

Tagliapietra said significant accomplishments during 2008 include:

  • Launching of the PCCA Young Construction Professionals educational program;
  • Continued cooperation with the staffs of the USDA's Rural Development Utility Program (RDUP) and the Association of Communications Engineers (ACE) about amending the RDUP 515 construction contract for telecommunications systems;
  • Informing and educating members about vital industry issues, including the importance of locating and marking utilities before construction and ways of mitigating risks associated with utility hits; and
  • Outreach to prospective new members and educating the industry about the value of PCCA programs and services.

Tagliapietra added that the association continues to work hard to make meetings productive and informative with programs that provide the opportunity for dialog among members.

"We had a very productive 2008 annual convention in February and an excellent mid year meeting in August," he said.

YCP program

Tagliapietra added that he is very proud of development and implementation of the Young Construction Professionals (YCP) program.

"Whether the economy is up or it's down, our people need the skills to help their companies succeed," he explained. "The YCP program helps supply those skills to our up and coming leaders. In the classroom, during our Construction Industry Roundtables, and in the informal mentoring during our meetings, we bring together the young and the old, the experienced and the less experienced but enthusiastic. We all learn from each other, and we have a good time doing it."

Regarding the RDUP program, Tagliapietra said that a PCCA delegation met with RDUP officials and ACE members in August for a frank exchange of experiences and opinions. A group that includes members of PCCA, ACE, the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO), and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) is preparing a document of suggested contract revisions that will be presented at the ACE summer meeting in Washington, D.C. Kevin Mason and Greg Spalj represent PCCA on this group.

Tagliapietra said PCCA's top priority in 2009 is to help keep all industry colleagues productive and profitable in the changing economy.