2013 PCCA Convention: Fun-Filled, Information-Packed

May 2013, Vol. 68 No. 5

The Power & Communications Contractors Association recently held its 68th annual convention in Naples, FL, where 332 members and their families soaked up industry education and training, handled association business and enjoyed the company of friends and colleagues from all around the country.

Held at the casually spectacular Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, the convention featured a keynote address by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the always-popular Construction Industry Roundtable, a detailed and upbeat utility construction industry overview, an uplifting Prayer Breakfast and a bustling Associates Exhibit.

Education is always the centerpiece of PCCA meetings and outgoing President Tommy Muse was keen to uphold that tradition. He enlisted fellow Carrollton, GA, native Dr. Shirley Garrett to hold a session on effective communication and her common-sense approach and heartfelt wisdom were big hits in the crowded session room. Muse also tapped FMI's Chris Daum to share his wealth of industry knowledge and quirky sense of humor with PCCA members who are always eager to hear his short- and long-term views on the markets in which they work. Daum, Sr. Managing Director of FMI Capital Advisors Inc., delighted the PCCA crowd with favorable outlooks for the power and telecom markets as well as for the overall U.S. economy.

Roundtable
PCCA members filled two tiers of seats for the biannual PCCA Construction Industry Roundtable. Tom Harter, Engineering Associates Inc., provided a report from the American Communications Engineers. His outlook was largely positive, though he noted that there is a lot of uncertainty in the industry. He is very optimistic about the rural fiber-to-the-home market, saying that there should be "tons of work out there when everything lines up." Jerrod Henschel of Michels and John Fluharty of Mears updated attendees on PCCA's efforts to ensure that wage classifications on prevailing wage projects match up with the work actually being performed on those projects, as well as an outreach to the Department of Transportation about hours-of-service rules during non-official emergencies. The roundtable concluded with an information-packed report from economist Mark Bridgers of the Continuum Advisory Group, who added to the positive tone but also noted several factors to be wary of, including poorly performing politicians, volatility caused by implementation of the new health care law and a regulatory environment that makes it difficult for utilities to implement long-term strategies.