NTA Proves Effectiveness Of Regional Association

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2009 Vol. 64 No. 9
Danielle Martin, winner of the 2008 Founders Award with 2009 president Ralph Edwards (left) and previous president Bruce Hubbard

A major achievement is beginning an active effort to educate consulting engineers about the benefits of trenchless construction, particularly directional drilling, an area that has been given little attention by the industry. Membership now includes two engineers: Brian Dorwart, PE, PG, vice president, Haley & Aldrich, and Stephen Broadbent, Wright Pierce. Dorwart serves this year as association secretary.

Meetings are held six times a year. For the convenience of members, they are scheduled at various locations in the region. An annual meeting is held each January,

Continuing education is an important part of each meeting with representatives of industry suppliers, and industry experts and associations conducting training seminars.

Topics covered include HDD Good Practices, trenchless water and sewer construction, safety roundtable discussions, and consideration of problems encountered on projects and how members have addressed them.

"We will continue to offer programs involving safety, new technologies and good business practices," says Edwards. "Contracts and human relations also are timely topics."

Communication
Soon after the association was established, it developed a log and established a web site: www.northeasttrenchless.com. The site was reorganized and improved in 2008 and includes information about association events and schedules; a directory of members and basic information about directional drilling, sliplining, auger boring, pipe jacking, locating buried utilities, vacuum excavation and other technologies; news about member products or comments of members about industry issues; and links to other industry web sites.

NTA maintains its visibility using public relations, advertising and a public relations program to keep regional and national trade publications informed of association programs and activities.

An annual summer outing combines business with pleasure and has become an anticipated event for association members. Indeed, one of the most frequent comments from visiting speakers and event guests is how close members are with one another.

"Many new, close friendships have developed through participation in the NTA," agrees Edwards. "Professional common interests have extended to the personal level."

One benefit of a regional association is members understand common issues.