PCCA 2012: High Times In The Texas Hill Country

June 2012, Vol. 67 No. 6
PCCA President Tommy Muse

In March, more than 260 power and communications professionals and their families headed for the hills outside of San Antonio, TX, for the 67th annual Power and Communication Contractors Association convention.

At the fabulous Hyatt Regency Hill Country, PCCA members exchanged valuable information, attended topical education sessions, enjoyed captivating speakers, learned about the latest products and services, caught up with old friends, made some new ones and enjoyed a wide variety of fun-filled events.

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The Construction Industry Roundtable, always the centerpiece of PCCA meetings, focused on a number of topics that are vital to power and communications construction, most notably the Federal Communication Commission's proposed changes to the Connect America Fund, Universal Service Fund and Inter-Carrier Compensation. These programs have been crucial in bringing broadband and its benefits to rural communities across the country, and their uncertain future is slowing down this significant work.

Other important topics discussed included the future of RUS infrastructure programs after stimulus funding dries up, prevailing wage requirements, the ongoing worldwide fiber shortage, increased commodity prices, federal emissions requirements, natural gas-powered construction equipment and the E-Verify program.

PCCA kicked off the convention with its Young Construction Professionals Program, which aims to help association members become more effective construction executives and provide up-and-coming company executives with tools they need to succeed. This year’s YCP session focused on market analysis and strategic planning, and featured business-building tips from ElectriCom President and PCCA Past President Kevin Mason.

Construction overview
FMI's Chris Daum led a utility construction overview session that touched on all of PCCA members' major markets and provided a very positive outlook for all. "These should be very good times for everybody," Daum said. The convention's final educational session covered topics important to all business people: reducing risk and increasing profitability.

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The convention had many touching moments, as well. Members sadly, yet fondly, remembered 2011 PCCA President Larry Libla, who passed away suddenly last November. Everyone was delighted that Larry's wife of 39 years, Pam, and his three daughters joined the group in San Antonio to share in the remembrances and to enjoy the convention that Larry and Pam had planned so well.