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Promising Future For PLCAC
“The outlook for 2010 and beyond is harder to predict due to the prevailing economic circumstances and concerns as to how long it will take the economy to rebound. There are projects on the drawing board which the owners and operators have indicated they are committed to, but it is a matter of timing and the level of sustained consumer demand that will determine just how busy it will be.”
According to Shipka, major projects currently proposed for future construction include the Enbridge Fort Hills Project, the KXL Keystone Expansion and the Enbridge Gateway Project.
Shipka noted other areas of concern for PLCAC members, but was quick to point out that these are similar to the challenges faced by almost everyone in the construction industry, be it pipeline, or otherwise. They include:
- Concerns over an aging workforce -- the need and means of attracting and retaining younger workers who can be trained to replace experienced workers who will be exiting the work force over the next several years;
- The impact of globalization on competition for contracts;
- The environmental movement and its effect on industry policies, practices and procedures;
- Increased regulatory legislation and oversight, contributing to an increase in the “red tape” associated with working in the construction industry and;
- Improve safety in the workplace to ensure the protection of all stakeholders.
In reflecting on his term as PLCAC president, Shipka said: “It has been a very satisfying year working with the board of directors and the staff to collectively address the many issues that our industry faces and to carry out the PLCAC’s mandate from the membership.”
Shipka represented the PLCAC at the annual conventions of the International Pipeline & Offshore Contractors Association, Distribution Contractors Association and the U.S. Pipe Line Contractors Association.
“The opportunity to represent the PLCAC was exceptionally rewarding,” commented Shipka, “not just from the perspective of being able to travel to exotic locations, but to gain further insight into the challenges facing our sister associations and the various ways that they are addressing those challenges to advance the mutual interests of our industry.