During the National Utility Contractors Association’s board of directors meeting on Oct. 5, NUCA Foundation for Education & Research chair Alan Gravel announced the winners of the foundation’s 2007 Education and Training Grants for NUCA chapters.
Eight grants totaling $10,000 were awarded to four chapters — Utility Contractors Association of Washington, Utility Contractors Association of North Florida, Georgia Utility Contractors Association and Minnesota Utility Contractors Association.
Created in 1998, the foundation absorbed the education department of the association and started offering continuing education courses, industry and market research and industry promotion. Three years later, it gave out its first education and training grants to chapters. The grants are competitively awarded in support of chapter programs and projects that promote and expand work opportunities in utility construction, recruit and educate a new generation of workers and leaders and enhance the industry’s image.
The Utility Contractors Association of Washington received three grants. The first was UCAW’s second annual Mock Bid. The two-day event allows public owners and design engineers, city managers and administrators, legislators and the American Public Works Association to participate in an actual bid process, which includes reviewing contractor scopes, checking price quotes, reviewing specifications, meeting with subcontractors and checking bid extensions.
The second grant was given to support UCAW’s participation in the APWA’s Fall Congress in the form of a booth and a presentation titled “What’s Happening in Their Offices,” an inside look at bidding and estimating by contractors on public works projects.
The third grant will assist UCAW in setting up a series of industry-relevant education workshops for its members.
The Utility Contractors Association of North Florida received a grant to update the curriculum of its existing four-month-long Basic Underground Utility Construction course, hire experienced teachers and produce a student manual based on the revised course.
The Georgia Utility Contractors Association received three grants.
Having recently joined OSHA, the Georgia Department of Transportation and others in a Struck-By Alliance, GUCA will use one of the grants to develop an educational course for employers and employees regarding struck-by hazards and other issues related to road hazards affecting utility construction installations.
GUCA’s second grant will be used to develop a Construction English as a Second Language course, which will be taught by GUCA’s bilingual instructor.
The third grant will pay for the hiring of two instructors for the chapter’s Trench Rescue Event in north Georgia. During the three-day event, contractors and firefighters from several counties join together to learn the basics of trench rescue.
The grant awarded to the Minnesota Utility Contractors Association will allow the chapter to turn its “Careers in Construction” publication into an online resource, as well as secure advertising space in trade magazines and college promotional materials.