Organization Develops Websites to Aid Underground Construction Industry

The Distribution Contractors Association launched three new microsites that are targeted at training, education, and job seeking and recruitment

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The Distribution Contractors Association now has three auxiliary microsites granting access to a wealth of underground industry resources from a single, user-friendly location. The sites provide education, training and job seeker/recruitment tools and opportunities aimed at getting people back to work. 

“There are a lot of changes going on in the industry and DCA has a lot of resources. These sites offer an excellent way to share them,” says Rob Darden, DCA executive vice president.

DCA officially launched its “Let’s Get to Work” website (www.dcaletsgettowork.com) in October 2020 at the DCA Virtual Fall Meeting. 

“There’s generally been a shortage of workers in construction and energy-related fields for years now. With the pandemic, it has only gotten worse,” Darden says. “We’ve created these microsites to serve as a gateway between the willing workforce and great companies with high-paying jobs and careers. If we have one message to the industry with this site, it’s, ‘We’ve made it easy – now let’s get to work!’”

The site’s development and release are the result of a partnership between DCA and Mike Rowe. DCA and the American Petroleum Institute were the sole sponsors of Rowe’s popular discovery+ program, “Six Degrees with Mike Rowe,” that launched Jan. 4, 2020. The show incorporates energy workforce messaging along with advertising from DCA and two member companies, Michels and Artera Services. In Spring 2021, the series will be streaming on the Discovery Channel.

Companies can use the site to promote jobs, and potential employees can connect with the companies. Workforce candidates range from students looking for their first jobs to trades people with advanced skill sets.

In addition to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, the site’s easy-to-use resources include contributions from Jason Dorsey and the Center for Generational Kinetics, the Center for Energy Workforce Development, SkillsUSA, Helmets to Hardhats, Troops to Energy, and more.  

“We put them all in one organized place, so it’s easier for you to find what you need and use those materials to attract new hires,” Darden says. “We’ve even developed simple guides that help you see how to use the materials to get your best results.” 

DCATrenchless (www.dcatrenchless.com) was launched during the DCA Virtual Spring Meeting in early March 2021. The site’s comprehensive, multimedia content gives users a concise, basic overview of the applications, techniques, equipment, and tooling used in horizontal directional drilling and other trenchless technologies. Topics also include drilling fluid’s purpose, environmentally friendly additives, and the recycling process.

“This site’s a trenchless educational resource teaching how it not only avoids costly demolition and consequent restoration of surface structures and landscapes but offers utility installers capabilities that are only possible with trenchless,” Darden says. 

DCA members will find the DCATrenchless site to be an asset they can use both for their own education and as a resource to educate others. However, its value extends throughout the industry to all stakeholders. It’s for anyone curious about trenchless technologies and aims to debunk public misconceptions.

“Misinformation causes needless controversy,” Darden says. “We hope our educational microsites help to curb that unnecessary waste of energy and emotion. Misperceptions based on false notions create obstacles that keep jobs from getting done and people from getting work.”  

Also released last year was the OQIP microsite (www.oqip.org), which focuses on the Operator Qualification Integrity Process. OQIP is a DCA-initiated training resource developed in partnership with natural gas associations such as the AGA and regional gas associations, OQ training providers, local distribution companies as well as federal regulators. The site provides training resources for use by both natural gas providers and utility companies. 

“DCA developed these three microsites to provide the industry with valuable resources,” Darden says. “Several more sites are in the works, including government relations and safety/risk management. As an association, you can never provide your members with enough information and resources.”  

DCA serves as a link between DCA members, government agencies, organized labor, and other industry organizations. Its programs, committees and organized events offer DCA members professional recognition and the opportunity to serve the underground construction industry. The organization is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2021. For more information, visit dcaweb.org



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