Utility Contractor

MAR-APR 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

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18 Utility Contractor | March/April 2018 NUCA Connection As mentioned, Fuglevand's roots with NUCA trace back to his early days with Marshbank. "At the time I joined Marshbank we were a small, growing company, and we knew that we needed to get more involved in the contracting community," he said. "At the suggestion of friends, we decided to get involved with NUCA of Washington. Almost immediately, I became part of the board and eventually reached the position of chapter president. It was at that point that I got involved with national NUCA. I felt like a bit of an outsider at first, but was intentional about meeting people and learning more about this organization, filled with great people working together to solve common problems in construction." His involvement with NUCA has been an important part of his professional and personal development, Fuglevand said. "I have developed friends all over the country who are just a phone call away if I need some advice – that is a big benefit," he said. "I developed leadership skills over time enabling me to speak in front of a crowd, which play out nicely while working with contractors and owners. From a business development standpoint, the exposure and opportunities to meet owners and clients is invaluable. It gives me a chance to build trust and relationships, which go a long way in obtaining new projects to work on." As incoming chairman, Fuglevand sees workforce development as the top priority. "The workforce situation is scary," he said. "At Marshbank, the crews were all in their 40s and 50s, and you wonder where the next generation of craftsmen is going to come from. There is a severe shortage of people coming into the industry. We were limited in our ability to grow simply because we could not find qualified operators, pipe layers, etc. "We definitely need to push workforce development. We need to work with the high schools and vocational and technical training, to let students know that there are high-paying jobs available that do not depend on a college education and the debt that comes with it. I think we are slowly seeing some positive signs, but it is going to require continued effort." In addition to workforce development, Fuglevand cites advocacy and membership as priorities. "As a group, it is important to make sure that regulations affecting contractors are not onerous and that we are able to conduct our business without being over- regulated," he said. "One way to achieve this is by strengthening our membership. The more members we have, the louder our voice." (L-r) Fuglevand, Jeff Rumer, Kara Habrock, Ron Nunes and Florentino Gregorio ponder the whereabouts of Bruce Wendorf. Fuglevand was among the NUCA officers installed at the 2017 Convention. The proud first-place NUCA golf outing team of (from left) Rob Krzys, Fuglevand and Dan East. Fuglevand, right, and the Washington State contingent visiting Rep. Rick Larsen, center, during NUCA's Washington Summit.

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