The PCCA Education & Research Foundation was created, in part, to address the workforce shortage in the utility construction industry. Utility contractors around the country all report similar situations with their workforce, telling us they need more qualified workers to deal with record workloads.

One contractor reported turning down a hundred-mile fiber job because he simply didn't have the manpower to perform the work. The problem affects our entire industry - contractors and suppliers, big companies and small, and in every part of the country.

The workforce shortage has dominated the PCCA board of directors' agenda at recent meetings. The board is moving forward with several initiatives that aim to make a dent in that shortage. At a recent meeting, the board approved a plan to start a PCCA scholarship fund to provide up to four scholarships per year for children of PCCA members and their employees. At the same time, the PCCA education committee has been working on plans to develop and endorse a utility construction curriculum for technical schools and community colleges that can be transported around the nation. The board believes that one large obstacle to entry into the construction industry for graduating high school students is their parents' desire for their children to get a college education. These two initiatives target that belief with both funding of higher education and the development of a higher education curriculum that directly addresses utility contractors' needs.