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ABCSD Chairman of the Board Update
September 1, 2020
A year of accomplishments in the midst of a challenging year
Wow! 2020 has been the year none of us will ever forget. We have struggled but for the most part the construction industry has been thriving. Shandon and the staff at ABC have done an incredible job of keeping our chapter and apprenticeship program on track. The challenges that we have faced have brought out the best in leadership and people both in our chapter and our member’s companies.
Here at ABC San Diego we have many accomplishments to celebrate and recognize there are many worthwhile goals moving forward.
News you can use: Since March of this year, we have sent out over 270+ daily and twice-daily emails updating our members (and the construction community at large) on the ever-changing rapid-fire information flowing like a firehose out of all our local, state and federal governments as it pertains to COVID-19. We have built new relationships and will continue to foster those relationships even after the COVID-19 headlines come to an end.
Membership engagement and growth: Despite seeing some of the most difficult economic challenges, ABC San Diego is sustaining over 90% retention numbers related to membership renewals. The ABC National average is 86%. San Diego has not exceeded 86% for many years. This year, we have grown! We have been told that new members are joining because “we hear ABC San Diego is the place to be” [as it pertains to association membership].
While we could not have events in person, we continued to stay engaged with webinars, interactive hours, and other member-focused events. Identifying subject matters that would be meaningful and beneficial for our members. For example, Moss Adams joined ABCSD to share updates and information on the PPP and Cares Act. In addition, we hosted a COVID-19 Testing Event. We collaborated with a local laboratory and offered free testing to our members and their families. We had a total of 84 participants ranging in ages from 4 to 65+.
Being mindful of our members' safety and wellbeing, we have completely restructured our annual golf event and look forward to hosting this year’s “Day on the Green”. This event will be held on September 11 at Maderas Golf Club. We also have an upcoming membership event, a virtual BINGO NIGHT (9/24) which along with BINGO will feature happy hour boxes and beer.
We did not sit down, we drove through: ABCSD graduated 116 graduates from our program without watering down or changing the curriculum which included hands-on lab assignments during the spring semester. We had our largest graduating class in the history of our program. We celebrated “drive-through” style and learned that no one wants to go back to “long boring speeches” and “rubber chicken dinners”. We are looking to a new and improved graduation for 2021 which may have a combination of outdoors and indoors and ensuring the graduate “family support teams” are all able to join in the celebration.
Young Professionals continue to move forward: 2020 marked YP’s second year. This year they kicked off their mentorship program. This program is giving our young industry leaders the opportunity to connect with industry leaders as mentors. An opportunity to learn and grown as they set sights on their career paths and goals. The YP’s hosted an educational event in July and welcomed guest speaker, Malachi Walker, Project Management Professional and USD Instructor. He shared with the group information on developing leadership skills as well as his experiences with managing teams. The YP’s will also host a Virtual Trivia Night for YP Group Members and ABCSD Members on October 8.
Technology is an integral part of our plans: ABCSD has approached technology with intent. To increase efficiency, we opened online portals in our database for contractors and students. Contractors were given access to the portals to our database which enabled them to obtain information about their company, employees, apprentices, and journeymen. We added access and information for the apprentices, such as class schedules, wage levels, class attendance, OJT work hours and reports, program rules, regulations handbook and a history of all email or text communications from ABC, and much more. Further, we have streamlined the OJT reporting process for apprentices enabling them to submit OJT hours through the online portal.
In addition, ABCSD is currently participating in a technology-focused campaign. Looking for innovative ways to improve processes, work practices, and developing ways to work smarter for the betterment of our students, members, and staff. With four months left in 2020, we look forward to finishing strong.
Looking forward to 2021:
In the coming year, we are making a big effort in apprentice training advocacy on a local and statewide level. We are joining other apprentice programs to send positive messages about our apprentices and journeymen to the decision-makers who need to know that by supporting PLA’s they are excluding large numbers of highly skilled and trained workers who are members of their communities.
In sending this positive message your participation in ABC’s STEP program (STEP = Safety Training Evaluation Process) will not only demonstrate our commitment to safety but it will help your company reduce accidents and lower your experience mod. We have only 13% of our membership enrolled in STEP and that number should be 100%. If you have not enrolled in STEP please do this today. It is an easy application and will help our chapter and industry become recognized as a leader in safety. Your participation in STEP is a powerful message that will impress.
ABCSD will continue in its efforts to keep our members informed with the latest updates and information, equipped through our programs and services, and engaged through member events and opportunities. We remain flexible and adaptable knowing that there are still many uncertainties ahead. We look forward to partnering with you for the betterment of our industry and our community.
Thank you for the chance to serve!
Jeff is the Chairman of the ABCSD Board of Directors and CEO/President of Ace Electric, Inc.