ABC Keystone Training Facility

By: Roger S. Brubaker, Meadow Valley Electric, Inc., 2020 Chair of the Board – ABC Keystone

Roger S. Brubaker 2020 Chair of the Board, ABC Keystone Director of Construction Services Meadow Valley Electric, Inc.

Well, as my predecessors have noted before me, it is hard to believe 2019 is over and done! It was certainly an exciting year with a number of notable Chapter accomplishments. And of course, none of these accomplishments would have been possible without dedicated staff, the many hours volunteered by our Board of Directors, and the strong leadership of our outgoing Chair, Doug Dvorchak, and our CEO-President, Dave Sload. As your 2020 Chair, I promise to uphold the proud traditions of our Chapter and ensure we continue to raise the bar of excellence in the construction industry.

As a new specialty contractor member in 1992 (Wilco Electric, Inc.), little did I know how much ABC Keystone would shape my life and my belief in free enterprise. Early on, our company utilized Chapter resources sparingly and really did not maximize our membership due to our lack of involvement. Eventually, I got more involved and spent time learning about craft training and apprenticeship while serving on the Apprenticeship Committee. Consequently, our company began formally training apprentices. Growing as a young leader, I accepted the Committee Chair role while working with my peers to help build a training lab and classroom in the basement of our Chapter building.

At the time, what was accomplished in finally having our own classroom/lab space seemed like a giant leap for our training program. Today, as I consider our current state-of-the-art training facility with full time instructors and over 400 apprentices, it is truly incredible that our big goals of 15 years ago have actually become reality! Such is life at ABC Keystone!

So, you may ask, “Where do we go from here?” Well, we can never do enough to work more safely, right? So, building on Chair Dvorchak’s 2019 focus on STEP (Safety Training Evaluation Process) participation, I am committed to increasing our Chapter STEP participants by at least 10% in 2020. STEP Gold level award-winning companies are 193% safer than the BLS (Bureaur of Labor Statistics) average. That’s right – 193% better chance of going home to your family each night! This program makes job sites safer, period!

A second focus area this year is on member engagement. For a number of years the Chapter has tracked this all-important value using metrics like event attendance, attendance at training seminars, service on committees, and others. Traditionally, members participating in these offerings have been executive, manager and mid-manager level employees. More recently, as our non-apprentice craft and safety training has expanded offerings, more field employees are becoming involved with ABC Keystone.

My goal this year is to continue growing this trend. This will be accomplished by: 1) creating an Apprentice Alumni group which would meet a few times each year, and 2) plan an event especially geared for past apprentices and current journeypersons who have gone through the ABC Keystone program. Hopefully this will enable our past apprentices to stay connected to and better understand what the Keystone Chapter “IT” factor feels like! Yes, we have “IT” and we are not going to lose “IT” on my watch!

Now, let’s get to work together!

Posted January 7, 2020