By: Steve Conway, Pyramid Construction Services, LLC, A Quandel Company, ABC Keystone 2023 Chair of the Board
ABC Keystone Members,
Welcome to a New Year, with new goals and a fresh perspective on the clean slate for 2023. As your Chairman for 2023, I want to take a moment to share some of the exciting initiatives that we as a Chapter will be working on throughout the year.
In 2022, ABC Keystone embarked on a new course. . With the absorption of ABC Central PA, we grew from an organization that served 10 counties to one that now serves 33 counties. Geographically, we now represent almost half of the state of Pennsylvania. Over the past year, we have re-established the ABC foothold in the Nittany Valley Region and are poised to offer some of the same great services we have become accustomed to here in the Keystone region. Our team has begun establishing relationships with the local Career and Technical Centers (CTCs) in the region as we look to expand our efforts in workforce development and training. We will also be hosting events and education opportunities, and looking to the members of the Nittany Valley Region to share what they see as the missing service offerings that we may be able to provide. We have an abundance of opportunities ahead of us. Be on the lookout for events and opportunities that we will be offering in the Nittany Valley Region.
Workforce Development and Education initiatives continue to expand. This year, we will be planning for programs designed to mentor new and small businesses, by partnering them with other industry professionals that can share their expertise and knowledge. Workforce availability is a challenge we all face. ABC Keystone will continue to create external partnerships with an emphasis on diversity and outreach. Through research that was conducted by the Inclusion, Diversity, and Unity Committee, we have identified many of the barriers to entry into the industry which we plan to address. And as we have done for the past number of years, we will continue to expand our efforts with entry-level recruiting, working with CTCs and other internal programs that we can offer to the schools within our region to create exposure to and excitement about the industry.
On the legislative side, we will continue to contend with more of the same. With over 60 freshmen legislators entering the capitol, our political advocacy team is going to be spending much of their time introducing these new members to ABC and; advancing ABC’s legislative agenda. During our strategic planning session back in September, we put a bit of a different spin on Political Advocacy. We shifted from our age-old defensive posture and took more of an offensive approach, more of a grassroots approach. We established attainable goals and will be looking to our members this year for creative ways of spreading the word about ABC.
When it comes to member strength, we continue to expand our membership to levels that we haven’t seen in almost 8 years, not counting the consolidation of the Central PA Chapter. When we add in the new members from the Nittany Valley Region, we will have ended 2022 with a membership count of roughly 655 members. By membership, we are the 4th largest chapter in the country. In 2023, we will continue to focus on communicating the value of membership to prospective new members and continue to track our member engagement, which will provide us valuable insight as to what programs and services our members want and need.
Lastly, and possibly the most important of our initiatives is of the safety and health of our workforce. As we all know, we work in a high-risk industry. The construction industry ranks #4 for having the highest number of fatal accidents in any industry. As ABC members, we are committed to providing our employees with a safe work environment. Currently, 22% of our contractor members are participating in the STEP program – a program that is proven to make employers safer. Though STEP may not be right for every contractor member, this number should certainly be much higher. A task force was established late in 2022 to focus on how to increase member participation in the program. Additionally, we as a chapter will be implementing programming for Total Human Health, the next step in the evolution of creating a safer work environment. We can no longer look at safety as exposure to just bodily injury. Mental health and emotional well-being must also be factored into our approach.
In closing, I am excited about the year ahead of us. We have a strong membership and great momentum with a clear set of goals. If you have any questions regarding our initiatives or want to share an idea you may have, feel free to reach out to me or any one of the board members or staff.
Cheers to a great New Year!
Posted Jan. 19, 2023