Yes, another year has passed and so we enter the 64th year of the Keystone Chapter’s existence. In the same way we look to our storied past for inspiration, we look to the future for opportunity and growth. 2023 will be no different than any other year. It will provide us and our members with many challenges, but with challenges come opportunities.
As I sit to write this article the election results are still not definitively known. What we do know is that PA will have Josh Shapiro as our next Governor. The State Senate will remain Republican. However, there is a good possibility the Statehouse will flip to the Democrats. On the National front, the Democrats will retain the Senate while the house, through leaning Republican, is still undecided.
October is Nationally designated as “Careers in Construction Month.” Keystone traditionally highlights what we do for the industry and our members through all our marketing efforts. Therefore, I want to recap some of the exciting things that happened as well as the number of members that took advantage of the things we offer.
Many times, I refer to ABC Keystone as the members’ association. The fact is that ABC Keystone is not only the members’ association, but it is a member-driven association. This was very evident by the participation in our recent strategic planning session. I want to thank the more than 50 members and staff who gave up a day and a half to review and update our 2022-2024 strategic plan.
As we enter September, we usually think about finally reaching the home stretch for the year. However, here at ABC Keystone we start planning for the start of the new year ahead. Like most businesses, we have to think about the budget, but that is only one component. For our association, September becomes focused on strategic planning and making sure we elect our new Board members for 2023.
It is hard to believe that over half of 2022 has gone by. With this, ABC Keystone needs to look at how we are doing in terms of the strategic initiatives we set forth at the beginning of the year. The four areas we review are Political Influence, Continuous Growth & Value, Safety & Health, and Being the Leading Force in Workforce Development Education & Training.
This month we celebrate the July 4th holiday, or as the older generation knows it, “Independence Day.” For some, this is just another day off from work. But to many, it is truly the celebration of our freedom, freedom from oppression and tyranny to create a more perfect government. This day is recognized yearly in honor of the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
We hear all the time from those outside our industry that we are not safe, yet we hear our members say they take “Safety First” seriously. Which is it? It’s probably a little bit of both. Statistically, over the last several decades our industry has continued to get safer. However, we can do better to reduce jobsite injuries and fatalities.
The Keystone Chapter has expanded its footprint from 10 counties of South-Central PA to a new footprint of 33 counties in Central PA. The Board of Directors for the ABC Central PA Chapter voted in May to have their Chapter consolidated into the ABC Keystone Chapter. Following this vote, your ABC Keystone Board of Directors voted to accept the consolidation. The final step was in June, when the National ABC Board voted to approve the consolidation as of June 14, 2022.
It has been just a little over two years since Governor Wolf determined that construction was unessential, and the entire industry was shut down in PA. Shortly after, the ABC National Convention was cancelled. This annual event that focuses on the accomplishments of chapters and members would have to wait. 2021 would see a smaller version of the Convention with limited attendance and no National Craft Competition.
As we watch today’s headlines unfold before our eyes, we begin to wonder, “Haven’t we been here before?” I have said many times that we can’t live in the past, but we need to learn from the past. Based on the current state of affairs all around this country, I’m not sure our politicians have learned anything from the past.
One of the main focuses of ABC Keystone’s new three-year strategic plan is the continued expansion of our workforce development efforts. But first, we need to understand what ‘Workforce Development’ means. When I ask members for a definition, most say “getting people interested in our industry and then getting them employed.” Correct! However, that is just the first half of the concept. The second half is taking those that are already in the industry and continuing to develop them and grow their careers so we can retain them.