The NUCA Road Trip

Kara HabrockNUCA is truly a NATIONAL organization. We are all over the map!

First, I want to highlight NUCA’s recent (and very successful) Trench Safety Stand Down. It went global! NUCA received a participation form from an Air Force Msgt/Safety Manager at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. The civil engineering airmen teamed up with DOD’s contractor personnel to hold a TSSD. Wow! Throughout TSSD week, I really enjoyed seeing the activity on NUCA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed (#TSSD2017, #NUCAproud). From Florida to Virginia to Missouri to Colorado to Washington State, we had the nation covered.

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Speaking of Washington state — the far-left side of the country (no political pun intended) —Puyallup, Wash., was the site of the wildly successful Dozer Days held in early June. Utility Contractor editor Pam Kleineke took her construction-loving son Carter to Dozer Days. Their experience is chronicled in Groundbreaking News starting on page 8. A big pat on the back to NUCA of Washington and NUCA’s National Workforce Development Committee Chairman, Mark Scoccolo, key organizers and promoters of Dozer Days. Way to target that pre-K/Kindergarten demographic! Get ‘em while they’re young!
If you head east from Puyallup/Seattle on I-90, travel through the Snoqualmie Pass and continue another 250 miles (according to TripAdvisor), you’ll arrive in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. This will be the site of NUCA’s Fall Leadership Conference, Oct. 17-19, 2017. Registration is live, so go to to register and book your room at this beautiful resort. Last one around Tubbs Hill Trail is a rotten egg.

Stock up on snacks in Coeur d’Alene because the next leg of the journey is 1,700 miles — to Peoria, Ill. Here’s where we shouldn’t always trust MapQuest. You’ll head east through Big Sky Country, but the map app will tell you to head east through South Dakota. The discerning traveler will hang a right at Billings, Mont., then head south through Wyoming and Colorado, take a left at Denver, and get on Interstate 80. Why? So you can drive across NEBRASKA of course! Double check your calendar because if the Cornhuskers have a home football game, you should expect a traffic jam on I-80. If you need a break, leave I-80 at exit 440, and come for a visit. I’m 12 miles south on Hwy. 50 in Louisville, Neb. (pop. 1,200; zero traffic). Unless it’s a football Saturday, in which case, you can find me at the Cornhuskers game. I’ll be wearing red.

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Stay on I-80 all the way to the Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Iowa, exit. If you’re deadheading it, and it’s still football Saturday, watch out for Cyclones and Hawkeyes. Hopefully they drive better than they play football (oooooohhhh!). Take a right onto I-74 and head south to Peoria, the land of Caterpillar and home of NUCA’s 2016 Associate Member of the Year Scott Knoblauch. I hope you called ahead because Knobby travels a lot! He may be in Haiti or Panama or some exotic locale. But if you’re lucky, you may catch him in the office or at the farm. Check out his story on page 14. Congratulations Knobby!

The next leg of your trip is short by comparison, 169 miles and roughly 2.5 hours. You’re headed south on I-55 to St. Louis, Mo., the Show Me state. SHOW ME THE SAFETY! NUCA’s annual Safety Directors Forum is scheduled for November 1-2 in St. Louis. Visit for more details. This is a must-go-to meeting for your safety managers and well worth your company’s investment.

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If you can’t road trip, you can still toot your own horn! No matter where you are on the NUCA map, you can submit an application for NUCA’s Top Jobs award. I have talked to enough of you to know that many of you are doing some difficult, innovative work. Take a few minutes to complete the application and get the national and regional recognition you deserve. NUCA will begin accepting applications on September 1 at Don’t pass up the opportunity to spread the word about the important, interesting and complex work you perform.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the ride and always be #NUCAproud.

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Kara Habrock
NUCA Chairwoman of the Board
L.G. Roloff Construction Co. Inc. | Twitter: @KaraHabrock | LinkedIn: Kara Habrock


Read more from Kara Habrock here.

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