By Brandon Pensick, ECA President Email: [email protected]

One of the big topics that came out of the recent presidential election was the importance of the “youth vote” to the political process. The “youth vote” is important to the future of our industry and our association as well.

The politicians define the youth vote as people between the ages of 18 and 29. For our industry the group is really the “Millennials” in our workforce (people in their mid-20s to mid-30s) who have graduated from college and made it through their entry level jobs. They are starting up the ladder of success in our business and it’s our job as leaders in this business to help them rise.

Many companies rely on their pay plans to retain these rising leaders, but money alone i s not enough…recognition and opportunity for promotion are the keys according to a recent survey from a leading accounting firm Price, Waterhouse Cooper.

Here’s the rub—you can’t promote everybody every time they do a good job, but you can give real and meaningful recognition. It’s more than a pat on the back at a staff meeting, it’s a way that shows you think they are special, important to your company and personal.

So we have a suggestion

Bring these future leaders, these young project engineers and project coordinators to an Engineering Contractors’ Association membership meeting this year. You will note we say bring them—not send them—but bring them with you, introduce them around to your friends at the meeting and the important people who we have invited as speakers.

This may sound a little weird or even egotistical that we think our meetings are that important, but then we do and they are. For example, our February 23rd meeting helped provide members with insight to the millions of dollars in project work coming this year from the Orange County Sanitation District. Rob Thompson, district director of engineering, led a panel discussion on project opportunities and issues.

This meeting drew a good crowd since the topic was aimed at the heart of our business, both by project type and geography, which is what we try to do with our events. It was a great opportunity for young leaders to see what ECA is all about, what your company is looking at for their future. We think of this as a win, win. We’re working on a full schedule of events for 2017 that will be just as important to our members and the younger leaders so please join us for the fun.