One of the first duties of a new president of the Engineering Contractor’s Association is to make sure he introduces himself to members and others in the industry we work on issues, so here goes

My name is Brendan Slagle. Like many engineers in ECA, I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology in June 1988. By February 1990, I went to work for J.F. Shea where I am a construction manager today, 29 years later.

Over those years, the Engineering Contractors Association was the only group of its kind that I ever paid attention to and have served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President, trying to give back as good as I’ve got from ECA.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but over the nearly 30 years I have been in the civil engineering business I have learned there is an ebb and flow to the activity level in infrastructure. Right now our industry is booming again with backlogs for most contractors at or near record levels and our biggest problem is finding enough qualified people to do the work, just the kind of problem you want to have, right?

What this means is that now is the perfect time to push our program of working with local governments and agencies to increase the projects they will have in the future and to eliminate the truly unnecessary regulations we all find blocking our path. This work started when Dave Sorem was president and we will be leaning on him again to continue these local improvements.

We will also work hard to make sure we maintain our excellent relationships with the building trade unions in “going local,” as well as in our normal labor relations

ECA’s Crucial Difference

All of this points to one crucial difference about ECA. We are not the biggest construction association in Southern California and neither are we a “chapter” of some national organization. We are not the oldest organization, nor a collection of other associations banded together under one roof.

But we are a very nimble group and we are the most innovative group of contractors in our area.

As a testimony to how effective this work has been, we are now seeing other trade associations in our 12-county area emulating our “local” efforts. We will gladly work with all of these groups to better our industry, our member benefits relationships and the essential services we provide the public.

By Brendan Slagle, ECA President Email: [email protected]