DCA Partners with Mike Rowe, launches resources to advance construction job training

By Riley SimpsonApril 06, 2021

The skilled labor shortage in construction is real, and the Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) is among those in the industry offering a real solution: user-friendly websites brimming with job training resources for those interested in the underground construction.

DCA now has launched three auxiliary microsites – Let’s Go to Work, Trenchless and OQIP – all aimed at providing education, training and job seeker/recruitment tools and opportunities to get people back to work in a richly rewarding industry.

“There are a lot of changes going on in the industry and DCA has a lot of resources,” said Rob Darden, DCA executive vice president. “These sites offer an excellent way to share them.”

Let’s Get to Work

Collaborating with Discovery Channel host Mike Rowe, DCA’s first microsite is available for companies to promote open jobs and for potential employees to connect with those firms.

“There’s generally been a shortage of workers in construction- and energy-related fields for years now. With the pandemic, it has only gotten worse,” Darden said. “We’ve created these microsites to serve as a gateway between the willing workforce and great companies with high-paying jobs and careers. If we have one message to the industry with this site, it’s, ‘We’ve made it easy – now let’s get to work!’”

DCA has launched microsites full of job resources and education to help prospective construction workers in the pipeline and natural gas industry

DCA said that candidates range from students looking for their first jobs to craft workers with advanced skillsets.

In addition to the Rowe, who narrates the site’s video, and his foundation, mikeroweWORKS, the site’s easy-to-use resources include contributions from Jason Dorsey and the Center for Generational Kinetics, the Center for Energy Workforce Development, SkillsUSA, Helmets to Hardhats, Troops to Energy and more.

“We put them all in one organized place, so it’s easier for you to find what you need and use those materials to attract new hires,” Darden said. “We’ve even developed simple guides that help you see how to use the materials to get your best results.”


DCATrenchless’ comprehensive multimedia content gives users a concise, basic overview of the applications, techniques, equipment and tooling used in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and trenchless.

Educational topics include drilling fluid’s purpose, environmentally friendly additives and recycling process.

“This site’s a trenchless educational resource teaching how it not only avoids costly demolition and consequent restoration of surface structures and landscapes but also offers utility installers capabilities that are only possible with trenchless,” Darden said.

Darden said the site also busts myths and challenges public misconception about the term “frack-out,” which has a stigma attached to it because the expression has been confused with “fracking,” short for “hydraulic fracking.”

The latter term has no context in HDD, Darden said.

“Misinformation causes needless controversy,” Darden said. “We hope our educational microsites help to curb that unnecessary waste of energy and emotion. Misperceptions based on false notions create obstacles that keep jobs from getting done and people from getting work.”

Operator Qualification Integrity Process

OQIP is a DCA-initiated training resource developed in partnership with natural gas associations, OQ training providers, local distribution companies and federal regulators.

The site provides training resources for use by both natural gas providers and utility companies, according to DCA.

Darden said that more microsites are in development, and they’ll focus on government relations and safety/risk management.

“DCA developed these three microsites to provide the industry with valuable resources,” Darden said. “As an association, you can never provide your members with enough information and resources.”

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