Drainage Contractor

Features Guest Column
Lica’s View: Forging ahead

An update on some recent events at LICA.


May 23, 2021
By Bob Clark II, LICA national president

Topics
Photo by Destination Niagara.

The Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) organization continues to move forward through these challenging times.

We did, regretfully, have to cancel our national winter meeting in San Antonio, TX, meaning it has been more than a year since our last national convention. But there is good news, no less. Despite the pandemic challenges, LICA continues to focus on new membership, benefits and enhancing the relationships with other like-minded groups.

Some state chapters have seen significant growth in membership, primarily because of excellent leadership at the state level. New Jersey, for example, has seen extraordinarily strong membership growth through their apprenticeship programs. NJLICA saw an opportunity to provide this service that is in high demand and is reaping the benefits of their foresight. NJLICA membership growth over the past year is trending around 50 percent year-over-year.

We are also looking at ways to expand outreach in the industry and community. National LICA has recently formed an educational foundation for veterans that will, hopefully, provide veterans with the training opportunities in the heavy equipment fields for the construction industry, eventually becoming LICA members. We all know how challenging it can be to find skilled operators, so this could be a mutually beneficial practice to fill a crucial skills gap. 

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LICA offers a suite of benefits that are second to none. We have tried to utilize the LICA benefits that are a good fit for our own company. I am proud of the benefits we offer our employees. We could not do it without LICA’s benefits program. The medical insurance program has been a huge benefit to our employees. We can now offer free medical clinics through the LICA benefit platform. I encourage everyone interested in a similar program to check with your local providers. One of the clinics in our plan is even located at MacAllister Equipment’s main facility in Indianapolis, so contractors can get parts for their equipment and an annual physical at the same location. 

Recently, LICA and Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Hopefully, together we can provide input and guidance to policy and program directors at the highest levels of both state and federal agencies that ensure the next generation of best management practices are delivered in the most efficient and effective means and methods possible for the benefit of all the stakeholders.  

These MOUs require a team effort to be most effective. The Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) MOU needs state chapter participation at the state technical committee level to ensure success. LICA’s input can help guide the state’s prioritization of conservation practices that are most important to each state’s most pressing conservation demands. LICA’s state chapters are the backbone of the national association and their leadership has been instrumental over our nearly 80-year history. 

LICA is scheduled to hold the 2021 national summer meeting in Niagara Falls, NY, July 27-31. I look forward to getting back to our normal schedule soon. Although the 2021 winter convention was canceled, we have already rescheduled the next winter convention in San Antonio, TX Feb. 15-19, 2022. Looking forward to a big turn out, and hope to see you there!