Quarterly Update - Q4

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Thank you for advancing damage prevention in 2023   

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

As 2023 comes to a close, I would like to thank each and every CGA member for your contributions to damage prevention. With your support, our organization has grown tremendously this year and built incredible momentum toward systemic improvements and our goal to reduce damages by 50% over the next five years.

Before you sign off for the year, I encourage you to read CGA’s 2023 White Paper – Telecom’s Critical Role in Reversing Utility Damage Trends – and download communication tools from the accompanying toolkit. The key findings and recommendations from this important new primary research are necessary considerations for achieving 50-in-5.

And lastly, CGA looks forward to seeing you at our 2024 Conference & Expo and Committee Summits next year. Mark your calendars for CGA’s 2024 meetings and events and register for our 2024 Conference & Expo today.

Wishing you a happy new year,
Sarah K. Magruder Lyle

P.S.: CGA Quarterly Update submission guidelines can be found here. We encourage members to share campaigns and concepts on Engage in between editions of CGA Update.

News Briefs News Icon

Out and About: Oregon Utility Coordinating Councils in the Community

In July, Oregon 811 organized an 811 booth at their Public Works Day, educating attendees about utility color codes through snow cones—cherry for power, orange for communication, lemon for gas, sour apple for sewer and bubble gum for water. The booth served as a creative and engaging approach to involve people of all ages in the initiative and educate them about safe digging and utilities.

CenterPoint Energy’s Multi-Channel Strategy for 8/11 Day

CenterPoint Energy teamed up with Kona Ice trucks across five states, spreading 811 awareness while distributing treats and emphasizing safe digging before outdoor projects for 8/11 Day. Additionally, CenterPoint organized 811-themed cookie deliveries to influencers and held engaging events like sports games and a 5K Run in Minneapolis, culminating in their most successful 8/11 Day to date. This effort was amplified by an extensive media campaign, garnering millions of views across social media and broadcasts.

Indiana 811: Holey Moley Rocks Safe Diggin’

Indiana 811's mascot, Holey Moley, recently underwent a vibrant transformation, now featured in a custom animated video as a 1950s rocker, developed in collaboration with Idea Rocket. The engaging educational video, "Holey Moley Rocks Safe Diggin'," ran across various platforms in Indiana, including gas station monitors, TV and radio, and was promoted on social media. The character's new persona also inspired the theme, logo and tagline for the recent 11th Annual Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference in French Lick, Indiana, which had a 1950s theme and its largest turnout in history.

Recap: Texas811 Summit 2023

Texas811's annual summit in Georgetown, Texas, gathered over 420 industry professionals and 160 new attendees, fostering education and collaboration among damage prevention stakeholders. The event showcased a commitment to exceptional customer service through volunteer support, workshops led by Texas811 experts, and invaluable face-to-face interactions, emphasizing innovation and safety in protecting critical underground infrastructure.

Oregon 811’s Jason Williams Receives 2023 Morrison Award

Jason Williams with Oregon 811 was recently honored as the 2023 Morrison Award Recipient for his unwavering commitment to damage prevention. His dedicated advocacy efforts include educating excavators, homeowners and other stakeholders about underground utility safety, implementing innovative outreach strategies, providing Oregon Dig Law training and more. His contributions have significantly increased awareness of excavation safety and reduced underground utility damages in the state.

Gopher State One Call “Learn from the Unexpected” Video Coming Soon

Gopher State One Call recently completed the next installment of its “Learn from the Unexpected” campaign. This campaign consists of a series of videos and corresponding blogs that encourage the Minnesota underground utility damage prevention community to share their stories, learn from each other, work smarter and safer, and help the industry grow. Watch for the upcoming video about the importance of white lining at http://www.learnfromtheunexpected.com/GSOC/.

Utility Defenders' Back-to-School Contest was a Resounding Success

Utility Defenders celebrated the success of their recent 'Back to School' contest aimed at educating kids aged 4 to 9 about safe digging and awareness of buried utilities. Targeting homeowner and excavator parents via social media, the contest surpassed expectations, engaging over 2,000 individuals and gaining 3,500 impressions, doubling page followers and sending lunchbox prizes to four states. The Utility Defenders are fostering a community that understands and values the backbone of damage prevention and safe digging.

Kansas 811 5K and Pancake Breakfast Promotes Safe Digging and Utility Safety

Kansas 811 recently held its 5K and pancake breakfast in collaboration with sponsors, including member utilities and construction companies. The event aimed to elevate awareness about the critical importance of damage prevention and the need to always contact 811 before digging. Despite the forecast, the event received an excellent turnout and crowned one male and one female as winners, each of which received a prize of $811 in honor of the national call-before-you-dig number. Kansas 811’s event not only celebrated athleticism but advanced the cause of damage prevention education among community members.

Kentucky 811’s Stadium Ads Pack a Punch

Kentucky 811's latest marketing campaign placed 'Tackle Safe Digging with Kentucky 811' ads in local high school football stadiums, creatively promoting safe digging practices among community members. The campaign leveraged football's popularity to reach a wide audience, emphasizing the need to contact 811 before any digging project to avoid damaging vital buried utilities that the community relies on. This educational effort prioritizes public safety and underscores Kentucky 811's commitment to safe digging and community engagement and education.

Gopher State One Call’s New Educational Ads to be Featured in Scoop

Gopher State One Call (GSOC) created three full-page magazine ads for homeowners, landscapers and excavators, set to feature in Scoop, the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association's official publication. These concise yet impactful ads aim to reinforce GSOC's brand while visually highlighting safety messages like 'Safety Starts with You,' 'Digging Soon? Make Safety a Priority,' and 'Every Dig, Every Time,' promoting awareness about underground utility risks and the importance of submitting locate requests through GSOC and having lines marked prior to digging.

Member Tools & Resources Feature Icon

Member webinar and shared resources available online

Read the Telecom White Paper and Download Toolkit

Earlier this month, CGA published the fourth in our series of stakeholder-focused White Papers: Telecom’s Critical Role in Reversing Utility Damage Trends. Featuring new primary research including one-on-one interviews with telecom executives and an industry-wide survey, CGA’s 2023 White Paper highlights four key takeaways and several recommendations for moving the industry forward. Visit the Telecom White Paper Toolkit to download a LinkedIn carousel, presentation deck, graphs from the report and social media images.

Data & Technology Data & Technology Icon

Get ready for 2023 DIRT data loading season

As we approach the new year, we encourage every organization to begin preparing to load 2023 damage and near-miss data into DIRT. CGA has several methods and resources to help companies of every size smoothly upload your annual data. Visit the “Submitting Data” and “Help & Documentation” sections of www.cga-dirt.com for tutorial videos, information on using an API to submit data and other key resources.

View latest Technology Committee webinar

CGA's Technology Committee hosted the first in an ongoing series of webinars focused on technologies to achieve 50-in-5 on earlier this year. Co-chair Jim Plasynski provided an update on Technology Committee activities and their take on CGA's 2022 DIRT Report, followed by a spotlight on subsurface utility mapping by PointMan, a product of ProStar. ProStar discussed PointMan features and included their client, a utility locate field technician, as they demonstrated how their accurate mapping solution reduces damages, and improves efficiencies and confidence in the 811 system. Click here to watch the webinar.

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2024 CGA Conference & Expo Registration Open!

CGA is looking forward to hosting industry leaders and stakeholders at the 2024 CGA Conference & Expo taking place in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 14-18, 2024 at the world-renowned Broadmoor, known for its stunning setting overlooking Colorado’s picturesque Rocky Mountains.

This year's event will offer an array of high-level educational seminars, interactive breakout sessions, Summits and Committee Meetings specifically curated to align with and support the industry’s ambitious “50-in-5” damage reduction goal. Attendees can look forward to ample opportunities for networking, including the always-popular Night of Networking.

Session tracks include:

  • Case Study Hall: Hear real-world examples from fellow stakeholders about how their organizations are making strides toward 50-in-5.
  • Communication & Education Strategy: Learn how to effectively communicate with fellow stakeholders for a streamlined damage prevention process, as well as how to promote damage prevention education within your organization.
  • Innovation and Technology Trends: Explore the creation, development and implementation of new ideas and technologies that are propelling the industry forward.
  • Policy & Regulatory Affairs: Access practical information on navigating local, state and federal policies to build effective relationships and coalitions. Learn about the latest strides made in state-level damage prevention legislation and what is on the horizon at the national level.
  • Process Improvement: Delve into the ways the damage prevention process can be improved through the implementation of strategies and new technologies.
  • Workplace Performance & Culture: Learn how to build a culture that prioritizes safety, drives performance, enhances your brand and improves business results.

Attendees will also have plenty of time to explore the Exhibit Hall and the cutting-edge products and services that are advancing the industry toward meeting our 50-in-5 goal. The CGA Conference & Expo also has a variety of pre-conference activities for attendees to participate in:

  • The annual Call Before You Divot Classic, taking place in the foothills of the Cheyenne mountains at The Broadmoor Golf Club.
  • Offsite tours, including the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and Museum Tour and Garden Of The Gods Jeep Tour, highlighting Colorado Springs’ significant historical sights.
  • Team building activities, including the Pikes Peak Railway Ride, which offers views of unique rock formations, high-elevation flora and fauna and historical landmarks, as well as Broadmoor Zipline Adventure.

Register for the 2024 CGA Conference & Expo today by visiting CGAConference.com, where you’ll also find information about the hotel room block, view the Conference schedule-at-a-glance and learn more about what’s planned for the event in April. We look forward to continuing the productive discussions from last year’s biggest-ever Conference!

Damage Prevention Institute: Year in Review

CGA’s Damage Prevention Institute (DPI) is approaching its one year anniversary. We have been working throughout 2023 to develop the structure of the DPI and to ensure participants have a pathway to success. With that, here are some highlights from 2023, and some things to look forward to in 2024. 

2023 DPI Highlights:

  • Launched the DPI on Jan. 1, 2023
  • Accredited more than 1,000 organizations
  • Onboarded and accredited more than 100 companies who are new to CGA
  • Established process that supports participant adherence to DPI accreditation requirements
  • Produced monthly metric stats for excavators, available on DIRT
  • Supported participating organizations with training on DIRT and data sharing
  • Developed and finalized facility owner/operator metrics with the engagement of an active DPI Metrics Sub-Committee, to be implemented in 2024
  • Drafted Locator Metrics with DPI Metrics Sub-Committee, to be finalized in 2024
  • Began our Peer Review Pilot Program which will wrap up in early 2024
  • Supported release of the CGA 2023 Telecom White Paper
  • Focused the DPI on supporting CGA’s 50-in-5 initiative

Visit the DPI blog to read more, including DPI’s plans for 2024.

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