The Future of Damage Prevention

Some events in life are guaranteed to cause a change in your perspective. One is becoming a grandparent. In my case, it happened on June 22 when my daughter, Gina, and her husband, Scott, welcomed 5 lbs. 1 oz. Ziggy into our lives. Since almost no one can resist babies or cute dogs, I added a photo of Ziggy and his parents’ dog, Thomas, for your enjoyment. The picture is a gratuitous effort to get you to stop and look. Hopefully it got your attention and you decided to stick around and read the column!

In addition to being super excited about becoming a grandparent, it made me realize that, shockingly, I am starting to fall into the category of “old” or (as I prefer) “seasoned.” As I consider our damage prevention industry, I see a great mix of seasoned people and midcareer people. In some of our stakeholder groups, millennials are becoming more involved, but there is a lot of growth potential still available. As we start to experience more and more seasoned damage prevention professionals retiring, I think we, as an industry, need to become very intentional about recruiting millennials into this industry. Bringing these young people in now will give the seasoned professional a chance to pass on their knowledge before riding off into the sunset.

The millennials I have encountered in the industry, including those who work with us at Damage Prevention Professional, bring tons of energy and new ideas to damage prevention. Our mission to save lives and improve public safety is something that seems to resonate with this group. The question is, how do we go about proactively recruiting them? Your company no doubt has millennials working there, so the next step is to figure out how to attract them to the damage prevention and public awareness departments.

Many industries have formal mentoring programs and young professional organizations which are designed specifically to draw in millennials, train them, and help transfer important information from key people nearing the end of their careers to these future leaders.

While I do see examples in our industry where this is clearly happening, an industrywide mentoring program and a young professional organization could go a long way in helping us recruit the best and the brightest. I have discussed this idea with a small number of millennials already in the industry, and the anecdotal feedback indicates there would be interest in an organization of this type if the organization provided ways for them to learn and grow professionally.

Do you think the damage prevention industry needs a mentorship program and/or a “young damage prevention professionals” group? Email me with your thoughts or post them in the LinkedIn Group,, set up specifically for this.

I’m doing my best to leave the world a better place for Ziggy and every other grandchild out there. For my part, I’m offering a Young Professionals Mentoring Program for the 2019 CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo in Tampa, Florida. Your job is to identify a bright, young, upcoming professional who has never had the opportunity to attend this great event and would benefit from the education and experiences available. With your registration, you can bring one of these future leaders for a deeply discounted rate of only $811! Their registration includes an invitation to participate in a roundtable discussion on developing a Young Professionals industry organization designed to help them learn and grow. Together, we can bring the passion and dedication of the damage prevention industry to the next generation as we work together towards our goal of zero damages. Watch for details on this mentoring program in the winter issue of the Damage Prevention Professional or contact us at 866.279.7755 or


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