PEF-represented DOT staff garner knowledge, insights at NYSATE conference
By DEBORAH A. MILES
At the end of May, more than 550 transportation engineers attended the New York State Association of Transportation Engineers (NYSATE) 77th Annual Conference in Buffalo. Of the participants, who came from all corners of the state, approximately 50 percent were PEF members.
Kevin Marracino, a former civil engineer 3 at the state Department of Transportation (DOT) in the Buffalo area, was the general chairman of the conference, and has more than 30 NYSATE conferences under his belt.
“NYSATE is a non-profit, professional organization whose principal objective is the advancement of the science and profession of engineers as it pertains to transportation and related subjects,” said Marracino, who is now a PEF retiree.
“These conferences, which are run by NYSATE volunteers, are beneficial to all PEF members, not just those who work at DOT. We have attendees from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, Office of General Services, Department of Labor and SUNY schools.”
Marracino said the benefits of the conference include networking, motivation, efficiency, training and maintaining a professional license.
“When you learn a new way to accomplish a task, your efficiency, quality of work, professionalism and motivation improves. This conference provides a forum for PEF members to network in a non-crisis situation with others who work on similar projects, and in times of emergency situations. Face-to-face communication, in my opinion, is the best way to learn,” he said.
The conference highlights included learning about the accomplishments of PEF members in their professional roles, as well as their support for community organizations through volunteerism. Several workshops and technical presentations also were offered.
“Members had a choice of timely sessions. It is not like taking a mandatory online course. Here you are the captain of your own ship. You select a technical session which interests you, with a live speaker. That provides motivation to learn something new,” Marracino said.
PEF members were among those who received the 2017 Transportation Professional of the Year honor. They were Raoul Desy, Peter Hart, Michael Hoag, Bob Lacourt and Michael Pawloski.
Marracino also applauded the efforts PEF made with the state to secure ongoing education.
“PEF members receive three days of professional leave to attend training with a supervisor’s approval,” Marracino said. “Through the cooperation of the governor, PEF and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, there is a workshop reimbursement program that pays for the cost of continuing education units when they attend a conference. It’s a great value for PEF members. I wish more members would take advantage of these benefits.” Click here to see more event photos.