Rep. Sam Graves Awarded NUCA’s ‘We Dig America’ Award

In recognition of his exemplary support of the Nation’s infrastructure program through his work as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) recently awarded Rep. Sam Graves its top “We Dig America” award.

“NUCA is honored to present to Chairman Graves our top industry award,” said Doug Carlson, NUCA chief executive officer. “His work on the House infrastructure committee in both the minority and majority has been invaluable in advancing the development of this nation’s water infrastructure. Our industry is thankful of his work on numerous pieces of legislation over the last decade, and knows that he will remain a champion of this industry as our members build the next generation of infrastructure improvements.”

The” We Dig America” award was presented to Chairman Graves during the association’s annual Washington Summit, on May 16. Each year, NUCA’s Chapter members come to Washington, D.C. to advocate to their lawmakers for water, wastewater, broadband, natural gas, and electric utility projects for their communities. Chairman Graves has addressed our attendees at past Summits, kindly giving his time to help our members understand the issues his committee is working on to improve their business environment, such as permitting reform or USDOT modal reauthorization legislation.

Chairman Graves has long been a supporter of the American utility construction industry.  He has introduced legislation such as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which has provided extensive resources to states to rebuild their water and wastewater infrastructure. Graves has taken a keen interest in water regulations and spending since coming to Congress in 2001. He believes that effective infrastructure and the projects to create these improvements help keep our nation’s economy moving forward.

NUCA’s “We Dig America” award was first presented in 1972 to then-Rep. Jim Blatnik of Minnesota. Since then, recipients have included notables such as President Ronald Reagan (1982), Rep. Dan Quayle (1987), Rep. Bud Shuster (1996), Indiana Governor Joseph Kernan (2004), the industry’s renowned Brenda Reigle (2020), and most recently, former T&I Committee Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio (2021).

This award is presented to a non-NUCA member who has made a significant contribution to NUCA and America’s underground utility construction and excavation industry. The achievement must have national impact and the recipient must have national stature, requirements that perfectly fit Chairman Graves.