Rochester High School Grad Receives Award from UDig NY’s Finger Lakes Damage Prevention Council

Rochester, NY (July 13, 2023) – UDig NY’s Finger Lakes Damage Prevention Council announced today that recent East High School graduate Joel Medina has received the UDig NY Jump Start Award. The Jump Start Award provides recognition and a monetary award of $500 to a BOCES, trade school or high school student who has demonstrated a commitment to safety in the excavation or construction fields.

“I’d like to congratulate Joel Medina on earning the Jump Start Award from UDig NY’s Finger Lakes Damage Prevention Council,” said UDig NY Executive Director Kevin Hopper. “Graduates like Joel represent the future of our industry, and it is exciting to see their commitment to safety best-practices.”

Photo from left to right: Chris Flaherty, UDig NY Field Supervisor; Joel Median, UDig NY Jump Start Award Recipient; John “JD” De Wispelaere, Finger Lakes Damage Prevention Council Chair; Bill Van Dame, UDig NY Board of Directors.

Students applying for the award were asked to complete UDig NY’s Certified Excavator in Safe Digging Best Practices (CEP) program. Students also wrote and submitted personal narrative essays regarding their future in the excavation industry, including the importance of safety.

The UDig NY Jump Start Award is a part of the Damage Prevention Councils’ efforts to promote safety and encourage interest in the construction and excavation industries. UDig NY’s regional Damage Prevention Councils serve as a forum for members of the utility and excavation industries and other stakeholders to interact with each other and address issues of concern. The Councils work to identify regional challenges, and problem-solve solutions that combat damages to underground infrastructure and enhance community safety. Members also volunteer at community and industry events to raise awareness of excavation safety and the importance of contacting UDig NY before digging.

In addition to the Jump Start Award and CEP program, UDig NY provides many additional educational initiatives to promote safe digging best practices. These include the Damage Prevention Conference & Expo, a free conference open to excavators, utility operators, public officials, and other professionals. The 2023 Damage Prevention Conference & Expo will be held October 24 & 25 in Batavia, New York. To learn more about the conference, visit UDig NY also provides resources to teach children about safe digging, which can be found at

About UDig NY

UDig NY is the place where all safe digging in Upstate New York starts. As the link between you and the member facility operators, UDig NY utilizes a contact center and industry-leading software – Exactix – to receive and transmit notifications of intent to dig in the form of underground utility location requests. UDig NY provides you with the tools to place and manage your location requests 24/7/365. UDig NY serves Upstate New York: the geographic region of New York State north of the New York City metropolitan area. New York City and Long Island are covered by New York 811.