Apr 30, 2018
Support Asphalt Together
Each spring, the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) goes to Washington to lobby on behalf of all transportation construction workers, engineers, planners, consultants and others aligned with the industry. This is the kind of partnership that works for positive growth. You can see members of different associations working together with a common goal for transportation funding.
Within the asphalt industry, we work together to provide and promote safe, efficient, sustainable pavement methodology, among other goals. Since 1998, I’ve observed or participated in events that members of the asphalt industry have hosted to further not just one company or one entity, but to further this industry as a whole. An overarching lesson I’ve learned is that we, collectively, do things for the good of the industry, not just for ourselves, not just for the paycheck. Of course, that’s not to say workers can afford to show up each day for peanuts. As I pointed out in the March/April editor’s note, we have a big bump in the industry right now that requires we pay a premium to attract, train and keep skilled workers. And our industry has that as a focus: attracting, training and keeping skilled workers.
Our industry has another talking point that is of great value: we advance the use of asphalt.
Our industry is strong when we rally behind the common interest of advancing asphalt. We suffer in the end if we don’t support one another, and I think this community of asphalt-minded professionals knows that. I see this industry of experts and professionals working together to build and brand asphalt as a material that is safe and drivable, efficient to place, and environmentally sustainable to use from cradle to reclamation/reuse.
Each member of the industry, no matter the number of tons he or she produces per year, serves the public. The end user may drive on an interstate paved by one of four crews that a large producer/contractor employs, but then she turns off the interstate onto neighborhood streets that were paved by perhaps a smaller plant that produces enough tonnage to supply the only crew employed at this time.
Then the end user pulls into a community and parks under a carport, all paved by a small company that buys mix from another producer nearby and subcontracts the striping to a new contractor in the business. Each asphalt industry member of that chain served the end user with safe, smooth pavements for a complete asphalt experience.
The asphalt industry is strong when we work together to advance the concepts that make the end user’s experience positive, safe and exemplary each day. The asphalt industry is strong when we work together to bring new workers into the fold and train them with the skills to effect such quality pavements. The asphalt industry is strong when we work together to remind our elected officials of our positive merits and our need for reliable funding to keep the end user—their constituents—safe on America’s roadways. The asphalt industry is strong when we work together.