Joining forces with other associations to promote advocacy for the federal transportation deal.
SCCA members recently went to the nation’s capital for the annual Transportation Construction Coalition “Fly-in” seeking to lay the foundation for bipartisan cooperation on a prudent and sustainable way to pay for neglected roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure needed in the federal transportation deal.
To get in the ear of federal lawmakers and express the importance of funding for infrastructure projects in Southern California and across the nation was an opportunity that not many get. SCCA joined with other associations to meet with these legislators personally on behalf of workers.
During the event, optimistic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressed a packed hotel ballroom of nearly 500 transportation design and construction executives and labor union officials.“We just want to roll up our sleeves and three words — build, build, build,” she said.
She went on to note, “this is really a pivotal moment for everyone in this room, for our country.” With the prospect of a major infrastructure deal happening this year, she said, “We have to stick with the program. I’m confident it will happen.”
“The most expensive maintenance is no maintenance,” Pelosi added, “and that is what we are facing in many situations around the country.”
Ready to tackle infrastructure challenges
Newly sworn in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Nicole Nason spoke to attendees earlier in the program, discussing the growing needs of the nation’s infrastructure and her agency’s top priorities of improving safety, and putting infrastructure dollars to construction with “less duplication of effort.”
As the daughter of a motorcycle cop, Nason said she keeps her father’s cracked helmet on her desk as a reminder of the importance of our highway safety. “We still have too many fatalities on our roads,” she said. “FHWA has done some wonderful things with designs and improving work zone safety, but I am committed to a future of zero fatalities, and would like to work with all of you to reach that goal.”
While emphasizing research and innovation, Nason noted jobs will be a critical component to all that work, “Our nation depends on the highway system and that highway system depends on qualified workers,” she said. “Investing in their success is vital to our transportation system. The worker shortage will only get worse which is why we developed the Highway Construction Workforce Pilot.”
Be assured that as Washington continues to discuss infrastructure, SCCA will work to keep issues in front of legislators. Maintaining a strong presence is important to the health of California’s construction industry.