By Allison Klein, vice president of member services, ARTBA

Attendees at ARTBA’s annual Southern Regional meeting this week in Nashville heard presentations about engaging and encouraging millennials for transportation design and construction industry careers.

Representatives of the Georgia Department of Transportation and Go Build Tennessee talked about opportunities, challenges and success stories in the current construction workforce. HCSS presenters discussed how to engage millennials and the workshop groups also shared ideas, including:

  • Onboarding: Proactive scheduling and preparation must happen in advance of the employee’s first day.
  • Mentoring: The best programs develop relationships between company veterans and new workers so they can acquire vital institutional knowledge.
  • Culture: Company leaders set the pace for communication and caring.

ARTBA Chairman Matt Cummings also updated the nearly 50 attendees about association business and the latest news from Washington, D.C., where talks on transportation funding and tax reform have entered a critical phase.

“Remember, all Highway Trust Fund revenue increases over the past 30 years have come from broader tax and budget bills,” Cummings said. “Congress working on a major tax bill and a package to boost infrastructure investment shortly thereafter is a confluence of legislative events we have not experienced since the trust fund’s fiscal solvency first became an issue in 2008.”

He encouraged all ARTBA members to become active grassroots advocates.

Cummings also told the group about ARTBA’s new “Transportation Construction Safety Center,” designed to help industry professionals better understand the many comprehensive safety programs and services offered through the association.

A special 16-page supplement about the Center is included in the September/October issue of Transportation Builder magazine, now in the mail.