By Matt Cummings, 2017-2018 ARTBA Chairman

Hurricane Irma might have sidetracked the ARTBA National Convention in September and prevented our membership from gathering together on Amelia Island in Florida. But, it would take a whole lot more to blow ARTBA off course in pursuit of its core mission.

This year marks 115 years that ARTBA has been in business. Its longevity and success are tied to its constancy of purpose: growing and protecting the design and construction market. As your new chairman, I can tell you we will maintain this same focus in the year ahead.

From my perspective, there are three key elements that will guide ARTBA’s agenda.

The first element is market development and advocacy. This includes our continued push for a permanent Highway Trust Fund revenue fix; working with Congress and the Trump administration on passage of a new transportation infrastructure package with special focus on expanded investments in the National Highway Freight Network; and boosting federal investment in the Airport Improvement Program. On the regulatory front, we will continue building a federal regulatory environment conducive to more efficient and safe project delivery.

To support these goals, we will seek ongoing financial support from ARTBA members and state contractor chapters for the Transportation Makes America Work (TMAW) program to fund robust advocacy activities and pursue necessary litigation.

The second element is safety. The occasion of the 20th anniversary of the ARTBA Foundation’s National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse provides a unique opportunity to rebrand and vigorously market the many safety programs and services that are available to our membership. In fact, we’ve already moved on this front. Be sure to read the new “Transportation Construction Safety Center” booklet.

ARTBA’s volunteer leaders and senior staff will also remain focused on growing the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ program during its second year by earning American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation. We will spearhead efforts to promote safety training and certification within the transportation planning and design sector.

The third element is about “building the future.” The association will engage leaders from the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Industry Leader Development Council, and Women Leaders Council for “peer-to-peer” membership development outreach targeting key firms and potential new chapters, and to greater leverage programs aimed at developing the industry’s workforce.

In closing, and on behalf of the entire membership, I want to express our thanks and deep appreciation to David Zachry for his outstanding leadership and accomplishments during the last two years!

This column appeared in the September-October Transportation Builder magazine.