By Paul Yarossi, ARTBA Foundation Chairman
This column is about the future of ARTBA’s Transportation Development Foundation (TDF).
But first, let’s spotlight the achievements of my predecessor, Leo Vecellio, who served as Foundation chairman from October 2009-May 2017. Under Leo’s leadership and with the support of the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s impressive list of achievements includes:
- Raising $600,000 for the Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship, which helped support 60 scholarships to worthy students.
- Fulfilling nearly 1.5 million information requests through the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (www.workzonesafety.org).
- Launching the Transportation Development Hall of Fame (HOF) and raising $100,000 for a permanent HOF structure in ARTBA’s offices.
- Hosting the largest one-night fundraiser in its history. Trustee Charlie Potts of Heritage Construction & Materials led the outreach for the 2012 dinner in Memphis to honor the career achievements of Astec Industries’ Founder Dr. Don Brock, with net proceeds used to expand the scope of the TransOvation™ Workshop.
- Raising nearly $100,000 during the Foundation’s 30th anniversary to support the development and October 2016 launch of the innovative Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) program. ARTBA’s membership and others in our industry owe a huge debt of gratitude for Leo’s outstanding initiatives—all aimed at supporting the association’s mission of growing and protecting the transportation construction market.
As the 2011 ARTBA chairman and Foundation vice chairman since June 2014, my goal is to build on Leo’s legacy. In the year ahead, we will focus on three key areas.
First, and in coordination with ARTBA Chairman Matt Cummings’ agenda, we are launching the “Transportation Construction Safety Center.”
This initiative is aimed at increasing industry and member awareness that safety education is a core ARTBA competency. It also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.
ARTBA’s Foundation has provided safety training to well over 50,000 industry workers through various federal government contracts. Many ARTBA members may not know about the availability of such training, along with our other valuable services.
As the new consolidated home for all of the Foundation’s programs, the Center (www.artbasafetycenter.org) makes it easier to find everything in one place.
Second, we will continue to build awareness and grow the number of industry professionals earning the SCTPP credential during its second year by securing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation. More than 110 professionals passed the exam in its first year and another 225 are in the pipeline to take it in coming months.
We will lead efforts to promote training and certification within the transportation planning and design sector. ARTBA’s Online Learning Center (OLC) courses, available in “Prep Courses” at www.puttingsafetyfirst.org, have recently been approved in Florida, North Carolina and New York for Professional Development Hours (PDH) for engineers applying for re-licensing. We are also working with interested industry firms to incorporate the OLC into their corporate Learning Management Systems.
Finally, we seek to expand the “culture of giving” by significantly increasing the number of firms, organizations, industry foundations and individuals providing financial support for Foundation programs; many of which rely on such generosity to be fully implemented. A donation to the Foundation is also tax-deductible, so I encourage you to make a gift before the end of 2017. Visit www.artbatdf.org, or contact ARTBA-TDF Executive Director Matt Jeanneret at 202.683.1002.
On behalf of the ARTBA Foundation Board of Trustees, thank you in advance for your support. Together, we will continue to build the future!
This column appeared in the September-October Transportation Builder magazine.