Rock Products

JUL 2018

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • July 2018 • 27 STACKING www.kpijci.com process required for hazards and inspec- tions under and the workplace exams rule diverts important attention and resources away from actively managing safety, while yielding modest improve- ments to working conditions. The rule is highly costly to our operations and NSSGA estimates it comes with an annual price tag of $25 million to small operators. The new proposal would reduce the number of items that need to be noted and make this only necessary when a hazard is not promptly abated. Making an infrastructure package a real - ity is absolutely critical, and the sooner Congress acts the faster we can get to work as an industry. After much antic- ipation in 2017, earlier this year the President called for both parties to come together and for Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment. To be effec- tive it would need to include long-term, robust revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund and streamline the permit- ting and approval process to no more than two years. This would have a signif- icant, positive impact on the permitting process for expanding and establish- ing aggregate operations. Engaging in the infrastructure debate will require NSSGA's continued focus to ensure the future strength of our industry. Need- less to say this will continue to be one to watch and be a carefully considered focus of our advocacy efforts. What should aggregates producers do to prepare for an expanding future market and increased production? The industry outlook for the year ahead is positive and continued growth is expected. Looking back over the last couple of years, 2016 was a tough year to beat and our industry experienced growth we had not seen in over a decade (since 2005). Last year saw slight decreases to demand and production, largely due to weather and a tough hur- ricane season with production volumes returning to 2015 levels. In terms of preparing for the future, we must maintain a focus on safety across our operations. While it has never been a safer time to work in the aggregates industry and we have improved our safety record for 17 years straight, we need to strive for zero incidents every single day and redouble our efforts in the years and decades to come to be successful in a growing market with increased production. How can our industry tackle its labor shortage? Great careers can be built for people working in this industry and we offer a safe, inclusive work environment with opportunities for advancement that make an impact on our country's infra- structure. The aggregates industry is an economic multiplier and each quarry job creates about five additional jobs throughout the economy. Demand for our products has gone up, however the talent pipeline has not proportionately increased, while our current workforce continues to mature – so there's lots of opportunity. The average annual salary for a quarry job is $75,129, yet labor shortages and the ability to hire and retain key employees is a real chal- lenge across our industry. It's no secret we are in a low unemployment market, so we all have a shared responsibility to spread the word. To view dozens of aggregates industry jobs from across the country, please visit jobs.NSSGA. org. New opportunities are posted daily, so be sure to submit job openings from your organization at jobs.nssga.org/ post/edit. Why is national association member- ship important to business success? NSSGA speaks for the entire industry, from the local small producer segment, to regional and national producers. The "why" behind NSSGA membership comes down to being able to leverage our advocacy leadership position to maximize impact for all members. We can amplify our message and bring our issues to the forefront more quickly and effectively with a unified voice as a strong collective, than as individual com- panies. Advocacy remains job number one and we need to continue to recruit targeted producers to strengthen NSS- GA's grassroots advocacy efforts.

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