Rock Products

MAY 2019

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36 • ROCK products • May 2019 Interview with Bob Weldon A s you begin your term as chair- man of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), what is the number-one thing you would like to accomplish? You cannot build a road or bridge with- out aggregates. Our highways cannot be paved without our materials. Our prod- ucts are indispensable, and over the next 12 months, I want to work toward having NSSGA seen the same way by our member companies and the industry; as indispensable. What are your plans to build on the work of your predecessor and continue to execute the Rocks Build America 2020 strategic plan? Is the next strategic plan in the works? Our current three-year strategic plan – Rocks Build America – expires in March 2020. We have committed to setting three-year strategies since 2014, and I will make sure that we set a course for the association to continue its growth and success. The planning for our Rocks Build America 2023 strategic plan will begin this year, and I want NSSGA members to capitalize on the many ways to get involved with the association this year. We want to hear their opinions on NSSGA's priorities and resources that support their business. I want to hear how NSSGA can be indis- pensable to the members. We are two years into the Trump administration and there has been no action on an infrastructure bill. Is there potential for the administration and the new Democratic majority in the House to work together to bring about a bipartisan compromise? The leaders of the House Transporta- tion & Infrastructure Committee, the group that would be responsible for writing such a bill, are truly passionate about investing in our nation's aging infrastructure. It appears that there will be discussions and a draft long-term highway bill, but we cannot wait for a bill to develop on its own. Almost one-fifth of Congress is in Wash - ington for the first time in their political careers, and the real opportunity facing each aggregates operation is the chance to build a meaningful relationship with those members of Congress. This is the perfect opportunity for member companies to educate Con- gress on the value of our industry; the need to rebuild our aging infra- structure; and the benefit to the U.S. economy. Inviting members of Congress to tour quarries and pits is a great first step to building a relationship with that person. As our relationships with members of Congress grow, they can better understand how to support our businesses and industry on Capitol Hill. That way, when and if we see an infrastructure bill emerge, these repre- sentatives already know the benefits it will have in their own districts as well as across the country. Skilled labor is still hard to find these days. How can our industry tackle its labor shortage? There is no single solution to this prob- lem, which I believe is one that every company in our industry is facing. I would say that effective community outreach is critical to getting the inter- est of students in the many ways they can work in the aggregates industry. Geologists, mechanics, accountants, equipment operators, sales and mar- keting positions are just a few of the The Rock Products Interview: Bob Weldon As the President of Weldon Materials Inc. Takes Over as Chairman of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, He Talks About a New Strategic Plan, Educating Legislators and Young Leaders. By Mark S. Kuhar

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