Aggregate operations press on while exuding strength, vibrancy

By |  December 10, 2020
Mark Strader


As we approached 2020, having come off a successful 2019, the question we as an industry faced was can we continue to ride the 10-year increase in business that we all experienced?

Little did we know what was in store for us.

With 2020 being an election year and no national road bill in place, we continued to remain cautiously optimistic regarding the New Year. Most industry economists predicted flat or slight increases in the markets we serve, and that business would remain solid industry-wide.

Dramatic shift

Enter COVID-19. We, along with everyone else, had no idea that a worldwide pandemic was upon us.

As is still true today, there were many questions surrounding the unknown. What and how do we go to market under these conditions? Is there going to be a market? If so, will resources continue to be made available? Will the entire country be closed for business? These were just a few of the questions and concerns our industry faced. All of our businesses truly changed overnight.

We should all be thankful that our industry was deemed essential during these unprecedented times. The industry kept churning, and the construction of roads, bridges and buildings continued to move forward. While it may not have been done at a record pace, the lights nonetheless remained on.

We are acutely aware of those around us who are not so fortunate due to closing of businesses, forced furloughs and the nation’s unemployment system being devastated. We continue to keep those who have lost their jobs or were laid off for extended periods of time in our thoughts and prayers, with high hopes that we will come out of this stronger than ever – and sooner rather than later.

There are many positive stories from our world and industry in this challenging year. These are very refreshing in our new normal. The concept of “team” has become vital in this new way we all work.

Overall, in our industry, things remain positive as our market continues to press on.

Looking ahead

What lies ahead? I have learned that this is not such an easy answer anymore. While we can look at our markets and economies, no one predicted what unforeseen “pandemics” lie ahead.

Still, the one thing I am certain of is this: Our industry is strong and vibrant. It has withstood the test of good and bad times, and we should all be proud to be a part of it – face mask and all.

Take time out of your schedule today to be thankful for all we have. Be the person who makes a difference in someone else’s life through your actions and words. Most of all, do your part to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of this horrible virus. Let’s make 2021 the year we get back to our original normal.

Mark Strader is general manager at Bramco-MPS, which has locations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

Featured photo: P&Q Staff

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