Convention notebook: Infrastructure, seat belt safety drive discussion

By |  February 12, 2019
NSSGA President and CEO Michael Johnson addresses association members at the NSSGA Annual Convention in Indianapolis. Photo courtesy of NSSGA

NSSGA President and CEO Michael Johnson addresses association members at the NSSGA Annual Convention in Indianapolis. Photo courtesy of NSSGA

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association‘s (NSSGA) Annual Convention took place Feb. 10-13 in Indianapolis, where the opening general session Monday featured Byron Reese, a tech entrepreneur with Gigaom, as the keynote speaker.

NSSGA leaders also touched on a series of topics specific to the aggregate industry during the general session, from the legislative opportunity at hand with infrastructure to a seat belt safety initiative the association is pursuing.

Michael Johnson, the president and CEO of NSSGA who offered reasons for optimism on infrastructure at the 2019 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference, reinforced his message about the great legislative opportunity in front of the aggregate industry.

“I’m optimistic,” Johnson says. “I believe we have an opportunity to move forward with an infrastructure bill this year.”

And if a bill does come forward in 2019, it will likely be sooner than later.

“I really do believe that by the spring of this year you’ll see an infrastructure bill come out of the House of Representatives,” Johnson says.

CRH's Randy Lake, like NSSGA's Michael Johnson, sees an opportunity in the coming months to finally pass a federal infrastructure bill. Photo courtesy of NSSGA

CRH’s Randy Lake, like NSSGA’s Michael Johnson, sees an opportunity in the coming months to finally pass a federal infrastructure bill. Photo courtesy of NSSGA

Randy Lake, the president of CRH Americas Materials who served NSSGA as chairman for the past year, expressed similar optimism on infrastructure.

“This may be a perfect time to bring the country together on both sides of the aisle,” he says.

Once reelection efforts begin for members of the House and Senate, Congress will be focused elsewhere.

“It won’t be long before reelection efforts begin,” Johnson says.

Seat belt safety: While NSSGA continues to push for infrastructure reform, it will soon be initiating a campaign to educate the industry about the value of seat belt use.

“Wearing a seatbelt is a simple step in worker safety, but there must be universal commitment to doing this in all our facilities for the well-being of our employees,” Johnson says. “So we will launch a campaign to educate and remind employees at our member facilities to always wear their seat belt before driving any equipment on the job.

To kick off the campaign, NSSGA is hosting a contest whereby its members can submit their ideas for a campaign slogan. Slogans can be submitted to seatbeltsafety@nssga.org. The winning slogan will be announced in the spring, and the campaign will begin soon after.

Calvin Lee of the Indiana Mineral Aggregate Association welcomes NSSGA members to Indianapolis. Photo courtesy of NSSGA

Calvin Lee of the Indiana Mineral Aggregate Association welcomes NSSGA members to Indianapolis. Photo courtesy of NSSGA

Indiana’s aggregate industry: Calvin Lee, executive director of the Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association, welcomed NSSGA Annual Convention attendees to Indianapolis during Monday’s general session. According to Lee, Indiana ranks 12th in the nation in crushed stone production and 16th in sand and gravel.

“We produce more than 60 million tons of crushed stone, sand and gravel each year,” Lee says.

Another fun fact from Lee about Indiana’s aggregate industry: 80,000 sq. ft. of Indiana limestone was used to build the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

Hearty ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ rendition: Before the opening general session of the NSSGA Annual Convention got underway Monday, Josh Kaufman, Season 6 winner of “The Voice,” belted out a memorable rendition of the national anthem. Kaufman is a resident of Indianapolis.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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