In late August I found myself scrambling to rearrange my work schedule to provide opening comments at AGC’s 7th Annual Executive Safety Conference. Let me be clear: while the opportunity to lead this association is one of my greatest honors, these events don’t get planned around my convenience. Sometimes they coincide with deadlines, family requirements, or emergencies. As a contractor, there’s always some crisis or deadline that has me running around.
2018 marks the 24th Anniversary of the creation of the Chapter Scholarship Program. In that time, the program has grown by leaps and bounds, cultivated by the generosity of AGC members and their abiding faith in the future of the highway industry. The Scholarship Committee has continued their work to develop and continuously improve upon the program, which awards scholarships to young Texans interested in pursuing a career in the industry. Scholarship funds are replenished exclusively from the proceeds of the Scholarship Gala each year. Five thousand dollars per semester is awarded for graduate or vocational education with the hope that it will launch amazing careers for the employees and dependents of employees of our Chapter members.
As the construction industry continues to expand amid growing demand for our services, one of the biggest concerns for most member firms is the shortage of available, qualified workers to hire. One solution to this workforce challenge lies in preparing and recruiting more people to work in the industry – something AGC, our chapters and members firms are all working hard to accomplish, as you can read about in this issue. But just as important is to make sure our work environments are healthy and safe so current workers can continue to thrive.
As a state agency, TXDOT must be responsible stewards of the funding that we receive. That’s even more important in light of the passage of Propositions 1 and 7 in recent years. Both of these voter-approved amendments to the Texas Constitution devoted more money to transportation to put more projects in the pipeline and on the ground. We don’t take our obligation lightly because it is given to us with an implied trust – a trust from the people of Texas that we will use those resources wisely, efficiently and effectively. That trust is not misplaced. We are fiscally responsible, and we always look for ways to be more cost efficient.
It's a beautiful Texas spring day, and Madison Inge sits under the big top tent, laserfocused on the dozens of door prize tickets organized in front of her. She is listening intently to the winning numbers at the AGC DFW Future Leaders Fifth Annual PAC Spring Fling and Shrimp Boil. When asked what she put her tickets in for, her concentration doesn’t waver. “She’s really into this,” laughs her dad, Travis Inge, senior vice president of corporate banking at Frost. Madison, 7, has her heart—and all her attention—set on winning a $400 gift certificate to Great Wolf Lodge, the big prize in an assortment of other raffle opportunities.
Nearly 300 AGC members, family and state officials made the annual Management Conference another memory-maker: fortifying personal relationships, learning about Texas politics and industry issues, and absorbing Charleston, South Carolina’s southern charm and early American history. The (June 10-13) conference was a destination playground for all attendees and again amplified the event as a family retreat with a “kid-friendly” atmosphere.
There is no doubt that the members of the AGC of Texas work extremely hard in both their individual firms and within the association. A simple look at the TxDOT letting schedule will reflect a tremendous amount of work going on in the Texas transportation market. Monthly letting totals are expected to be in excess of $1 billion from May through the end of the fiscal year in August. Despite the challenging workloads, AGC members do have time to mix in some fun. The 49th Annual AGC of Texas Management Conference was held June 10th through the 13th in Charleston, South Carolina.
My term as President is officially “over the hill” as of this issue. I’ve heard it said before that a president spends about ten months learning the ropes and is finally fully trained just as he leaves the position. After reaching the halfway mark, I’m inclined to agree. It is extremely fortunate that the Chapter’s member involvement is unsurpassed. It’s easy to be a leader when standing on the shoulders of giants. And as I look at the activity of the Chapter so far in 2018, I’m truly honored to be able to watch our growth from this vantage point. The Finance Committee reported during the June Board of Directors meeting that we have experienced an uptick in expenditures from our area meetings.