At the start of 2020, experts were optimistic that this would be a strong year for construction companies. Federal funding was going to remain stable and more and more state and local governments continued to move forward with essential transportation projects and this trend is expected to continue.

Then the world closed its doors in March 2020 and billions of dollars in transportation projects were delayed or canceled across the country as state and local governments cut spending due to the coronavirus pandemic. The news for 2020 would certainly have been very different without the existence of COVID-19, but here’s a look at the stories that shaped the year:

One of the most read articles in 2020 was our recent State of the Road Construction Industry. This article is full of ideas on what 2021 will hold in store for entrepreneurs and our experts are optimistic that the new year will be the promise of an infrastructure bill that would create well-paying jobs, improve the quality of life for all citizens and would ensure economic vitality for many years to come.

Another story that piqued the curiosity of readers, of course, concerned the impacts of the presidential election. Everyone wanted to know where the two candidates were on the infrastructure issue and also what they would do to tackle the funding and the regulatory burden.

As industry advocates, we talk a lot about the Highway Trust Fund and how to fund it on the show and it’s definitely a topic that people are interested in. year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, current baseline budget projections, government trust fund spending is expected to exceed revenues by $ 18 billion in 2021, a deficit will drop to $ 502 billion by 2030 without government action. Congress to change the way we manage this trust fund. .

This year, the Women of Asphalt group took the time to shine the spotlight on women in the asphalt industry and created a list of 20 women to watch in 2020 and you wanted to know who these women were! The twenty women selected are game changers in the industry. They are in leadership roles, influencers, thought leaders, and even newcomers to the asphalt industry. All of the recipients have demonstrated success in the asphalt industry, made positive change, served as mentors and given back to their communities.

Whether your asphalt paving team is made up of five or five hundred members, COVID-19 has had an impact on the way your business has operated this year and one of the best stories on our website spoke of five ways to do it safely. We’ve talked about cleaning and sanitation, PPE, improving communication and more to keep your business up and running in these uncertain times.

Hiring is another challenge the industry has experienced over the years and one story people read was about hiring the next generation of workers, Generation Z. These workers are highly motivated, ready to learn and want to be framed. They will help drive the industry forward in terms of technology adoption, and while they can expect higher pay rates, they are known to be intensely loyal. Read the article for all the tips on recruiting these workers.

Another COVID-19 issue at the jobsite this year was safety as states began to increase mask requirements. Another trending article on our website discussed how to alleviate these challenges while keeping workers safe in hot weather. The article suggested workers avoid overwork by taking frequent water breaks if necessary, but they should make sure they don’t share water bottles or cups when hydrating. Another preventive measure that can be instituted by employers is to designate a specific person who will be on site to monitor workers and environmental conditions as the day progresses.Ellie Burgin / Pexels

PPP loans were a huge topic in 2020. Businesses needed to know how to apply for them and then be forgiven for these loans when congresses announced the program and experts say there may be long-term challenges in generating income. that arise from the Paycheck Protection Program Loan. Assuming these loans are canceled in 2021, it could significantly affect billing rates and proposals from 2022, when the 2021 rates will be approved. Depending on how a company’s contracts are structured, it may need to adjust the previous year’s billings to the audited overhead rate, or it may just start using the new rate when approved. Be sure to check out this article for more details.

Since May, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation announced major changes to the hours of service (HoS) regulations. The changes improved the FMCSA hours of service rule for the industry and gave truckers more options when planning their days. The revisions helped drivers reach their destinations safely, without feeling pressured against time to comply with federal mandates.

And the top story of 2020 on wasn’t at all surprising. In July, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, project cancellations swept across the country and billions of dollars in transportation projects have been delayed or canceled as state and local governments cut spending due to the Coronavirus pandemic. At that time, at least fourteen states and 19 local authorities delayed or canceled road, transit and airport projects worth $ 8.58 billion.

Data from November showed that their country 84,000 net new jobs were added in October. In the past six months, the industry has created 789,000 jobs, recouping 73% of the jobs lost during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, so these projects are coming back.

With With Congressional leaders finalizing yet another $ 900 billion coronavirus relief plan and vaccines rolled out across the country, we really hope 2021 turns around and we have nothing but good news to share.

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