The AFAC isn’t the only organization hoping to sway Congress and increase funding for the Highway Trust Fund. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) believes that 2014 marks a crucial year for the program, as it is projected to be unable to support any new public projects by next year. With no available funding, many contractors and building professionals will be out of work. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) commented on the situation at a meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
“Let me be clear: The pending highway trust fund shortfall must be addressed by an infusion of funds. Otherwise CBO estimates that obligations for new projects in 2015 would need to be reduced to zero. This would result in federal highway, highway safety and transit funding being cut by $50.8 billion in fiscal year 2015 with 1.8 million jobs lost.”
In order to combat job losses and diminishing funding, the AGC has come up with a new program called “Hardhats for Highways,” which aims to encourage transportation construction firms to contact their elected officials. The co-chair of the project, Stephen E. Sandherr stated at the Las Vegas CONEXPO/CONAGG construction trade show that, “Members of Congress need to understand how many people back home are counting on federal transportation investments.”
If you’re interested in making a difference here is a list, provided by the AGC, which details all of the necessary steps to promote change.
(1) Request a supply of decals
(2) Fill them out and list the number of people employed by your company
(3) Put the decal on your Company’s Hardhats
(4) Call your Senators, your local Rep’s office and set up appointments to meet with them
(5) Visit www.HardhatsforHighways.org and copy and paste the Congressional letter onto your company’s letterhead
(6) Bring the stickered-Hardhat and your letter to the appointment
(7) Now it’s time to engage your representative; explain the impact on you and your co-workers
(8) Provide computer access to your employees during the day and urge them to take a moment and email messages to their elected officials
(9) Use www.HardhatsforHighways.org to spread the word by:
- Taking a picture (with a jobs number caption) and sending it to the website so that the website job tracker stays up to date
- Utilizing information on the site by putting that data in your company newsletter.
- Having your employees visit the website and send an ehardhat message to their Senators.
(10) Keep on writing to your state and local representatives