FHWA chief offers some thoughts: Tell a better story
By John Latta, Better Roads Editor-in-Chief,
Onsite at the American Concrete Pavement Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Maybe Victor Mendez, head of the Federal Highway Administration, reads my column. Or maybe it’s his own idea.
Either way, he is urging contractors and other industry stakeholders to do something I have been pushing for some time now.
Tell a better story.
“Often when people think of a construction job they think of a man or woman on a backhoe digging a trench, ” he says. But there is a “ripple effect” from such jobs,” he says, and “it is important that we tell this story. One jobs leads to many others in this industry and this is what happens when we invest in infrastructure.”
“Tell the story on people terms,” he says, “not with technological terms.”
Mendez was addressing the opening general session of the American Conrete Pavement Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Citizens–that is taxpayers and voters–understand stories. They are our most basic, but essential communication tools. Let them know infrastructure spending reaches into all corners of their communities.
Mendez also took the time to press a couple of hot buttons for an audience deeply invested in the highway building industry.
At his confirmation hearings this summer, Mendez said he constanstly faced committee members who assumed major transportation projects that took about 13 years from start to finish.
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