May 2017

Working Closer with Our LTAP Partners

 By Brian Keierleber
       NACE President

The NACE 2017 Annual Conference in Cincinnati was a very good and enjoyable event. A special thanks is owed to the Ohio County Engineers and their staff for all their work preparing for it. They had some outstanding technical sessions

Those of us who aren’t from Ohio, as we think of Cincinnati will always remember our dear departed friend Dave Brand. He was truly a leader in Safety and will always be remembered by those of us that knew him. It was such an honor to see his wife, Julie, accept the inaugural David P. Brand Award for Safety.

At the conference I was in a significant amount of pain due to a ruptured disc in my back that occurred 4 days before I left. When I couldn’t alleviate it, Gary from Kansas helped me with a country song, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away.”  Upon return I had surgery and ended the focus of the song.

I then headed to Denver for a meeting with the FHWA, LTAPs, NACE, AASHTO and the APWA. We were about 13 people invited to participate in a Strategic Planning session for the LTAP program. The world is a changing place, and we must adapt with it or be left behind. Evaluating our function is a key aspect of that. Change is inevitable. I remember reading it isn’t the fastest, smartest, or strongest species that survive but those that adapt to change. To do that, we must communicate and coordinate with our Transportation Partners.

The duties, goals, and functions of the LTAPs were discussed in detail. A short summary is they must continue to coordinate more closely with their local partners to successfully deliver the training we need. A key focus of their program is on transportation-related issues and teaching market-ready, proven technologies that meet the needs of the local agencies. 

When practical subjects, such as flagger training, could possibly be transferred to other organizations, allowing more time for LTAP instruction on the developing technologies. Examples of these are internal curing concrete, galvanized rebar in the construction industry, and Otta Seals for economical surface treatments. These technologies were not truly discussed at the meeting but are prime examples. I did not get to talk about bridges at the meeting in Denver, but there is always a captive audience at the airport.

To repeat, we must coordinate and communicate with our partners and members. Let’s all learn how Michigan is making snow removal more efficient, how South Dakota is maintaining rock roads with new methods, or how Minnesota is excelling in safety developments.
 
Change is inevitable and provides opportunity. This should prove to be an opportunity to work closely with our transportation partners and provide even more valuable services to our members.

As always be safe out there and have a great day. It’s more fun that way!

 

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Working Closer with Our LTAP Partners

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