More than 50 "young guns" in the transportation design and construction industry took part in an intensive “boot camp” introduction to the federal legislative and regulatory processes, and then descended on Capitol Hill last week to press their members of Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and pass a long-term surface transportation bill.
They were in Washington June 9-12 as part of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Foundation’s 19th Annual Young Executive Development Program (YEDP), which was held in conjunction with the ARTBA Federal Issues Program and Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In.
The 2014 class marks the largest ever in the program’s history. YEDP fellows represented about half of the states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
The YEDP sessions focused on federal highway program financing, grassroots advocacy, future challenges facing the nation’s infrastructure, transportation construction safety, P3s, ethics, and featured a visit to the U.S. Department of Transportation Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. Senior ARTBA staff provided an overview of the association’s role in shaping federal transportation policies and regulations.
Participants also heard the perspectives of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.), and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) about the HTF crisis and timeline for the reauthorization of MAP-21.