Big Changes To Asphalt Contractor Magazine

Will it ever be the same again? No...but maybe it can keep getting better!

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This year, the print magazine is going to look a little different on the inside. When I came into this role in 2022, the major editorial plans were already laid out for the next year, and that was good for me to inherit, because I needed to get my sea-legs before I started to steer the boat. When it came time to take the wheel, and start laying the groundwork for 2024, I knew there were some things I wanted to try and bring to Asphalt Contractor. This is the first issue to contain these changes, and I am excited to see what you think of them.

The reason for that is due, in part, because they are features that you might find yourself wanting to, and being able to, contribute towards. Over the last year, I've been trying to foster more relationships with experts and other knowledgeable parties within the industry, in order to enrich the content of each issue. I hope to hear from readers about these new changes ([email protected]), and more importantly, to hear from readers who might want to work together on future articles. This publication can and should be a community space, informed by, and created by the industry it means to speak to. To make that a reality, I'll need your help.Img 1591Brandon Noel

Investigating Infrastructure

One of the earliest facets of the asphalt and road building industry that I became passionate about was the role it plays in our country's vast infrastructure. I'm sure many would agree that your average driver isn't really thinking about asphalt while they're on the highway, and if they are thinking about it, the reason might be due to flaws in the pavement smoothness.

The purpose of this feature is to highlight the greater political, historical, and contextual importance that our industry exists within. Issue to issue, topics might range from legislative changes or regulatory topics to keep you informed, as well as topics related to city planning and sustainability. Our industry is part of this greater system of transportation infrastructure, and that's a point of pride for sure, and it's something worth talking about.

In this month's issue the topic is related to the Highway Trust Fund, how it works (or doesn't), and what changes in Washington in regards to how it is funded might impact future opportunities.

Face of the Industry

It's impossible to have a conversation with a contractor or business owner without the topic of labor and hiring challenges coming up. In parallel with that, I've consistently heard people discuss the, "changing face of the industry," in regards to looking for new labor pools outside of what may have been traditional in decades past. Every time I hear someone talk about this, I always wonder, "What does that really mean? Who are these new faces of the industry?" So, I decided to try and find them, and let them tell their story.

Each issue, this new feature will contain pieces written by people from minority and/or marginalized groups in our industry, rather than just a profile of them. I didn't want to write about them. I wanted them to speak to us. Whenever you interview someone, the questions you bring to that interview always colors the final product in subconscious ways that are difficult to account for. However, I've asked each person to focus on sharing from their expertise or their personal experience in the industry, and let their perspective educate us on what the future might look like. It is full of possibility.

This issue's first feature is by Kerianne Melillo, who works in New York for Green Asphalt. This is her first position in the asphalt industry, and her story brings to light something that's been an important topic: Hiring outside the industry. She's literally a product of that mindset, and shed's light on why it might be the way to go for your company as well.

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Read the digital edition of the January 2024 issue here:

If you've got an idea and want to share it, send me an email at [email protected] and let's talk!

See you on the road!