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Former ASCE President Attends Infrastructure “Jobs of the Future” Event at White House

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Media Contact(s):
Jim Jennings, (703) 295-6406, (540) 272-1452 cell, jjennings@asce.org

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Caldwell discusses strategies for job creation with Administration officials and business leaders 

Washington, D.C. – Gainesville, Florida’s Kathy Caldwell, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, met with a group of key infrastructure stakeholders at the White House today, including Latino small business leaders, state and local government transit agency leaders, representatives from NGOs and The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), as well as senior Administration officials from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Together, they discussed strategies to create “Jobs of the Future” in the infrastructure and transportation sector, particularly in the Latino communities from which several attendees hailed.

Throughout the event on Wednesday, participating business leaders learned more about U.S. Government policies and upcoming infrastructure projects and had the opportunity to share their success stories, best practices, and thoughts on how to continue to support job growth in the industry. The Administration has named infrastructure investment and reform – along with education, innovation, and clean energy -  as critical to job growth, competitiveness, and “winning the future” in a global economy.

“Across America, we have roads and bridges that are aging and need to be repaired and replaced, electric grids and water systems that need to be modernized, and dams and levees which need to meet safety standards,“ said Caldwell, former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. “Investing in infrastructure pays for itself, and is an opportunity to generate economic growth and create jobs for our small businesses and local communities.”

Administration participants included Beth Osborne, USDOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation policy; Brandon Neal, Director, USDOT Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization; Camille Hazeur, Director, USDOT Office of Civil Rights; Bryna Helfer, Director, USDOT Public Engagement; Rohan Patel, Associate Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Chris Cummiskey, DHS Deputy Undersecretary for Management;  Michael Frias, Deputy Assistant Secretary, DHS Private Sector Office; Warren Whitlock, Associate Administrator, FHWA Office of Civil Rights; and Michelle Moore, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director at the Office of Management and Budget. The event concluded with a stakeholder panel moderated by Caldwell that presented perspectives from a national association, a small business leader, and a large Metropolitan transit agency.

Attendees were encouraged to take what they learned today and share the information with their colleagues. They also will continue a dialogue with the Administration and other participants.

“Today we discussed how globalization is driving a need for better intermodal connections to encourage trade — that our economy is challenged and job creation is paramount,” said Paul Yarossi, president of HNTB Holdings Ltd and chairman of ARTBA. “Our country must meet these demands or fall behind. We can do this by emphasizing and illustrating infrastructure’s return on investment.” 

Founded in 1852, American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.