There are many things I love about the highway and public works industry and the construction industry at large. Among those things, and perhaps the common, overriding theme that encapsulates everything is the good, old-fashioned work ethic found in our industry.
First off, you can't clear the roads of snow, repair a culvert, perform maintenance on equipment and landscape the community's parks working from home in front of a computer and remotely logging onto a server. This industry had to deal with COVID-19 just like everybody else in every other industry but had to find ways to work around these challenges to physically be at work.
I'm not knocking the work-at-home concept. It certainly can work for many industries, especially for jobs that require most of the time on a computer, phone, dealing with e-mails and so forth. There's nothing inherently wrong with that as long as the work gets done at the same productivity level as physically being in the office. During the height of the pandemic, we heard a lot about the service sector, particularly the restaurant industry, and how they had to work in person, potentially exposing themselves to COVID. That was accurate, but I would have liked to have heard more about municipal services. Maybe I missed all those stories, but I don't think I did. Respect is a big thing for me and there are essentially two ways to disrespect people: one, is to say something disrespectful to someone and the second way is to not acknowledge something that deserves respect. So, I just wanted to take a moment in this column to address the second point: thank you for always being there to do the vital work for your communities.
Also, I want to thank all the businesses that have signed up and committed to exhibit their equipment and services at the N.Y.S. Highway and Public Works Expo. We are deeply grateful for your support. Booth sales so far have been incredible and even more are signing up every day. If you haven't signed up to exhibit, yet, please contact Teddy McKeon Jr. for information about exhibiting at the Expo. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and 800/523-2200. We are anticipating a highly successful Expo this October and if you are planning to attend, thank you; if you're thinking about attending but haven't made definitive plans, yet, please take a look at the spread on page 40 and 41. There, you'll see all the exhibitors who have pledged to participate and where there'll be located at the show. Hope to see you there. P