World of Asphalt 2019 is joining forces with the Asphalt Pavement Association of Indiana (APAI) to host hundreds of FFA students during a special #Ag2Asphalt Day Feb. 14 designed to connect students with exhibitors and learn about rewarding career opportunities in the asphalt industry.
The 2019 World of Asphalt Show & Conference will be held Feb. 12 to 14 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, co-located with the 2019 AGG1 Academy & Expo. One registration covers admission to both events.
APAI is partnering with FFA (Future Farmers of America) to present the careers program. It follows a successful #Ag2Asphalt Day held in May 2018 at the FFA Leadership Center in Tralfalgar, Ind.
At World of Asphalt, students will attend orientation sessions to learn about the asphalt industry and career opportunities and also tour the show floor to meet with exhibitors.
APAI will also present exclusive content at World of Asphalt Feb. 13 in three educational sessions for members and Indiana area public agency officials, including INDOT personnel. APAI session attendees can also attend World of Asphalt education and tour the show floor to meet with exhibitors.
"APAI welcomes World of Asphalt to Indianapolis and Indiana; we look forward to contributing to a great show with our education and student outreach," said Kirsten Pauley, P.E., executive director of APAI.
Making Industry Connections to Grow the Workforce
"World of Asphalt is where the industry comes together to build skills, gain information, and see the latest innovations. It only makes sense to get the next generation of asphalt workers to the show, too," said Dr. Audrey Copeland, P.E., COO of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), show co-owner.
"Partnerships, such as the one between the asphalt industry and Future Farmers of America, are a fantastic way to connect motivated youths with the many great opportunities the asphalt pavement industry offers," said Copeland.
"We are proud to join forces with APAI, NAPA, and FFA to acquaint students with the many rewarding career paths in the asphalt industry. We applaud outreach efforts such as these to strengthen and expand tomorrow's industry workforce," said Megan Tanel, World of Asphalt show director and AEM senior vice president, exhibitions and events.
The FFA event at World of Asphalt is spearheaded by the APAI Workforce Development Committee, formed in 2017 to address the critical construction workforce shortage.
Pauley of APAI noted that the asphalt industry in Indiana is anticipating 10 percent of its workforce to retire in the next 5-7 years, and coupled with the 2017 state highway bill that will provide $1.2 billion in additional infrastructure funding to INDOT over the next five years, "the need to recruit talent to our industry is critical."
She explained that the APAI alignment with FFA is a natural fit: FFA members typically grow up with diesel farm equipment; if they're not staying on the farm and don't want to leave their rural roots or smaller towns, the Indiana asphalt industry, including asphalt plants in less populated areas, offers great career options.
Making Industry Connections to Improve Performance, Find Products and Suppliers
APAI conducts a variety of technical workshops and training each year. It is co-locating three special education sessions at World of Asphalt 2019 to take advantage of the show's Indianapolis location.
The three APAI education sessions will run concurrently Feb.13 and cover:
- Tack Coat Applications, targeting field personnel and presented jointly by INDOT and industry on proper application to maximize bonding between asphalt layers;
- Laboratory Testing, targeting INDOT, consultant and contractor asphalt technicians, to review best practices for various asphalt tests; and
- Community Crossings Guide, featuring a walk-through of this APAI guide developed with INDOT and LTAP (Local Technical Assistance program, in Indiana at Purdue University) to assist cities and towns with program requirements from procurement through construction.