ASCE Adds New Infrastructure Tagline

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2023


Last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers announced at the ASCE 2023 Convention in Chicago that it would be adding a new tagline to its official branding, highlighting the society’s involvement in infrastructure.

According to a news release from ASCE, the new tagline will be “ASCE: Infrastructure Leaders | Building Communities.”

“If you ask somebody what a civil engineer does, they might not know. But everybody knows what infrastructure is,” said ASCE 2023 President Maria C. Lehman, who was running her final board meeting as president.

“Infrastructure has been a buzzword for a while. And I think in terms of branding, everything we’ve done with the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure the past 25 years, people get it. And I think they get it now more than ever.”

ASCE’s Board Strategic Advisory Council had reportedly suggested the change, estimating that it could signify a stronger connection to new strategic plan goals to grow and engage membership around the world and support inclusivity.

Lehman also acknowledged the recent bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as ASCE’s role in helping to make it a reality.

“Listen, we own the subject,” Lehman said. “We have a brand that is so respected and so admired around the world. And this is who we are. Infrastructure is us.”

Other Meeting Notes

At the meeting, members also reportedly discussed a new strategic plan, presented by The BSAC/Program and Finance Committee Joint Subcommittee on Strategic Alignment.

The presentations were reportedly an update to a BSAC Subcommittee on Strategic Plan Implementation report from March on streamlining the Society’s structure and budget process to fit the new strategic plan.

According to ASCE, its board approved the subcommittee’s recommendations, focusing on three key areas: personalized member value, communities of practice and a “One-ASCE strategic budget process."

Other actions from the board include:

  • Adopting the subcommittee’s guiding principles for delivering personalized member value with plans to incorporate them into all Society communications, programs and activities;
  • Endorsing prioritizing five personas–different member types in different phases of their careers and with different kinds of needs;
  • Directing the Governing Documents Committee to prepare language adopting definitions for ASCE committees, communities of practice, working groups and other entities;
  • Authorizing Executive Director Tom Smith to identify sustainability and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) as communities of practice pilots;
  • Establishing a three-tiered ASCE budget request framework; and
  • Directing staff and the PFC to begin the annual budget preparation process earlier in the year.

Additionally, a civil engineering workforce report was also presented by ASCE’s Workforce Development Subcommittee.

As a response to documented civil engineering workforce shortfalls, a subcommittee, led by Ray Daddazio, former president of Thornton Tomasetti, reportedly positioned ASCE to be a large influence on workforce solutions for both the short- and long-term.

The subcommittee’s suggested roles for ASCE to take in workforce development include:

  • Promoting recruitment and retention best practices;
  • Understanding the components of civil engineering workforce development, including defining each role on the civil engineering team;
  • Partnering with leading organizations in specific areas to act as a force multiplier;
  • Advocacy for priority workforce development initiatives, including those affecting compensation;
  • Developing training and education courses and programs to cater to evolving needs and to bridge skill-gaps; and
  • Showcasing the “wow” factor and purpose of civil engineering.

The subcommittee’s recommendations reportedly align with a collaboration between ASCE and the National Governors Association, which presented a report and webinar on specific workforce issues.

“The workforce issues are the backbone of all the issues we’re dealing with right now in the industry, so we have to have a comprehensive plan,” Lehman said. “I was really glad that BSAC took this on.

“It’s all hands on deck, working the whole pipeline, and rethinking what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

The board reportedly obtained progress reports on some of ASCE’s new and important enterprises, including the Standards Office and the Grants and Contracts Office and the Accelerated Digital Strategy.

According to ASCE, two years after its agreement with the American Institute of Steel Construction for the Student Steel Bridge Competition, the board got news from a working group which included the Region 10 Board of Governors, the Committee on Student Conferences and Competitions and the Structural Engineering Institute about a chance to develop a broader global student steel bridge competition.

The society states that its board voted on actions that are expected to encourage student groups in Region 10 to use the AISC rules for steel bridge competitions, suggest monitoring and supporting ASCE student symposia competitions in Region 10 and recommend global expansion of the competition at a time when there is enough momentum and support.

More from ASCE

Last year, ASCE released a new virtual map that features projects getting underway thanks to funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law. In partnership with Accelerator for America, the map arrived in time for the one-year anniversary of the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

According to ASCE, communities in all 50 states saw the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure law, as funds went towards fixing potholes, rehabilitating bridges, replacing lead pipes and cleaning up the environment.

The U.S. Department of Transportation also announced the first round of grants from the law’s competitive Bridge Investment Program and the Federal Highway Administration had released nearly $60 billion in funding for 12 formula programs under the law, in addition to awarding more than $2.2 billion for RAISE program transportation projects and $1.5 billion for the INFRA competitive grant program.

According to reports, the map was part of a larger effort from ASCE to track all investments and rulemakings by infrastructure sector for their 150,000 members working in communities across the country.

Part of Accelerator for America’s United for Infrastructure #InfrastructureWorks campaign, users could explore the map by state or region, while filtering by category, to see how cities were using infrastructure funding to raise their state’s report card grade.

   

Tagged categories: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Business matters; Business operations; Engineers; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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