To the ACEC Community,
Last week, the ACEC Executive Committee wrapped up a successful summer meeting where several important decisions were made on initiatives that will help ACEC continue to achieve the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan, grow our prominence and influence in Washington, and better serve our members. Some of the highlights of the meeting include:
The creation of a standing Workforce Committee, which will drive the Council’s advocacy and programming agenda to increase the talent pipeline and coordinate the various elements of ACEC’s workforce program.
The approval of three M.O. Strengthening Program Grants for Nebraska and Rhode Island to support their activities with ACEC National, and one grant for a coalition of states – Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota – under the title of WINS. The WINS grant will be used to fund the creation of an education and training program to instruct MO leaders on social media best practices.
Approval of a Minuteman Fund grant to ACEC South Carolina to help advance joint-and-several liability reform and to fight against broad-form indemnification and Duty to Defend contractual clauses.
The development of a multi-state advocacy communications campaign on the urgent need to address R&D amortization.
Discussion on the structure and objectives of the Women in Leadership Forum.
Each of these initiatives share the common goal of extending our reach and expanding our bench. They are among the legislative, regulatory, and organizational priorities we are focused on to ensure that our member firms and our industry are positioned to win.
With Congress still in recess, the eyes of the political world will shift on Wednesday 800 miles from Washington to Milwaukee, site of the first GOP presidential debate of the 2024 election. Not taking the stage: frontrunner Donald Trump who, according to unconfirmed reports, will counterprogram with an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. With issues like immigration and energy likely to be on the Milwaukee agenda, we will of course be watching the remaining seven qualifying candidates very closely.
One last note: last Saturday was National Aviation Day, so proclaimed in 1939 by FDR in honor of Orville Wright’s birthdate. It is astonishing to consider the seismic changes brought about by the Wright Brothers. Orville Wright was born in 1871, when travel meant a horse and buggy. By the time of his death in 1948, he had seen his Wright Flyer evolve and improve, becoming jet planes and supersonic flights. The Wright Brothers were engineers – self-taught, but engineers just the same. They were inspired in the same way that today’s engineers are inspired: by imagining what can be and figuring out how to make it so.
December will mark the 120th anniversary of that momentous first flight at Kitty Hawk. What at the time was miraculous is today mundane. Such is the power of progress. So, next time you’re on a flight tucking into your package of Biscoff cookies, celebrate the engineers who made it possible. (And if you’re flying into SeaTac or LaGuardia, celebrate the EEA winners who made it more comfortable and accessible.) Engineering has forever expanded the boundaries of the world by propelling humanity toward new horizons.