Editor's Notebook November 2023
Craig Mongeau - Editor in Chief - November 2023
The 2023 N.Y.S. Highway & Public Works Expo is in the books and our early reports show that we may have broken an attendance record. More on that possibility in next month's issue when we publish the coverage of the Expo. Right now, as of press time, one day after the Expo, we're still going through the numbers. For the time being, though, we whole-heartedly thank all of you who attended and exhibited. Seeing so many of you there validates the hard work of our exhibiters and our Expo team. As the old saying goes, "it wouldn't have been possible without you."
On another matter, I recently had the pleasure of attending and covering a Construction Angels clay shoot event in southern Maryland. Construction continues to be a dangerous job, especially in work zones along highways.
Construction Angels' mission is delivering prompt financial aid and grief counseling to the children and spouses of a construction worker who loses his or her life while on the job. The organization also provides construction scholarship opportunities to eligible candidates and further scholarships to the surviving children of these fallen workers.
Kristi Gibbs, CEO and founder/national executive director of Construction Angels, founded the organization, which operates as a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation, in 2011.
"Construction Angels originally began its mission in south Florida 12 years ago and has expanded its presence to 26 states," she said to me during the event. "The organization not only extends scholarships to children who have lost a parent but also endeavors to retain young talent within the construction industry."
The event was hosted by an equipment dealer, GT Mid Atlantic, and came about as a result of an absolutely horrendous accident earlier this year. On March 22, 2023, a fatal two-vehicle accident occurred on the inner loop of Interstate 695 near Interstate 70, resulting in the death of six construction workers. Prosecutors charged a woman, alleging that she had five prescription medications and marijuana in her system and was traveling at a speed of 121 mph shortly before the collision.
Thanks to the host and many sponsors and participants, the event raised $36,000.
What all of you and your crews do can be a dangerous job, but it shouldn't be. There are still way too many selfish motorists who race through highway construction zones, despite severe penalties. And there are yet others who screw around on their phones or what happened in Maryland, drive while impaired.
I was really taken by this organization, and I encourage you to check them out at www.constructionangels.us.
And again, thank you for attending and exhibiting. We're already looking forward to next year's Expo and we hope you are, too. P