by Shantel Lipp Shantel Lipp
Shantel Lipp - Portrait

This is an exciting time of year to be in our industry. Summer is nearly here, and the push is on to get out and construct all the projects you have been contracted to develop. 

Seeing crews out on worksites doing what it takes to repair or build a road, replace pipes and other infrastructure underground or prepare a site for a future building is undeniable evidence of all that our industry does to support our communities and the provincial economy. 

As I drive around – on roads our members built – I look around to see so much other infrastructure that requires heavy construction to exist: the sidewalk where pedestrians can safely walk; those lots being developed so more houses can be built in a subdivision that will welcome many more families to live in our city in a new neighbourhood that will flourish; those kids playing basketball on a court using materials donated by one of our members; families packed in a half ton that is pulling an RV headed out on the highway to a provincial park to make memories on a family vacation; 

that rail line being used by that train carrying cars of agricultural commodities or manufactured equipment to other parts of the country where they will be used or to reach ports to export to other countries. I hear the planes coming into my city knowing they are going to land on the airport runway. I trust there will be a parking lot where I will park my vehicle when I arrive at my destination. 

We built that. The members of our association are the ones who made sure high quality, durable infrastructure is constructed so other people living in our communities can enjoy a high quality of life. 

This infrastructure makes travel easier and safer. Getting to school and work every day is possible because of the infrastructure that our members build and maintain. It prepares future stages of development so people have places to work and live.

While it is common for our industry to just get the job done and focus on ensuring it gets done well, I think there is value in stopping to consider just how impactful that infrastructure is in our daily lives and how significant it is to a functioning society. 

There is so much for a person to notice and take pride in once we start looking for it. While those in the industry know it, let’s remind others of it too. 

While you are working this summer on whatever project your crew is doing, remind people we built that – whether you are telling the employees at the hotel where you are staying, the restaurant where you eat or the gas station where you fill up. Not only do they get the benefit of this new infrastructure, but indirectly, they also benefit from the money your company is spending in their community as your crew moves in for the duration of the project. That indirect benefit helps to support their jobs and income. 

Telling people which projects we are working on helps others who are not in our industry see that it is real people – not simply dollars and documents – who make infrastructure happen. Reminding other people of exactly what our industry builds and maintains and how that betters the lives of our family, friends and neighbours is an important message to deliver so the value of our industry’s work is recognized and appreciated.

In turn, this helps our message land more impactfully when we meet with governments who rely on us to construct the infrastructure they decide to build. Governments pay attention to the public who vote them into office. Having the public value our contribution to our communities helps reinforce what SHCA says to politicians. 

I hope your summer is filled with solid projects that make a difference to the many people living and working in our province. Here’s to a safe and prosperous season ahead.