President’s Message (December 2021)
A message from ASCE Texas Section President Patrick M. Beecher PE (2021-2022)
Thank you to all ASCE members who participated in Legislative Fly-ins and Drive-ins, the Infrastructure Report Card program, Key Contacts, and in many other varied ways kept the conversation about the importance of infrastructure alive. Your perseverance and dedication paid off in the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)! This five-year, $1.2 trillion bill is a significant down payment to repairing, growing, and enhancing our country’s infrastructure.
With the many issues dividing our country right now and creating partisan gridlock in Washington, it is good to know that investing in infrastructure is one issue that can still garner bipartisan support. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to ensure that we are engaging elected officials at all levels to share the message that supporting infrastructure directly improves the opportunity for all Americans to thrive.
With the billions of dollars expected to flow into Texas from the IIJA, we, as civil engineers, are ready to continue providing smart solutions to the ever-more complex infrastructure issues facing a state with a population that is growing with no end in sight. As one of the most trusted professions, we owe it to the public to make sure that each dollar spent from this bill provides a lasting, positive impact on the communities we serve.
Based on numerous conversations with civil engineers throughout the state, the civil engineering industry has been fortunate through the pandemic to remain busy and in many instances, seen an increase in workload over the past year. The IIJA will create an additional strain for municipalities, engineering firms, etc. to expand and develop staff to keep up with the growing amount of work. Thankfully, the ASCE Texas Section is well-positioned to support our members and their firms by providing services and events to address these issues.
One such event is the upcoming and inaugural ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium, being held in Houston, Texas from March 30 to April 2, 2022. This event will bring hundreds of college students from Texas, Mexico, New Mexico, and Oklahoma together to participate in various competitions. In addition, we will be hosting a career fair at the Symposium to help connect bright, engaging students with potential future employers. If your company is planning to hire in 2022, there is no better place to be than at this 2022 regional Student Symposium. If you are interested in supporting this valuable endeavor, please reach out to me and let me know.
We also support expanding our members technical knowledge and leadership development through our monthly webinars, Institute Chapter meetings, CECON, and the many volunteer opportunities at the Section and Branch levels. ASCE Texas Section and the numerous Branches throughout the state are a great partner to help put you in position to succeed!
As another year passes into the history books and we begin our journey into 2022, I am thankful to be a part of an organization that daily protects and advances the health, safety, and welfare of the public and has made a significant advancement in addressing our aging infrastructure through the passage of the IIJA. Thank you for supporting ASCE and making a difference in all our communities.
Patrick M. Beecher PE, M.ASCE
ASCE Texas Section President 2021-2022