ACMA can be most effective when we have a positive relationship with regulatory agencies. ACMA members and staff have met with OSHA leadership several times over the past year. Senior management from OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance toured the facilities of ACMA member companies Xerxes Corporation and Justin Tanks to learn more about our industry-wide commitment to worker safety. We have participated in OSHA focus groups on hazard education and continue to work with them to build a relationship that benefits all members of our industry, from the board room to the shop floor.
We have been active beyond regulatory issues as well. The composites industry scored a huge victory this summer with the inclusion of a lifecycle cost assessment provision in the surface transportation bill, MAP-21. Federal and state transportation agencies will now be required to examine the cost of infrastructure improvements for the full term of life, rather than just the initial installation cost. Because bridges and other structures that are reinforced by non-corrosive composites rather than steel require minimal maintenance, this provision has the potential to dramatically expand the use of composites in infrastructure.
ACMA’s victories are by no means a sole result of hard work by our staff. Many ACMA members made major commitments to our advocacy initiatives. By coming to Washington to meet with members of Congress and Administration officials, ACMA activists have given our industry a grassroots advantage. The fact that owners and managers from our industry take time out of their busy schedules to engage our nation’s leaders speaks volumes and shows that we are committed and invested in the future of our industry. When the nation’s leaders see our commitment they are willing to make a commitment to us.
ACMA members have invested financially in our advocacy program as well and it has paid huge dividends. Thanks to member contributions to the Composites Advocacy Fund we are able to have a fully robust government affairs program to face challenges and take full advantage of every opportunity. Member contributions allowed us to fully publicize the hearings and to have major studies completed that will prove essential to building our case on Capitol Hill.
Contributions to ACMA’s political action committee have made a tremendous difference as well. Thanks to the generosity of ACMA members the association was able to provide nearly $40,000 toward the campaigns of pro-growth and pro-composites candidates. With a 90 percent win rate, ACMA PAC was extremely successful during this election cycle.