Deemed an essential service, the asphalt paving industry continues to work to maintain South Carolina’s roads during the COVID-19 crisis. Ashley Batson is executive director of the SC Asphalt Pavement Association (SCAPA), a non-profit trade association representing the asphalt pavement producers in South Carolina, as well as the suppliers to the industry. Batson details the various ways SCAPA is addressing the workforce shortage in the road construction. Even as South Carolina and the country face this current health and economic crisis, the need to recruit workers remains a priority.
Question: What is your organization doing to sell our industry?
With an anticipated 1,000 additional jobs coming to the South Carolina asphalt paving industry over the next five years, the South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association (SCAPA) is seeking to increase partnerships with agencies, organizations and schools across the state. Through the Asphalt Works! campaign, such partnerships will allow SCAPA to strengthen the industry’s workforce pipeline, providing training and raising awareness to the benefits of working in the asphalt industry.
South Carolina has the fourth largest highway system in the country, and the passage of the 2017 South Carolina Roads Bill is funding a massive resurfacing project, which will bring more than half of the state’s roads up to “good” condition in 10 years. SCAPA and its member organizations are preparing for this expanding workforce by visiting with schools, vocational centers, state agencies and other organizations to encourage people to apply or consider a career in the asphalt industry.
“There is a national resurgence of vocational education and skilled trades, which may suit students looking to thrive outside of a traditional four-year education,” says Ashley R. Batson, Esq., SCAPA executive director. “The asphalt industry offers swift career advancement, high-paying skilled jobs and a family environment where workers feel a great sense of integrity and pride in their work.”
SCAPA launched the statewide Asphalt Works! Campaign in 2019 to promote the hiring need and to highlight career opportunities.
SCAPA is working with entities such as the Midlands Education and Business Alliance, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, and middle and high schools across the state.
SCAPA is interested in connecting with academic institutions, job placement organizations and other statewide businesses to partner and help construct one of the most vital resources in the state’s economy — roads. For more information on how an organization can benefit from collaboration with SCAPA, visit https://www.asphaltworkssc.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Asphalt Works!
Asphalt Works! is a statewide workforce development campaign launched in 2018 by the South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association, a nonprofit trade association representing asphalt pavement producers and industry suppliers across South Carolina. The campaign is a long-term, unified effort to drive the future success of the asphalt paving industry by expanding the current workforce and providing committed, motivated employees with the chance to build lasting careers with opportunities for advancement in the asphalt industry. The Asphalt Works! campaign provides access to every available asphalt job in South Carolina. Learn more at https://www.asphaltworkssc.org/.
About the South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association (SCAPA)
The South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association, established in 1966, is a non-profit trade association representing the asphalt pavement producers in South Carolina and the suppliers to the industry. Its mission is: to protect, promote and advance the progress, interest and welfare of the producers of plant mixed asphalt paving materials; to encourage the highest standards of business ethics and quality workmanship; to encourage the discussion, coordination and pursuit of solutions to problems of common interest and concern to the producers of plant mixed asphalt paving materials; and to foster a cooperative spirit and understanding between the producers of plant-mixed asphalt paving mixtures and industry partners. Learn more at https://www.scasphalt.org.