Every Ohio resident requires about 11 tons of aggregates each year. That makes for a booming stone, sand and gravel industry in the Buckeye State. Ohio aggregates and industrial materials producers took that message to lawmakers in the state house in Columbus, Ohio, for the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA)’s annual Legislative Reception. For 19 years, the reception offers an important opportunity for industry members to gain valuable face-time with decision makers, tell their stories and discuss key issues affecting their business.
“The annual reception is so important to the success of the aggregates industry in Ohio,” said Todd Young, of Zanesville-based Mar-Zane Materials, and president of OAIMA. “Most legislators, like most of our neighbors, do not know where the basic resources that build Ohio communities and infrastructure come from. Meeting with them early in the legislative session, in a highly visible manner and in the heart of the statehouse allows us to form personal and lasting relationships with those who can impact our businesses the most.”
Attendees discussed Ohio’s transportation budget and the role the state’s $1 billion aggregates industry plays in infrastructure projects. Other topics of discussion included land use and zoning, regulatory constraints, transportation of aggregates and workforce development.
Pat Jacomet, OAIMA executive director, said the value of the event comes from the connections industry members form with their elected representatives. “Not only does this event give our members an opportunity to meet and speak with their state legislators in a comfortable setting, but they also form lasting relationships with the legislative staff,” he said. “At the end of the day, we want Ohio’s lawmakers to think of our members when legislation arises that could have an impact on our ability to supply our critical commodities. By building relationships with our state lawmakers, we are more likely to work through issues before they become problematic or contentious. This event, plant tours and continued dialogue are at the heart of our grassroots efforts here in Ohio.”