Better Together: One HC+M Supporting Reins of Life

At HC+M, we know that our work in the communities we serve expands beyond construction projects. We build relationships within our Heritage family and give back to organizations who serve our community and our very own team members. We are proud to share how Milestone Contractors, Asphalt Materials, Inc. and US Aggregates came together to support Reins of Life in Michigan City, Indiana. 

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Hillard Joins AI’s 2023-2024 EPIC Leadership Program

Todd Hillard, senior purchasing manager at AMI, is part of the seventh EPIC (Experiential Participatory Image-Driven Connective) leadership program class through the Asphalt Institute (AI). The program is designed to foster future leaders within AI and develop AI members for further industry leadership. Hillard’s class began the program in June and will end at the Asphalt Institute’s spring meeting in April 2024. 

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National Pavement Preservation Conference 2023

September 18-21 | Indianapolis, Indiana

This year, Asphalt Materials Inc. and Heritage Research group attended the National Pavement Preservation Conference (NPPC) hosted by the National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP). Sessions were held to further knowledge, development, and research regarding the preservation of pavement. The poor condition of our roads results in $130 billion dollars added to vehicle repairs and operating costs per year (Alabama DOT). To avoid such situations, we must establish an effective preservation program and protect infrastructure investment.  

DAY 1

On day one, we heard from several presenters that traveled near and far to share their advice, best practices and research. Below we highlight some of the speakers and key topics they discussed.  

Mike Smith: Commissioner of Indiana (INDOT) 

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has owned and maintained more than 5,700 bridges and has nearly 30,000 roadway lane miles. INDOT has created a long term, fully funded plan to improve Indiana’s roadways and bridges that consists of fixing what they currently have, finishing what they have started, planning for the future, and impacting the surrounding cities, towns and counties. 

Mike shared that at the highest level it is important to invest in our infrastructure, keep roads in good condition longer, use taxpayer dollars wisely and be environmentally sensitive. Looking ahead, INDOT plans to focus on the quality of the pavement life including preservation techniques, economic development, resiliency, and sustainability.  

George Connor: Deputy Director, Operations (Alabama DOT) 

George Connor discussed the preservation challenge and how important it is that we create longer lasting pavements. It is a challenging undertaking because the road system has 4.2 million centerline miles. The nation’s infrastructure is valued at $8.3 trillion, and in 2019 federal state governments spent $3.6 billion on highways.  

Pavement preservation is important because of the people and communities it impacts. Roadway networks connect about 7.9 million business establishments with customers, suppliers and workers. In 2018, roadway networks served about 327 million residents and 80 million international visitors. Transportation infrastructure has a major economic impact, so we must work together to share pavement preservation techniques that are working well. 

DAY 2

On day two of the conference, several of our own were able to speak about advancements in asphalt emulsions, workforce development strategies, and cold recycled pavements. 

Dan Swiertz: Asphalt Materials Inc. | Lab Manager 

Latest Advancements in Emulsions 

The use of asphalt emulsions is ubiquitous throughout the lifecycle of an asphalt pavement. From new construction to recycling and reclamation, emulsions are formulated to deliver performance across a range of climatic regions and construction variables. New and innovative advancements in emulsion technology have created valuable opportunities for contractors and road owners alike. This presentation examined several advancements including penetrating emulsion and micro surfacing that offer unique opportunities to extend the pavement lifecycle.  

Kierstin Janik: Heritage Construction + Materials | Chief Talent Officer 

Workforce Development Strategies 

As construction companies face lower workforce participation and an ageing workforce. The U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law projects potentially creating 3.2 million new jobs across the non-residential construction value chain, and 300,000-600,000 new construction workers are needed to fill the gap with projected peak needs around 2027-2028. As a result, companies must develop holistic strategies to engage potential new employees and increase workforce development. 

Kierstin discussed some approaches HC+M has taken recently including highlighting its employer brand through social media and emphasizing the industry’s meaningful work, safety, support and good wages. She also shared more about HC+M’s talent acquisition strategy that prioritizes investing in the future though programs with middle schools, high schools and universities.  

Megan Yount: Heritage Research Group | Pvmt. Mat Engineering Manager 

Characterizing Cold Recycled Pavements from Field-Sampled Cores 

Replicating field-placed Cold In-place Recycled (CIR) and Cold Central Plant Recycled (CCPR) pavements with lab-produced mixtures may not accurately capture field conditions during construction, exact material proportions, or compaction effort. These factors often influence the resulting mixture properties, causing uncertainty that lab-produced mixtures reflect that of the in-situ pavement mixture. Examples from two State DOT projects were reviewed, followed by a discussion of results from tests including Dynamic Modulus, Marshall Stability, and Indirect Tensile Strength Testing.  

DAY 3

On day three, conference attendees visited the Indiana State Fairgrounds, where they could see INDOT evaluation equipment and research posters, static displays, and field demonstrations. Several contractors showcased their equipment including a diamond grinder, greens broom scrubber, pavement evaluation van and more. 

The live demonstrations listed below followed the static displays.

Treatment Contractor 
Hot in Place Recycling  Gallagher Asphalt 
Rapid Set Concrete Patch  CTS/Rapid Set 
Concrete Patch Materials FPT Infrastructure 
RMV Robotic Crack Sealer RMV/Sealmaster Robotic Crack Sealer 
Treatment Contractor 
Mastic and Crack Seal CRAFCO 
Pavement Retexturing  Skidabrader 
Maltene Based Rejuvenator Pavement Technology Inc. 
Microsurface Pavement Solutions 
Scrub Seal  Pavement Maintenance Systems/Etnyre 

Asphalt Materials Inc. and Heritage Research Group had an amazing time attending NPPC and learning pavement preservation best practices from agencies and industry thought leaders. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and for sharing your ideas about how to take care of our infrastructure! 

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Registration now open for AEMA’s 2024-2025 LEAP program

Registration is now open for the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association (AEMA)’s 2024-2025 LEAP program. LEAP is a 12-month immersive program aimed at developing members of the asphalt emulsion industry and is intended for AEMA Members looking to increase their knowledge of the asphalt emulsion industry. The program includes general education requirements through the University of Arkansas, various jobsite and facility tours, and a report at the AEMA Annual Meeting upon program graduation.  

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Why You Should Consider a Career in the Asphalt Industry

At AMI we are driven to be the best team in asphalt, and we use each day to grow and reinforce our reputation for exceeding expectations. Our greatest asset is our hardworking team who works together to make a real difference in the world. The asphalt industry may be a fit for you if you strive to build things that matter and enjoy learning and problem-solving as a team. Trade jobs offer great career potential and provide good pay and stability. The asphalt industry needs skilled workers interested in opportunities to grow. 

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Mitchell Kovalsky Promoted to Senior Project Engineer

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Mitch Kovalsky to Senior Project Engineer in the AMI Capital Project Engineering Group. In this role, Mitch will continue to lead projects critical to our business operation while supporting implementation of the overall capital plan.

Mitch graduated from Purdue University in 2018 as a Chemical Engineer and joined AMI as a Lab Tech at the Indianapolis Plant. Shortly after, in March of 2019, he joined the engineering team as a Project Engineer.

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Work Safety on the Job

At Asphalt Materials Inc., our safety is our culture. Our purpose is to build a safer, more enriching, and sustainable world by harnessing the power of family. We not only want our workers to go home safely, but we also want them to create a healthy environment that focuses on communication, accountability, and preparation. As a family business, it is our job to look out for one another and prioritize our wellbeing.

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Higbie and Jenkins Join the 2023-2024 LEAP Class 

Asphalt Material’s Sales Representative Nate Jenkins and Heritage Research Group’s Senior Asphalt Research Chemist Campbell Higbie have joined the 2023-2024 LEAP Class. Nate Jenkins is a member of the Asphalt Materials, Inc. (AMI) sales team and has worked with the company since January 2014. Campbell began his career at The Heritage Group (THG) when he joined the Heritage Research Group (HRG) in March 2016 as a lab technician for the asphalt emulsion lab. In 2018, Higbie moved into a research and innovation role with HRG. This has allowed him to help AMI develop novel approaches in asphalt applications, specifically with emulsions.  

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