Washington, D.C. — During the American Composites Manufacturers Association's (ACMA) annual Infrastructure Day, ACMA members took to Capitol Hill to inform Members of Congress and federal agency leadership about the value of composite materials in American infrastructure.
As the unified voice of the composites industry, ACMA helps composites manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and end-users tell their story. One of the ways ACMA does this is through a robust advocacy program that lobbies vigorously at the federal, state and local levels. Infrastructure Day is one of the composites industry's biggest opportunities to engage with the officials whose policies directly impact it.
"Composites can make America's infrastructure more resilient and longer lasting," said Tom Dobbins, president of ACMA. "The state of our crumbling infrastructure has been well documented. Composites are the solution to the problem. The only way to gain broader adoption of composites is to educate policy makers. I commend the leadership of the companies that participated in Infrastructure Day"
During Infrastructure Day, ACMA and representatives from 15 member companies advocated for the use of composites in bridges and other key infrastructure markets, such utility poles and crossarms, water and wastewater treatment, locks and levies, and pipes and tanks.
"I think the good part of the day was for us to create awareness for composite materials," said James Crain, Market Manager for Reinforcements at Composites One. "Many people [in Washington] don't know what we're talking about. They don't know what the definition of a composite material is, so I think we're making a difference from an awareness standpoint."
Dustin Troutman, Director of Marketing and Product Development for Creative Pultrusions, said that in addition to spreading awareness, Infrastructure Day was a great opportunity to pick the brains of agency leadership to gain perspective on how to penetrate specific infrastructure markets. For Troutman specifically, the meeting with the US Army Corps of Engineers was helpful.
"They gave us a mechanism to make a change on a specification that I had been having difficulty tracking down," Troutman explained. "It's been a year of a lot of phone calls, and we made some headway by being able to talk. ACMA was the main driver of that."