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From the Editor: September October 2013

The Next Generation - Shining a light on the next leaders of our industry.

September 24, 2013  By  Andrew Macklin

From coast to coast the same message gets repeated everywhere this
magazine has taken us: we are having a hard time finding young people
for our operation.

From coast to coast the same message gets repeated everywhere this magazine has taken us: we are having a hard time finding young people for our operation.

Sometimes the reasons for the shortage change, from competition with mining and the oilsands to a complete lack of young people pursuing the trades. But the end result is still the same: the next generation is not there to be hired.

Our magazine has been in constant discussions for the 18 months I have been here, looking for something we could do to help the situation. We have considered seminars, presentations at schools, targeted distribution and a raft of other ideas to try to do our part to push this industry to young people. But rather than keep looking for opportunities to spread the word outside of our industry, we realized that, perhaps, we need to look inside.


After nine months of meetings, nominations, deliberations and evaluations, we have selected 20 individuals to recognize as part of our inaugural Rock to Road Top 20 Under 40. The 20 finalists represent five provinces and one territory. And while an optimal list may have included at least one person from every single province and territory, the 20 people recognized are all deserving of this acclaim. They range from the entry level to the top of the corporate structure with all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the aggregates and roadbuilding industry represented. It truly is a list to be proud of.

Recognizing the efforts of workers and companies in this way has become more commonplace in recent years, but for good reason. These lists recognize the efforts of those who deserve to have a spotlight shone on them. They provide examples for others to follow and remind us of the great things that can be accomplished by the youngest within our ranks. They also provide operations with new ideas and new strategies for taking positive steps toward employee retention, better business practices and greater profits.

We sometimes forget that the best advocates for the industry are the people in the industry. We have to look to the young generation that is already amongst us and make sure they enjoy what they are doing. Their word of mouth will spread throughout the social gatherings they attend and on a plethora of social media channels, communicating their enjoyment of our industry to the ears and eyes of those looking for a career opportunity that is right for them. The rock to road industry can be that career opportunity.

Please take the time to look through our inaugural Rock to Road Top 20 Under 40 and read about the accomplishments of the youngest generation of our industry. If there is someone you think should be recognized on the list, don’t worry, you’ll have your chance to single them out. We will follow up this year’s list with an additional 10 names, which we will present at this time next year. Stay tuned to Rock to Road magazine for the call for nominations in the next year.

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