As the air warms up, vaccinations increase and the pandemic winds down, I feel more positive now than I have for a while.
A year ago, the country began to open up a little after the March shutdown, but everything was still uncertain, and no one knew what was going to happen next. Medical research was moving forward rapidly to develop vaccines for COVID-19, but nothing had been approved. People were afraid. And that fear wasn’t just local: it was global. We all had a chance to think about what matters to us and to figure out things we had always taken for granted. We learned, we adapted and we grew. On a personal level, I was impressed by how the good people of Kentucky, and our association members, rose to the challenge. They did what was necessary even though it felt like the rules were shifting every few weeks.
Trucking was essential to the recovery. The trucking industry had to figure out how to get goods safely from point A to point B. I’ve never seen a time when supply chains were completely disrupted the way they were this last year. When done right, our work often seems invisible because it is done behind the scenes, but empty shelves where basic goods usually sit made our work highly visible. We did everything we could to fill those shelves again so that others could focus their efforts on something other than whether they had enough toilet paper to last the week.
As you would expect, the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly Session was busy. I’ve mentioned it before, but I expect the transportation industry to go through many changes during the next decade. Partnering with government and industry leaders is critical to ensure that we are represented well when decisions are made. During the most recent session, we met with legislators in person and online through Zoom, made calls and sent emails.
We appreciate the KTA members who contacted their local representatives during the session. We are more powerful as an association when we speak up. Communicating with legislators makes a difference, and we know we can count on you to lend your voice when needed.
Nationally, the main issues we are concerned about currently include the following:
- The highway trust fund
- Workforce development
- Automated vehicle technology
- Hair testing for drugs
- Increasing efficiency by removing redundant background checks
- Hemp transportation
- Promoting women
- Changing hours of service
Our members benefit from their involvement with KTA. Our Annual Membership Conference and Expo is scheduled for Aug. 5-7, 2021. We hope you will attend! We have also scheduled the 2021 KTA Golf Classic for June 24, 2021. Circumstances permitting, it will be held at the Wildwood Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Visit KYTrucking.net to complete your registration or to find more information on sponsorships.
Finally, I am always available as a resource for our members. I look forward to working with you and serving the needs of KTA for many years to come.