Take the long term approach to community relations

Therese Dunphy

July 1, 2014


A solid relationship between an aggregates operation and the community in which it operates often shares the same characteristics as a solid friendship. It may be based on shared interests. It may be based on common goals. It may be based on the personality traits of each party. But, fundamentally, it is based on trust.

Community relations aren’t built via speed dating. They require a long-term commitment to working in an open, honest manner that benefits both parties.

In this issue of Aggregates Manager, I’m excited to showcase a number of aggregate producers who are building just such relationships. On this month’s cover, you’ll see a brand new plant entrance of Vulcan Materials Co.’s Pleasanton Plant. The staff has made quite a statement at its front gate, but its efforts don’t end there. From building birdhouses with local high school students and owl boxes with Webelos to hosting elementary students by the hundred, this plant is actively seeking out opportunities to positively interact with the community. In Operations Illustrated, you’ll see more photos from our Plant Entrance Photo Contest, as well as advice from other operators about how they work with local communities.

If you enjoy this story, be sure to visit aggman.com to see a complete photo gallery* of entries into this contest. While half a dozen operations are featured in this issue, many more are shown on the website. You’ll also find additional commentary from our experts.

Finally, be sure to check out the news in this month’s State and Province News. One trend I noticed while putting this department together is that some companies are voluntarily slowing down their efforts to permit an operation. Whether at a community’s request or to correct misinformation, these producers are opting to address questions and concerns at the outset. Rather than rushing the permitting process, they are taking a long-range perspective on community relations.

As you read these articles, consider what type of relationship your site has with its neighbors and what steps you can take to ensure it’s a positive, healthy one.

3 takeaways from this issue:

1. Most motor failures are due to bearings and windings. (Full story here)

2. The Yuba Goldfields in northern California contain an estimated 1 billion tons of sand and gravel, page 22.

3. Many state laws now protect an employee’s privacy on social media. (Full story here)

*Editor’s Note: The photo gallery will be available later this month.

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