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February 15, 2011

Ontario Road Builders’ Association to promote membership benefits to Ministry of Transportation bidders

The Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) plans to launch “an extensive and aggressive” membership campaign this year, targeting all contractors that bid provincial transportation ministry work.

The association also will attempt to expand its reach into the municipal and design-build spheres.

“I believe if you are benefiting from what ORBA does on the industry’s behalf, then you should be a member,” says newly elected president Alfredo Maggio, president of Brampton’s Graham Bros. Construction Ltd.

Currently, ORBA represents 85 road building contractors and 100 associate members.

Alfredo Maggio

Maggio told the association’s annual convention that there are many contractors that compete directly with ORBA members in the municipal sector “and who gain from our campaigns for more and dedicated municipal infrastructure spending.”

He said ORBA’s work on the Ontario Provincial Standards (OPS) specifications directly impacts municipal contractors as well.

The OPS system is owned and operated by the Municipal Engineers Association. It has the support of the transportation ministry.

“We have to do a better job of communicating how we are helping these contractors and why membership is important,” said Maggio, who has sat on the ORBA board of directors since 2002.

At the other end of the spectrum, he said, are large design-build and alternative financing and procurement (AFP) contracts. These contract delivery methods are supplementing the traditional design-bid-build approach.

“There are many non-member companies that could use our assistance with these (non-traditional) contracts,” Maggio said. “We need to find ways of selling our services or developing our services so that we can offer the benefits of membership to some of these larger companies.”

The membership campaign strategy is expected to be finalized over the next month or two. Maggio said part of the strategy will involve asking current members to help promote the association and work with prospective members.

“I am asking you to please lend us a hand where you can,” he said. “We want to be able to say that we represent hundreds of contractors, large and small, MTO and municipal, in every region of the province.”

Maggio, who succeeded Carillion Canada Inc.’s Paul Quinless as head of the association, has been involved in construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure for more than 15 years. He has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto.

The association recently held its 84th annual convention in Toronto.

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