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Welcome Remarks at National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Advisory Committee Meeting

[As prepared.]

Good morning, and welcome to NIST.  

We're grateful for your attendance here today and appreciate that you each are giving your valuable time and effort to this committee.

NIST values and depends upon the thoughtful and objective advice that this committee provides.

Federal Advisory Committees, like this one, have a special place at NIST because we rely on the independent review of thought-leaders from the many disciplines and industries encompassed within the activities authorized by the NCST Act.

I and my predecessors read all of your reports, and we know that Howard Harary and his team give serious consideration to the input that you provide to us. 

It makes a meaningful difference in how we approach and manage our NCST activities.

In the year since we last met, we have issued the final Joplin report and are diligently working to implement the 16 recommendations. These recommendations have tremendous potential to save the lives of U.S. citizens exposed to tornado hazards, but it will require a sustained commitment from our implementation team, as well as the partner agencies and private-sector organizations identified within the recommendations.

I want to assure you that we are committed to pursuing each of these recommendations through to completion. You will hear about the significant progress we have already made in the months since the final Joplin report was released.

Additionally, NIST has recently made major investments in the area of disaster resilience. During this meeting, you will hear about the exciting work of our Community Resilience Group, the plans for the recently announced Community Resilience Center of Excellence, and the realignment of our Disaster and Failure Studies Program. 

While I understand that each of these resilience programs is outside the direct scope of the NCST Advisory Committee, these activities complement and enhance NIST's ability to conduct the investigative authorities described in the NCST Act.

Finally, I am also pleased to report that the President's FY16 Budget Request includes an additional $10 million for disaster resilience work. The President's budget request now is in the hands of Congress, and we look forward to a positive outcome during the FY16 budget discussions.

I know that you have a full agenda, and I want you to be able to spend as much time as possible on the work at hand.

On behalf of NIST and the nation, I want to sincerely thank you for your service on this committee. 

Few federal advisory committees can say that their work can potentially save lives.  

Each of you here today brings a specific expertise, a specific professional outlook or experience that is essential to the committee's success. 

I look forward to getting your input, feedback, and advice.

Thank you.

Created May 13, 2015, Updated December 29, 2016