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America's GPA: D+
Estimated Investment Needed by 2020:
$3.6 Trillion

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California’s Orange County Infrastructure Isn’t Improving

July 21st, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

The Orange County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers today released its 2016 Orange County Infrastructure Report Card, grading 12 categories of the county’s infrastructure, resulting in an overall grade point average of “C+.” The Report Card was developed in collaboration with the UC Irvine Civil and Environmental Engineering Affiliates, an advisory group to the UCI Samueli School’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. A team of professional engineers from Orange County assessed the 12 categories, including Aviation (A-), Electric Power (C-), Flood Control & Levees (C-), Ground Transportation (C), Natural Gas (B-), Oil (B-), Parks, Recreation & Environment (C+), School Facilities (C), Solid Waste (B), Surface Water Quality (D+), Wastewater (B), and Water Supply (B). This is the fourth Orange County Infrastructure Report Card. The first, released in 2002, gave the county’s infrastructure a GPA of “C;” in subsequent releases in 2005 and 2010, the GPA has stayed constant at a “C+.” “In this first assessment of Orange County’s infrastructure since the 2008 recession, we found that while some areas have improved incrementally, others have declined, leaving our overall GPA stalled for more than a decade,” said Yaz Emrani, P.E., OC Infrastructure Report Card Chair. “Since our infrastructure works as a system, it’s important that Orange County increase investment so that we can move our infrastructure from ‘catching up’ to ‘ready for the future.’” The 2016 Orange County Infrastructure Report Card finds that much of the county’s infrastructure needs additional investment to keep up with demand. Of note:
  • While commercial traffic at John Wayne Airport approaches the current negotiated passenger limit of 10.8 million annual passengers until 2020, both general aviation and military demand fall short of meeting Orange County’s available capacity.
  • Funding shortfalls for needed upgrades to bring regional flood control facilities in the county to its standards continue to be in excess of $2.7 billion.
  • Deferred maintenance during the recent recession has exacerbated ground transportation needs. The existing funding sources are inadequate to meet the current and future demand, and it is estimated Orange County needs an additional $133 million annually.
  • The condition of school facilities has declined in the past five years due to lack of funding.
  • Due to increased volume of stormwater runoff during storm events, existing surface water quality infrastructure in Orange County does not have nearly the capacity to meet wet weather demands.
Given these infrastructure challenges, the Orange County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers urges a number of recommendations to raise the grades, including:
  • Performing continuous and timely maintenance on the infrastructure to prolong use and minimize the need for costly repairs.
  • Conducting comprehensive planning and long-term investment to ensure sound decisions about infrastructure.
  • Preserving the environment while fostering economic growth and personal mobility.
To view the full Orange County report, visit www.ASCECAReportCard.org.

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Water Financing Experts Share Ideas to Improve Local Infrastructure

July 20th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

This Tuesday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a day-long event in Washington, D.C., for representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss emerging finance methods for addressing deficient community water infrastructure. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy opened the day stressing the need to “start thinking about these [water resources projects] as investments, not expenses.” She went on the recognize the success of the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which has provided over $111 billion to communities since 1987 for water resources projects. Tuesday’s event included a mixture of expert panel presentations and follow-up discussions designed to address water infrastructure financing issues from a variety of federal, state, and local perspectives. The first panel of the day included municipal leaders from Jackson, Mississippi, and Atlanta, Georgia. The panelists emphasized the importance of seeking out new regional community partnerships and emerging public-private partnerships, like Atlanta’s Care and Conserve program, as ways to fund water-related projects. The second panel discussion included leaders from several federal agencies and departments and addressed the critical need for greater integration of federal programs supporting water infrastructure investment in economically disadvantaged communities.  Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), lamented that while a person’s zip code shouldn’t have an impact on their basic quality of life water quality disparity is a tragic example of the social inequity that exists between communities. In ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the drinking water and wastewater categories both received “D” grades reflecting some of the challenges these leaders are trying to address. This week’s EPA conference shows agencies, departments, and service providers from across the country are trying to make changes, coming together to share the information, and make water infrastructure financing a greater reality for American communities nationwide, but there is still so much more to do. Find out what we can do to raise these grades. Written by James Kirk, ASCE’s Government Relations intern.

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Florida’s Infrastructure Needs to Keep up with Growth

July 14th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

1Impact of Florida’s Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the backbone of Florida’s economy and a necessary part of every Floridian’s day. The Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers released the 2016 Report Card for Florida’s Infrastructure on Thursday, July 14. The report includes an evaluation of the state’s aviation, bridges, coastal areas, drinking water, energy, ports, roads, schools, stormwater, transit, and wastewater (see grades below).

Keeping Up With Growth

One of the key findings from this report is that Florida is growing, and the State’s infrastructure needs a growth spurt of its own to keep up. Recently Florida’s population has grown at a rate of about 1% per year, adding about 1 million people, which is the equivalent of adding a city the size of Jacksonville every 5 years. Some cities and counties are stepping up their efforts, but more needs to be done across the state by every infrastructure owner. The good news is that investments in areas like bridges and smart technology investment solutions seen in ports and airports are raising Florida’s grades. As Florida grows, investing in infrastructure must be Florida’s top priority to continue to be the place people want to live and work as well as attract visitors from around the country and the world.  

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Congratulations USDOT Smart Cities Challenge Winner, Columbus!

June 28th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) revealed Columbus, Ohio, was the winner of their Smart Cities Challenge, showcasing an innovative transportation strategy made possible through investment in smart city technology. Like ASCE’s #GameChangers project which shows inspiring examples of innovative trends happening with our nation’s infrastructure, all 77 of the proposals submitted to the Challenge from across the country show how much potential can be unleashed with innovative concepts and new ideas. Columbus’ proposal calls for autonomous transit shuttles between neighborhoods and urban centers, expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure, and universal fare cards that allow cardholders to pay for any form of public transit using a variety of payment methods. Columbus and USDOT officials believe these investments will modernize transportation across the city, while opening up greater access to healthcare and jobs for families living in lower income areas. As the winner of the Smart Cities Challenge, Columbus will receive $40 million from USDOT, $10 million from Vulcan, Inc. and $90 million in matching grants from other local private partners to bring their proposal into reality. Raising America’s infrastructure grades starts with great projects like this one in Columbus, but every project should be an opportunity to change the infrastructure game and build the cities of the future. Tell us what’s happening near you to change the infrastructure in, around, and under your city.

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New Jersey Infrastructure Receives D+ Report Card

June 16th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

NJRC logoToday, the 2016 Report Card for New Jersey’s Infrastructure gave an overall D+ grade for the State’s infrastructure. The report evaluated 13 separate components of New Jersey’s infrastructure, all of which were given a grade based on the components’ condition, capacity, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation.  The transit and levee components received the lowest grade of D-, while solid waste received the highest grade of B-.  The other individual grades were: bridges (D+), dams (D), drinking water (C), energy (C+), hazardous waste (C), parks (D+), ports (C), rail (C), roads (D+), and wastewater (D). Throughout the report, the New Jersey Section of the ASCE calls attention to numerous challenges confronting the state’s vast and diverse infrastructure, many of which are magnified by the dangerous insolvency facing New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).  Key issues concerning infrastructure in the Garden State include:
  • Of the state’s 6,657 bridges, the report found that 1 in 11 are classified as structurally deficient and the average age of New Jersey bridges is 51 years. More than 40% of the state’s bridges are expected to require repair or replacement in the near future.
  • No single agency exists to oversee New Jersey’s 126 miles of levees, despite numerous reports citing significant condition issues with levees across the state.
  • 42% of New Jersey’s roadway system is deficient, with many highways now past their anticipated lifespan. Deficient roads are costing the average driver $1,951 each year.
  • 213 high and significant hazard dams in New Jersey are in poor or unsatisfactory condition, and hundreds of millions of dollars will be necessary to repair them.
  • If the approaching insolvency of New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is not addressed, there will be no permanent revenue source for the billions of dollars of critical investment that is needed in the state’s bridges, transit systems, railways, and roads.
Mindful of the future, however, the New Jersey Section of the ASCE included in the Report Card three major steps to begin improving the overall condition of the state’s infrastructure:
  1. Establish a long-term funding source for the Transportation Trust Fund. This will generate the funds needed for highway, rail and transit projects.
  2. As evidenced by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the state needs to continue to invest in resilient infrastructure that can better withstand severe weather events and limit the need for frequent, costly maintenance in the future.
  3. In order to address infrastructure assets facing delayed maintenance or replacement, the state must implement new technology and updated strategies to prioritize infrastructure investment.
The 2016 Report Card for New Jersey’s Infrastructure was created as a snapshot of the present state of New Jersey’s infrastructure, as well as a guide for improving infrastructure in the future. Read more about the report, challenges facing New Jersey’s infrastructure, and ways to meet those challenges at www.infrastructurereportcard.org/NJ.  

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2050 Infrastructure Starts Today

May 30th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

As part of Infrastructure Week, one of the most compelling conversation topics was the future of infrastructure because to make it happen, the future really has to start being built today. If the trendiest topic today is the driverless car, what infrastructure has to be in place to make that work? If sensor technology is changing how we monitor everything from water to traffic, what will the infrastructure internet of things be able to replace? How can we plan for infrastructure that will lead to the future we want? While we all know that America has their hands full with today’s problems, we also must be realists – planning 2025, 2040 and 2050’s infrastructure starts by stopping endless debating and starting to implement great ideas today. This was the key take-away from the one of the Infrastructure Week events hosted by AEM with Congressman Garret Graves (Infrastructure Week Congressional Co-Chair), Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, Missouri, Ronald De Feo (CEO of Kennametal & Chair and AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050), Amanda Eversole (President of Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation), Steve Morrison (Amtrak Account Manager for Siemens Industry, Inc.), and Derek Woodgate (Chief Futurist at The Future’s Lab, Inc.). Mayor James had a great example of getting future infrastructure to work with the new Kansas City Streetcar Project. When they were going to put in a streetcar, they didn’t stop there – they looked at what else could be done while work was being done. This included replacing aging water pipes and installing new fiber. They also implemented new, versatile technology along the route. A great example of this is the kiosks around streetcars that will be able to help citizens with everything from simple answers to reporting incidents. The kiosks have allowed Missouri to use the data collected to create phone apps and fight crime. The project ended up almost completely paying for itself and creating jobs since companies are willing to pay for the data. When we stop thinking of infrastructure as just one project, like a Streetcar, and start taking in the larger view of what can be accomplished and enhanced, we’ll transform our infrastructure and our cities by 2050. Written with an assist by Infrastructure Week intern Nicole Erdelyi

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Infrastructure Week Events to Check Out

May 12th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

There’s a great line up of events happening for Infrastructure Week! See what’s happening near you!

Infrastructure Week Calendar of Events

Saturday, May 14 Event Location Organizer
9:30 am – 12:00 pm WTS-DC: Complete Streets Bike Tour of Arlington, VA Arlington VA Women’s Transportation Seminar – DC Chapter
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Boston Infrastructure Day: Holyoke’s Great Stone Dam and Canals Boston MA Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section
Monday, May 16 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 10:45 am Infrastructure Week Kickoff Event Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
8:00 am – 9:00 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Sewer Walk: Up Close and Personal Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
8:00 am – 9:00 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Virtual Tour of Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvement Project Norfolk VA HRSD, Value of Water Coalition
11:00 am – 12:00 pm National League of Cities Press Call and Report Launch: Paying for Infrastructure in a New Era of Federalism Online Webinar National League of Cities
11:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Bridge Street Pump Station Groundbreaking Ceremony Hampton VA HRSD, Value of Water Coalition
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Bipartisan Policy Center Executive Council on Infrastructure: Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure Washington D.C. Bipartisan Policy Center
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ONLINE WEBINAR: Opportunities in Expanding Access to Broadband for Local Leaders Online Webinar National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cheaper, Safer Faster: How Disruptive Technologies are Changing How We Build and Operate Infrastructure Washington D.C. Eno Center for Transportation
Tuesday, May 17 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 4:00 pm ASCE Infrastructure Day at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Harrisburg PA ASCE PA Section
9:00 am – 3:00 pm I-49 South Day in the Louisiana State Capitol Baton Rouge I-49 South Coalition
9:30 am – 11:30 am How Tampa is Driving the Future of Transportation Tampa FL Building America’s Future, HNTB Companies
11:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Press Event: A Public-Private Partnership to Improve Water and Wastewater Services Camden NJ American Water, City of Camden, Value of Water Coalition
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Infrastructure Week 2016 Capitol Hill Roundtable and Luncheon: A Vision for U.S. Infrastructure in the Year 2050 and the Path Forward Washington D.C. Association of Equipment Manufacturers
11:30 am – 2:30 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovation Tours Alexandria VA Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Value of Water Coalition
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm MEMA Autonomous Vehicle Ride and Drive Washington D.C. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Optimizing U.S. Infrastructure Investment Policy Options for the 2017 Presidential Transition Washington D.C. National Academy of Public Administration
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ONLINE WEBINAR: Historical Life Cycle Costs of Steel and Concrete Girder Bridges Online Webinar American Iron and Steel Institute
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure Happy Hour Washington D.C. Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure
Wednesday, May 18 Event Location Organizer
7:40 am – 10:40 pm Women’s Transportation Seminar International – Annual Conference Austin TX Women’s Transportation Seminar International
8:00 am – 4:00 pm U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Supply Chain Summit Washington D.C. U.S. Chamber of Commerce
8:00 am – 5:00 pm International Conference on Sustainable Design, Engineering and Construction Tempe AZ Arizona State University, ASCE Architectural Engineering Institute
8:00 am – 5:00 pm ASCE Engineers Legislative Day in Sacramento, CA Sacramento CA American Society of Civil Engineers
8:45 am – 5:00 pm Infrastructure Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm MEMA Autonomous Vehicle Ride and Drive Washington D.C. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm #InfrastructureMatters to America’s Economy: Advocacy Day Press Luncheon and ASCE Report Briefing Washington D.C. American Society of Civil Engineers, Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Infrastructure Week Reception Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee, Value of Water Coalition
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Film Screening: Bikes vs. Cars Washington D.C. American Planning Association
Thursday, May 19 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 11:45 am Council of State Governments Transportation Policy Roundtable Washington D.C. Council of State Governments
8:00 am – 10:30 am Bloomberg Presents: The Future of Cities Washington D.C. Bloomberg Government, Siemens
8:30 am – 9:30 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Green Infrastructure Tour Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Value of Water Coalition
8:30 am – 9:30 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovative Facilities Tour for Elected Officials Alexandria VA AlexRenew
8:35 am – 4:05 pm Resilient Infrastructure in the Age of Climate Change Pittsburgh PA ASCE Pittsburgh Section, Champions for Sustainability, Environmental and Water Resource Institute – Pittsburgh Section, Sustainable Pittsburgh
9:00 am – 12:30 pm How Faster Infrastructure Approvals Can Get America Moving Again Washington D.C. Common Good, Covington and Burling LLP, Progressive Policy Institute
10:30 am – 1:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovation Tours Alexandria VA Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Value of Water Coalition
11:00 am – 12:00 pm The Current State of the Nation’s Aging Public Transportation Infrastructure: Nationwide Press Conference Call PRESS CONFERENCE CALL American Public Transportation Association
1:45 pm – 4:00 pm Delivering the Goods: Recommendations for Funding a Federal Freight Program Washington D.C. Eno Center for Transportation
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Congressional Briefing for State Legislators Washington D.C. Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Securing Our Water Future: 21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Cities Washington D.C. National League of Cities, Value of Water Coalition
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm ASCE San Diego Outstanding Civil Engineering Awards San Diego CA ASCE San Diego Section
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Nouveau Corp Infrastructure Happy Hour Washington D.C. Nouveau Corp
Friday, May 20 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 12:00 pm Transit Oriented Development Panel and Walking Tour of Capitol Riverfront Washington D.C. Council of State Governments
8:00 am – 2:00 pm A New Focus for Growth around the Commonwealth Boston MA Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Sewer U: Seminars, Lab, and Tours Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Value of Water Coalition
9:00 am – 10:30 am Building Out America’s Digital Infrastructure for the 21st Century Economy Washington D.C. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Juneau, AK Port Tour and New Cruise Ship Dock Celebration Juneau AK American Society of Civil Engineers, City of Juneau Docks and Harbors
Saturday, May 21 Event Location Organizer
9:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Recovering Resources, Transforming Water: Open House and Tour Chicago IL Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Value of Water Coalition
Monday, May 23 Event Location Organizer
7:30 am – 5:30 pm Symposium for Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Sustainability into Infrastructure Development Boulder CO ASCE Colorado Section, University of Colorado at Boulder
7:30 am – 9:00 pm Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference and Probabilistic Mechanics and Reliability Conference 2016 Nashville TN ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, ASCE Infrastructure Resilience, ASCE Structural Engineering Institute, U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure and How We Can Get There Evanston IL Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Northwestern University
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Beyond the Runway Coalition: Airport Finance – A Free Market Approach, and Airports as Economics Engines Washington D.C. Airports Council International – North America
Wednesday, May 25 Event Location Organizer
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Ribbon Cutting and Tour of the World’s Largest Nutrient Recovery Plant Chicago IL Metropolit
   

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Closing America’s Infrastructure Gap

May 9th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

fta 2016

Failure to Act – 2016 Report

Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and when it’s not maintained all Americans feel the effects, but what does that look like in dollars for my family, my business and the overall economy? The American Society of Civil Engineers’ new economic study, Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future will be released on May 10th and will highlight exactly how much America’s infrastructure investment gap is impacting the U.S. economy and household income. The report quantifies how the failure to invest in our aging infrastructure impacts the economy, including:
  • GDP
  • jobs
  • personal disposable income, and
  • business sales.
Download the new report.    

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U.S. School Facilities Are $46B Away from Modern Standards

March 29th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

Every year the U.S. is spending $46 billion less on school facility construction and maintenance that is needed to keep our kids, teachers and staff in safe and modern facilities. This is the new finding from the State of Our Schools report which looks at the condition of the schools we send 1 in every 6 Americans into every day. Almost half of America’s public school buildings were built to educate the baby boomers – a generation that is now retiring from the workforce. Public school enrollment is projected to gradually increase through 2019, yet state and local school construction funding continues to decline. While what is taught in schools is often the focus of elected leaders, it’s clear that the buildings should also be part of the conversation.
Here are a few charts that show how your state stacks up in funding and supporting modern school facilities. schools state schools state2 schools state4 Want to find out more? Read the full State of Our Schools report. Read the Washington Post coverage of the new report or take a minute to tell your elected officials who make decisions on schools about this new report. RC-tell-legislators

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Looking Into Humboldt County’s Water Infrastructure

March 24th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

HC water cover imageToday the North Coast Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers released a new 2016 Report Card for Humboldt County’s Water Infrastructure to show the state of the water infrastructure across 19 water systems within Humboldt County, California. The report found that today’s water infrastructure earned a good B grade overall, but to keep a good grade, planning must begin today for the infrastructure that is aging and will need replacement over the next 10 years. The report shows that over the next 5 to 10 years, local agencies need to plan for approximately $90 million in investments to maintain the existing system at its current condition. ASCE was joined by several owners and operators to release the new report; the speakers included:
  • Yoash Tilles, P.E. Chair, Report Card for Humboldt County’s Infrastructure
  • Cameron Muir, E.I.T, Practitioner Adviser, ASCE North Coast Branch
  • Barbara Hecathorn, President, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board of Directors
  • George Wheeler, President, McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors
  • Greg Orsini, General Manager, McKinleyville Community Services District
  • Michael Flockhart, Public Works Director, Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria
  • Marcus Drumm, General Manager, Loleta Community Services District
  • Mark Lovelace, 3rd District Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
This effort follows the release of the Report Card for Humboldt County’s Transportation Infrastructure  in 2014 which reviewed the area’s transportation needs. Together, these reports provide citizens a clear look at today’s challenges and tomorrow’s needs.

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