Martin Marietta CEO Paints Positive Picture for Construction Future

June 22, 2022

Despite current inflation, workforce shortages and supply-chain challenges, the construction industry outlook looks solid for the next couple of decades.

“Construction will be one of the best markets in the next 20-25 years,” said Ward Nye, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Martin Marietta and Chair of the Board of the American Road & Transportation Builders (ARTBA).

Ward Nye, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Martin Marietta and Chair of the Board of the American Road & Transportation Builders (ARTBA)

His comments were made on June 15 at a Carolinas AGC Triangle quarterly luncheon in Durham that drew about 75 attendees.  Some key points and observations Nye made include:

  • The infrastructure base provides a stable construction foundation at a time when an array of state DOTs estimate Fiscal Year 2022 lettings to be near or above prior-year levels. Nye said that voter-approved transportation investment ballot measures have hit a 20-year high, with an 89% approval rating. In addition, there are 275 state and local related ballot initiatives on the Nov. 2 ballot.
  • Housing needs are huge as homebuilders struggle to keep pace with demand. Nye said nonresidential construction also looks strong, with at least a 9-month lag time between nonresidential construction catching up with residential construction.  
  • “Hard skills get you in a job. Soft skills help you move up. They need to be observed, honed and nurtured.”
  • “We don’t watch the news anymore. We watch advocacy.”

Mr. Nye has served as Martin Marietta’s Chair of the Board since 2014, as President since 2006 and as Chief Executive Officer and a Director since 2010. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining Martin Marietta in 2006, Mr. Nye spent nearly 13 years in a series of increasingly responsible positions with Hanson PLC, including as Executive Vice President of its North American building materials business.

Since 2018, Nye has been a member of the Board of Directors of General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD), a global aerospace and defense company. In 2019, Forbes magazine recognized Nye as one of America’s Most Innovative Leaders; he was previously recognized by both Aggregates Manager and Pit & Quarry magazines, as Aggman of the Year and a Hall of Fame inductee, respectively. In addition to his educational, professional, executive and related roles, Nye is a past Chairman of the Board of both the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) as well as the North Carolina Chamber. He received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from Wake Forest University.

The Triangle Luncheon is among more than 100 meetings and events held each year by CAGC, with emphasis on building our members’ business, drawing on top business and political leaders to provide their insights, and construction networking throughout the Carolinas. At the national level, CAGC is closely affiliated with AGC of America and ARTBA.