AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast

Webinar Audio: A Behind-the-scenes Look at Assessment Scheduling

February 20, 2024 AASHTO resource Season 4 Episode 38
Webinar Audio: A Behind-the-scenes Look at Assessment Scheduling
AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
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AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
Webinar Audio: A Behind-the-scenes Look at Assessment Scheduling
Feb 20, 2024 Season 4 Episode 38
AASHTO resource

We share the audio from January 2024's webinar "A Behind-the-scenes Look at Assessment Scheduling." 

Related informaiton:

Show Notes Transcript

We share the audio from January 2024's webinar "A Behind-the-scenes Look at Assessment Scheduling." 

Related informaiton:

AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast Transcript

Season 4, Episode 38: Webinar Audio: A Behind-the-scenes Look at Assessment Scheduling

Recorded:  January 11, 2024

Released:  February 20, 2024

Host: Kim Swanson, Communications Manager, AASHTO re:source 

Note: Please reference AASHTO re:source and AASHTO Accreditation Program policies and procedures online for official guidance on this, and other topics. 

Transcription is auto-generated. 

[Theme music fades in.] 

00:00:02 ANNOUNCER: Welcome to AASHTO resource Q & A. We're taking time to discuss construction materials testing and inspection with people in the know.  From exploring testing problems and solutions to laboratory best practices and quality management, we're covering topics important to you. 

00:00:20 KIM: Welcome to AASHTO re:source Q&A I'm Kim Swanson. In today's episode, we're going to take the audio from the January 2024 AASHTO University webinar series of behind the scenes look at assessment scheduling. You can find the full webinar in its entirety on our YouTube channel.

00:00:42 JACK: So hello, welcome. My name is Jack Quinlan. I'm the senior Laboratory assessment coordinator at AASHTO Resource.  I am joined by Kim and by Mike Wagner, who is one of the program managers for the Laboratory Assessment program. Today, we're going to be taking a behind the.  Scenes look at assessment scheduling and I do want to emphasize that this is specific to Astro resource. This presentation will not cover CCRL inspections.  So here's our early objective, which hopefully aligns with everyone's expectations for today. Attendees should have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes and actually resource to schedule assessments and how to ensure our scheduling goes smoothly. So I thought it would be helpful to go through how the actual resource assessment tour moves across the country. So we do have a methodical way that we move across the country. It's not just. Random spots. Random states here and there. This will mainly apply to laboratories. But are currently. Accredited. I'll have more information for laboratories that are seeking accreditation later on in the presentation. Generally speaking, our tour meetings from the East Coast to the West Coast and finishes up in the northern States and Canada.

00:01:55 JACK: I do want to mention we have a few contractor assessors in the Southeastern states, parts of Texas where in California and Northern Nevada. These contractor assessors are kind of on their own schedules. They do their own tour. Rules as they don't necessarily fall that red arrow that I'm showing there, but the process for scheduling assessments is still the same. So I want to mention with this map that you're looking at now we have a colored in map on our website that will show state by state which states we're currently doing assessments in or which states. We're planning on being in in the coming future.  And there's the. Link to that page on our website. So now we've gone through how the assessment toward moves across the country. I'm going to get into what happens when your state is next on our list. So everything starts with a six month projections. We do this to help us figure out when we'll need to start seeding new assessment requests in our queue so that we can keep our assessors busy and we'll fill that.

00:02:58 JACK: Same tour map that I just showed. Uh to pick out the next state or states that are on. Our list.  And then compile a list of laboratories in those states. And send them all their first canvassing e-mail at about four months out from where we're planning on entering that state. And I can't. Send an e-mail. Here it's just a standard e-mail that we send out to laboratories that are in our system asking them to submit an assessment request. So it's our request for your request. That two months out we'll send another e-mail out to any stragglers that didn't submit a request after that first notice, and then finally about one month before we begin assessments in a particular state. We want to have all requests from laboratories at that point. So you want to exercise that? Do not expect them to just submit a request unsolicited. It's a common question in some labs is how do I know when to submit a request? We'll contact you. Some labs think it's, you know, a two year cycle and that their accreditation expires after two years. That's not the case as long as you have your assessments.

00:04:08 JACK: When we came. To see you. When we chat to you for your assessment request. You won't have any issues.  Just so I get to what's involved with scheduling individual laboratories. I want to mention that just because we start conducting the specimens in a in your state during a certain month, it doesn't necessarily mean that your laboratory will have the assessment that month for our 31st story. We completed 2012 unique assessments. That we're currently our 33rd tour, just looking at Michigan here by itself, which is for us a medium sized state in terms of the number of laboratories and we have about 65 assessments to get done in Michigan. So it generally takes us several weeks to get through a medium sized state like Michigan. And so some of our denser. States like California.

00:04:59 JACK: Where we have hundreds of labs it it'll take us several months to get through just looking at all the the labs you know on this map in Michigan, I just thought I'd give a little detail about how we pick and choose which ones go first. Our assessors are instructed to pick and choose labs that have what we call higher intervals, so that. This means it's been a long. Ever since, they've had their last assessment. So if. It's been it's the lab. A. It's been, I don't know, 30-3 months since the last assessment versus lab, where it's been only 26 months. Lab A is going to get priority. They're going to get bumped to the front of the line, so. We can get them done.  Right now, go over what happens when your assessment request form is submitted. Going through scheduling individual laboratories, so we have an internal calendar for all of our laboratory assessors where they plan out their travel dates and this gets updated by our assessors every six months. So this is an example. It's an excel spread.

00:05:59 JACK: Sheet. Every assessor has a line and I'll sit down with them every six months and populate which weeks that they want to be out on the road. Traveling for generally most of our assessors. Do 2 weeks at a time, sometimes 3, so generally they're out for two weeks and then they're back in the office for two weeks. So at this point, we're not scheduling individual laboratories. We're just kind of getting a rough idea of what the schedule is going to look like and we'll populate their travel blocks later on. So it's 7 to 8 weeks prior to an assessment trip is when I'll go back into that spreadsheet of the assessors schedules. And then I'll start.  Populating that schedule with specific states. Cities or even specific laboratories?

00:06:55 JACK: So like for Jerry there I assigned him to go to Ohio. We're actively conducting assessments in Ohio. So Jerry is going to go into our system and pick out like I was saying, labs with those higher intervals. And he's going to try to schedule them first. Five to six weeks out from an assessment trip, an assessor will begin to put together an assessment calendar. Which looks something like this. So it's kind of like putting a puzzle together. We have all sizes and shapes of labs and it's up to the assessor to piece them together as best they can. So like I was saying, most assessors travel for two weeks at a time. So Jenny is looking to fill 10 business days here with assessments. So like I was saying, he's looking at the the higher interval labs 1st and then he's also looking at geographically where those labs are located. So you might have two high interval labs on opposite ends of the state that doesn't make sense, just sickly. It's not a good use of Jerry's time to be driving back and forth across the state.

00:08:07 JACK: To do those labs, so it's kind of like a balancing act of collectivity assessments. The amount of time it's spent since the labs last assessment. And then just geographically, if there's a group of labs that are going to be easy to schedule together. So four to six weeks prior to an assessment trip.  I will approve the assessor's calendar and then an announcement letter will get sent out to each one of those individual laboratories on the calendar. And then the assessors will make their travel arrangements three to four weeks prior to leaving on their trip. Which means they might actually be on the road. Doing other assessments when when that is going on, so at that point they're looking to make rental car reservations, hotels and airfare, right. So I thought I'd.  Sort of lining these two timelines up together just to. Give you an idea of how they're.

00:09:07 JACK: Kind of related.  So now that I've. Covered what goes in the scheduling and assessment.  I'd like to talk about what. Happens when you can't accommodate. The date that we've scheduled for your assessments.  So here is. Our current cancellation policy as of January 11th, 2024. If you're watching a recording of this webinar, I encourage you to visit the test and sees page on our website in case there have been changes.  So postponing assessments is handled case by case. Through the amount of. Planning and the cost of travel arrangements. We really try. To avoid postponing assessments, also very good reasons.  Everything's case by case. Like I said, if you do feel like you need to postpone your assessment, you're encouraged to just contact us and then we can talk through whether it's a good idea to do that to postpone, or whether it might be better for you to just push through and continue with your scheduled assessment date. But we don't have a list.

00:10:07 JACK: Of of accepted reasons to postpone this is not it's really just case by case. So if you're concerned, just call us and we'll talk to a person and. Or rigid, but understanding.  But things like a laboratory scale or balance being on the fronts, or a technician being out on vacation are typically not good reasons to postpone your assessment. We assume that most labs aren't going to shut down work in these situations.  So we incurred labs to to keep those dates. It's at all possible. If there are significant, unavoidable conflicts, and it's important to contact us as soon as possible to avoid cancellation fees, and we'll do our best to finding a new date at that point, you'll be issued what we call a 90 day letter, which grants you a 90 day extension on your assessment.

00:11:06 JACK: So that means you will need to have not just rescheduled, but actually have the assessments within 90 days of the original assessment dates. But it's best if you know, as you're submitting requests that you know. Certain dates aren't going to work for you. It's. A very good. Idea to include that in the comments section of your request.  If something comes up after you submit your request, you're always welcome to contact us and we can update your request for you so that we have current information about your availability. So now I'll go through what happens when you run an assessment outside of our normal tour schedule and we refer to these as out of sequence assessments. Generally speaking, there are two main types of out of sequence assessments.

00:12:00 JACK: One is an assessment for an accredited laboratory that would like to add new methods to the scope of accreditation. We refer to these as supplemental assessments, and these are typically done remotely via zoom or Microsoft Teams. These are abbreviated assessments that only cover the new methods that are being added, and then any associated calibration or training records along with that.  Just a note by means. You have a supplemental assessment. To add on a new test. Method and then maybe six months later, like you didn't want to wait six months till you're in sequence assessment or however long that gap is going to be. You are still going to be expected to perform that test demonstration during your on site assessment. The second type. Of out of sequence is what I would call a true out of sequence. These are for laboratories that are not currently accredited but are seeking to become accredited and don't want to wait for us to come back around in sequence.

00:13:07 JACK: Back to the state, we're generally a little more flexible with scheduling dates for these, but we do require a quality manual to be submitted before scheduling those dates. This is necessary so that we can verify that your laboratory as a functioning quality management system in place before we send an assessor across the country, wanted to find out that you don't. These assessments also come with at a sequence fees. These are subject to change and as I mentioned before, you can always find our current fees on the test and fees page on our website. So the reason for the the fees for out of sequence assessments is we're pulling the assessor away from an in sequence location, which is going to slow down our progress there and insulate our intervals. And then it's also just less cost effective for us to send a single assessor out.  Fly them out somewhere for like 2 days.

00:14:06 JACK: Just as opposed to flying them somewhere where they're going to spend two or three weeks working. So for both types of assessments, supplemental and beyond sites out of sequence assessments, the timeline for those depends on the availability of our assessors and the number of out of sequence requests that are currently in our queue. So that can change week to week. If you're curious about what our current time frame is, just feel free to contact us.  So last I have 3 tips for scheduling a smooth assessment. First communication is key. Whether it's leaving comments on your request, sending us an e-mail, or give us a call on if you know what your availability is before scheduling, it's less likely that we'll have issues. 2nd bookmark our estimated assessment schedule page so that you are up.  To date on where?  You are is that link of them and 3rd when it's time to submit your request.

00:15:08 JACK: And make sure that you're submitting an accurate request. This will help us schedule your assessments an appropriate amount of time.  So we do. Have assessors go through each and every. Requests that we received from the laboratories and for accredited laboratories the assessor is going to take a look at.  The request.  That was submitted and compare.  It to the laboratories current accreditation listing and do a side by side just to see. Has there have been any significant changes?  Because that will alter the amount of time that we're spending in your laboratory. If you're dropping a lot of tests or adding a. Lot of tests on that might. You know mean the difference between a A2 day versus a three day assessment? So there are discrepancies, even things like.

00:15:57 JACK: Maybe last time we just had Ashdod test methods, but this time we're requesting only ASTM test methods. Things like that are going to put up a red flag for the assessor and then we'll have to pull that aside and then we'll have to investigate and contact you to make sure that those changes were intentional. So. It's a very. Good idea to be proactive if you're changing your scope of accreditation. Uh, let us know in advance so that we don't think it's a mistake and so your request will get through our system in a timely.  That's all I have.  I think we'll. Open it up to questions and discussion now.

00:16:38 KIM: So I know we get a lot of questions about this, so I'm going to ask some questions and see if if anybody else has any questions but. One of the questions I had was. How do we determine? You talked about it a little bit, but can you talk about more? How do we determine which assessor actually goes to what laboratory?

00:17:02 JACK: So that's a combination of things. We do actually train. Assessor is. They're not trained on every single scope of testing actually, so just based on what they've been trained to assess for. We'll kind of determine whether or not the they're going to like an asphalt binder lab. Or just like a a standard soils lab so that plays.  A role in. In that and then. Like I was saying, it's really just their availability on top of that, it's just puzzle piercing together. No, we have. A certain amount of labs that need to get done and they're doing a certain kind of testing, that's fine. The right assessor with the right availability to pair with those.

00:17:54 KIM: And so does the assessor kind of have some free will and some choice of which ones they pick? So if there is like, is it like an early bird gets the worm that the assessor that wants to plan it first kind of gets the the top pick, but if you're an assessor who waited a little bit too long and then you kind of just have to do with what's left or that's a.  Honest question for me because I needed to schedule an assessment. So is there like?

00:18:15 JACK: For you.

00:18:19 KIM: You want to be scheduling it first from the assessor point of view, so you get pick of all of the labs. You can kind of pick and.  Choose or no.

00:18:27 JACK: Right. So like I was saying. 'm looking when I'm approving calendars that they are selecting laboratories that have those higher intervals.  And that they're not doing like an obscene amount of driving all over the place. But after that, it's pretty much up to the assessor. Like if I just.  Assign them, you know Ohio and. I don't know. Somebody's big. Ground and stand when they might want to go to Cleveland. But yeah, they they do have a lot of. I guess we will over deciding where they want to go.

00:19:10 KIM: All right. I was just curious, I never really thought to ask that. Before, so thank you. When you were talking about canvassing, I wrote the note down just to let all of our attendees know that it's really important that you keep your contact information up to date for your laboratory contact, because that's how we send out the canvassing emails based on the contact information. So if you've had some turnover since your last assessment, it's really important that. That contact information is up to date for your primary and secondary contact, because that who that's who gets the e-mail about canvassing? So I just wanted to throw that out there because I had that thought.

00:19:47 MIKE: That's good, Kim. It's to follow up with that. If you ever have any questions, like if you're worried that you, we missed you or anything like that. Jack mentioned the the the link to the website that we have with the calendar and everything. You can also give. Us a call too if you're. You're worried we're happy to to let you know where you stand and when we're going to be in your area. If we're not there yet. We're happy to take those calls.

00:20:11 KIM: Thank you for that, Mike. I had an I had another question that just kind of popped into my head that this is going to be fun for everybody. Just to listen to these questions that I should know the answers to already, but. With the canvassing, obviously that's only the laboratories currently in our system for that has had assessments in the past or is currently accredited, right? So it's not like if you're a laboratory only participating in the proficiency sample program right now, but you're thinking about wanting to do an assessment. How do they get kind of in our system to be canvassed when we need them to?

00:20:49 JACK: Right, so we. We actually have a a giant list of all the labs in our system, whether they're actively accredited or doing PSP only. So it's a process, it's a manual process of just looking at that list. And seeing you know, if you're lab that just registered for PSP and you did it within the past year or so, we might include you in that canvassing e-mail. But if you've been in our system for a while, just doing PSP, I will probably not going to bother you about filling out an assessment request. And so in those situations. Your lab that just does PSP and you want to get into our system to be accredited during the next go around. I encourage you to to reach out to us and let us know.

00:21:41 KIM: And then on the request form, if a laboratory or someone watching this hasn't actually submitted an assessment request form, there is a button or a check box. I believe that says that you're seeking accreditation for that and that will get it put you into that out of sequence. The thing that you were talking about, correct, Jack?

00:22:02 JACK: Yeah. So if you go to your homepage, I believe it's on the left side of the your homepage. There should be a button that says request assessment. And and then as soon as you do that.  I believe it will give you a couple of different bubbles to clip from. That's a regular assessment. If you're looking to become accredited or you just want an assessment only some labs don't want to go through dealing with the the follow up with the quality analysts. They just want somebody in their facilities to watch the tests and then that's it.

00:22:34 MIKE: So the the the request form actually defaults. I think to to receive accreditation. I believe you you have to unclick the RR 18 button. If you're just uh seeking an assessment without accreditation.

00:22:39 JACK: OK.

00:22:47 KIM: Oh, good to know. Thank you. So I had another question because I'm still not seeing that many questions come in. So I will be happy to ask your questions from the attendees if you type them in. But so I had a question and Mike, maybe you'll be able to answer this. It's about. What Jack talked about seemed to be only US laboratories and scheduling that how is scheduling international laboratories different?

00:23:16 MIKE: Yeah, that's a great question. Right now, the bulk of our international laboratories are in Canada and we still maintain them on a fairly regular tour. So we kind of we, we'll canvas them and they submit requests just like really just like the labs in the continental US do for anyone outside of the continental US. We kind of do them on on.  We we we don't have too many. I think we only have two labs in Belgium. We try to do them, we do them at the same time. So we're not making two trips over to to Belgium, although that would be be quite nice. So we will we'll try to schedule them appropriately at.  You know, 26 months or so together. Again we canvas them just like we would anyone else. A new lab that's seeking accreditation.  Who is located internationally? They typically obviously will have to reach out to us first and then we we do have a different fee system for that. As far as the assessments, there will be additional costs mostly related to travel and everything like that. So there are some extra fees. So we will work with you and send out like a an. An estimate of what the the cost will be for that assessment and you kind of work with you on those. Generally those are kind of treated like a sort of like an out of sequence assessment at first because they are outside of our regular assessment just like we did with the Belgian labs that will get you on that approximately 2 year interval.

00:24:39 KIM: Awesome. Thank you. Uhm, again you guys are answering all the questions that apparently the attendees have, because they're not typing them in. But I can keep going with some questions. So how often Jack is, and I know the answer to this. So this is just for everyone else's benefit. How often is that estimated assessment schedule that's available online?  How often is that update?

00:25:04 JACK: Pretty regularly thanks to you. So I will go through. We have meetings every other week to discuss scheduling topics.  And one of those topics that we go through is. Do we need to update that that tour?  Schedule map.  And if we decide we do, if we're moving into a new state, I will go ahead and let Kim know and then Kim will go in and update that list and that happens. Sometimes, sometimes multiple times a month, sometimes just once a month, like if we're in a a bigger state, then it's just like, yeah, we're still still in California, won't get updated so much, but. Yeah. Generally, once or twice a month, we'll update it. And even if there's nothing to update.  We'll at least put. A new date on it, I believe. Just so you know that we looked at it.

00:26:02 KIM: Yeah, I will say that I that checks out. You're accurate. I'm going to say yes, that is correct. It is about once a month that I that you send me that e-mail and that is something that I have to do is update update that. So we do have a a real question. There are people listening to this, you guys we have a real question. So for a specifying.  Agency looking to be an observer. Let's break this down into two questions. Do we allow that? Do we allow a specifying agency to sit in and join an assessment with one of the laboratories that they're working?

00:26:37 MIKE: Not typically. If there was a situation where you know something like this would come up or somebody's specifying agency wanted to be there, we would have to get permission from the laboratory for for an outside observer to be there just because we do have confidentiality agreements with each laboratory that we assess.  So so it could be possible, but we just want to make sure we have everyone's. Full permission to do something like that.

00:27:05 KIM: So if if there is a specimen, if there's a specifying agency that is interested if, like we want to keep tabs on this one lab because we're kind of unsure for some whatever reason, how would the best, how would they go about?  Handling that situation with us, who should they reach out to to kind of let us know that they may be interested in in that kind of scenario?

00:27:32 MIKE: Yeah, that's that's great. We, we do have a specifier function where specifying agencies can kind of get an inside look on some of the the assessment activities. I'm not sure exactly if there's certain levels if you can see the report or see how how things have gone with the assessment and and PSP scores and all that.  But you can reach out, I think Greg York is the one who really kind of does most of the work with the the specifier so you can reach out to him or really anyone here we can at least get you in contact with, with who you need to as far as setting something up like.

00:28:06 KIM: Yeah, I just put a link in the chat to the specifying part of our website anditsashtrayresource.org/specifiers, but there are different availabilities or different accesses to specify our functionality and specifiers in general. So if you are a specifying agency. That is looking to kind of just have an extra eye on a laboratory. We do offer some free tools that allow you to view. More than just what's on the accreditation directory ever, that's available to everybody, and that's the public access. And we just did a podcast episode about this a while ago. That's why it's in my head. So I'm just giving you some information there. If I can find that podcast episode, I'll link put, put the link to it in the chat as well, but. But there's the public access, and then there's private access that you can get from the specifier tools, and then you'll get a little bit more details about the assessment and maybe perhaps what, like if they're suspended and why they're suspended and things like that but the.

00:29:09 KIM: The private access you do need to have permission, just like for the confidentiality that Mike was talking about. So I believe that the episode that we talked about that on the podcast was about the confidentiality policy. We'll see how fast I can find that to share the link with everybody, but hopefully that answered your question, Anonymous attendee. If not, you can always e-mail Mike or Jack or myself and we'll be happy to help you. With that.

00:29:37 MIKE: Kind of like the little bit of that Part 2. That question was like, how can you figure out like when their next assessment would be I I think some of the specifier functions would give you some of that information, but you can also look at our website too that map and kind of see where we are in the the United States as well to see what states are are currently being assessed.

00:29:56 KIM: Yes, thank you. I just glossed over that last part. I apologize. So thank you for keeping me honest there, Mike.  I did have a question going back a little bit as we wait to see if any other.  Questions pop up. But Jack, you were talking about that laboratories can include on the request form. Hey, this week is going to be a rough week. Don't come during the don't. Please don't schedule the assessment this week. How is that information tracked? Who's looking at that? When is that being looked at for scheduling purposes?

00:30:28 JACK: So I'll look at it when I'm going back to when I'm populating that spreadsheet. So the assessors with where.  They're going to be at.  If I'm trying to assign that specific lab to somebody, I'm obviously going to take a look at that and make sure I'm not including that specific lab on somebody's schedule after that, if.  I just assign somebody like a blanket. You know, Ohio, like the example was. And then they go in and they're picking out labs. The assessors are expected to go down and read those comments so that they don't schedule something that would be that would possibly pose a conflict. On top of that, I also when I'm approving those calendars, I will actually go back in and double check that.  Just to make sure we aren't.  Scheduling something that's going to need to get rescheduled.

00:31:25 KIM: That sounds good. It's a lot of manual processes, but.

00:31:29 JACK: Yeah, I'm clicking.

00:31:30 KIM: Cooking it definitely sounds like that, but I think that's nice to know that there are actual people looking at all of this information, and it's not just automatically being done and blindly.  Being scheduled. So I think I like the fact that people are actually doing it.  Did did we miss anything? I don't see you have any other questions, Mike. How is there any questions that you commonly get and trying to think of ones that we've commonly gotten? Is there anything else that we haven't covered or Jack, were you expecting a question and didn't get it and want to share everybody share the answer with everybody anyway.

00:32:06 JACK: I would say just the most common question I get is when is my. Assessment going to be. Generally, it's hard to pinpoint the a specific date or even a you know specific. You know, set of weeks for that can be difficult. UM, but if you are curious, you can always just call me or e-mail me and I'll give you my best estimates at the current time.

00:32:33 KIM: I like it. You're going to get a flood of just emails and calls with like, hey, when am I?  Going to do this.

00:32:40 JACK: I'm ready.

00:32:42 KIM: OK. Oh, we got another question. It see, I knew if we waited long enough, people would start typing some in. So this person wants to know where do Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico fall into the general rotation. I think Mike talked a little bit about international labs, but Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico are not quite international, but. Not quite. I mean, not at all.

00:33:08 MIKE: I'll jump on here, Jack, that that's alright. They they kind of fell. Into their own own little tour. We we try to just hit them at, you know, approximately 26 months. So they're they don't really like necessarily fall behind any other state in the in the tour we kind of just know they're out there, we know when. About when they're to come up on their 2627 month interval. And we try to try to get to.  Them around that point. So they have their own little little tour themselves.

00:33:37 KIM: And I do know, I think during a podcast episode because now that's where all my knowledge comes from Co hosting those. That we do not go, we do not send assessors to. Alaska, during the winter. I do remember that that we do have a specific time frame from them, but other we don't. We aren't specific with other.  States. But Alaska, we are specific with. Am I correct in that recollection, Mike and Jack or Jack?

00:34:09 MIKE: Yeah. Historically that that's correct. Just because the the paving season is is so short and a lot of lot of our our Alaska customers actually shut down for the winter, so. Try to try to stay out and also safety too for getting it out of. There can be.  A little tough in the winter time.

00:34:26 KIM: I cannot even imagine I would not want to be a part of any of that, but that actually brings me to another question that I know we get a lot. Why can't you schedule our assessments during our off time so.

00:34:38 JACK: Yeah, I was. I was just about to say Kim, so that's another common one. Where it's like you.  You always here in the summer. Why when it's. It's really just. The way. The slow the toward it slowly kind of shifts.  They're expected to slowly shift so that you're not having your assessment. You know, every two years the same month. So we try to spread that around so that not.  You know, a certain state isn't having always having the assessments in the busy.  Hello Mike, if you want to add anything.

00:35:12 MIKE: To that, yeah, I just want to kind of go back to the number you put out earlier in the one of our tours, which takes approximately 2 years, a little bit more than that. We did 20 or 2000 / 2000 assessments. So you know, during the winter, we're not just sitting back here in Maryland or sitting down in Florida on the beach. Somewhere, you know, taking time off. We're we're out doing assessments all year round. Mountain, we we would love to to be doing assessments in the you know in the summer and or winter just down in the in the warm areas. But we go.  Everywhere, all times of the year, and we're not not playing favorites whatsoever.

00:35:51 KIM: Yeah, it's one of those kind of spreading the love of we're going to hit everybody eventually during their busy time and then of. But that also means eventually we're going to hit you when it's not busy. So it's just luck of the draw sometimes there I think.

00:36:06 MIKE: And that's why our goal is 26 months as opposed to an even 2 years. Because if if we were doing every two years, if you run lucky enough to see us in the summer, then you're going to see us in the summer all the time. So that's what. We try to.  Stagger it out a little bit. I'm sure as most people on here know, we're.  We're not quite at.  26 months yet we're we're moving a little slower than that, largely because of COVID we're still.  Trying to pick up from that, but just also just in general, just trying to trying to move quicker, but that's that's our goal 26, not 24. So we can you know see you guys at different times of year.

00:36:39 KIM: Yeah. I think as you explained, you know over 2000 assessments when you had to take a pause for the pandemic, it's going to take a while to get back into the swing of things of where we were. For sure on that so. All right. I had no other questions that I can think of. I'm not seeing any other questions coming in through zoom. If you don't have anything else. That you want to say before we wrap it up.

00:37:04 JACK: Well, I was just going to click through here.  I don't know. Perfect. So there's my contact info. And then I'll give you a.

00:37:14 KIM: And you can find those and my contact information as well. At AASHTOresource.org/contactus I put a link to that in the chat as well and definitely the registration just opened this week for the technical exchange. So we are very excited about this.  We are going to be in.  Massachusetts. Thank you. Oh my gosh, I can't. It's right there. I've been dealing with this so much. I cannot believe. I just forgot that I had total brain fart, but I really hope that everyone here can join us again. Registration just opened. You can go to astroresource.org/events to get to the registration site and learn all about it. There is actually going to be a session.

00:37:56 KIM: About the laboratory assessment program in general and some Q&A around that. So if you hear a question, you thought of something after the fact, you can join us there and you can talk about it and see Jack and Mike there at the event. So thank you very much for that. And if you can't make it to the technical exchange, you can still connect with us in a bunch of different ways.  I've mentioned the podcast a lot because I deal with that a lot, but you're also on social media.  On Twitter and LinkedIn, you can find us on our YouTube channel. If you search AASHTO resource, that is where a recording of this session and this webinar will be in a less than a week, maybe tomorrow, maybe not. We'll see. So.

00:38:39 KIM: Thank you very much, Jack and Mike for joining us today and thank you for our attendees to joining us as well.

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