This year we will witness what is being hailed by some as the most important U.S. presidential election in a long time. There is a lot of individual trepidation about the outcome and how the political landscape may change. For me, the focus should be on the opportunities that are before our industry right now and the positive signs that are being shown around the country and the world.
I traveled to Las Vegas last month for the annual World of Concrete trade show and exhibition and there were many positive signs around the show. Organizers had already confirmed it was the largest show in seven years in terms of exhibit space and we now know that attendance hit the 60,000 mark. Exhibitors had lots of traffic and attendees had a lot of new and innovative products to explore. The general trend is that if things look good at World of Concrete, the industry should have a strong year.
CSDA had a fantastic WOC too. The association’s booth had lots of traffic, training classes were full, the Concrete Openings Awards ceremony was very well attended and the Next Gen reception was a big success. An excellent show for CSDA. A special thanks to our instructors Lee Aitken, Rick Norland, Pat Stepanski and Chris Swanson—outstanding job, gentlemen.
In addition, the passing of the new FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act) highway bill should open up a huge amount of work on the nation’s roadways. The new Act is fully funded for five years and will grow 15.1 percent annually ($40.3 billion to $46.4 billion by 2020). So for those in the industry that are involved in highway cutting, grooving and grinding work this is great news. For those not currently doing this type of work, there may be scope to get a piece of the action. Having spoken with many CSDA members involved in other types of concrete cutting, polishing and GPR imaging work, however, things are looking up across the board. Contractors are upbeat and finding that their workloads are increasing as more construction and renovation work is being approved. For many, the challenge now is finding qualified or experienced employees to help do the work. This is where CSDA membership can be a huge benefit.
Since 1972, the association has focused not only on promoting specialist contractors and their methods to architects, engineers, general contractors and government officials, but also on the establishment of safety documents, training programs and other resources to help contractors complete work safely, efficiently and ultimately increase their bottom line. CSDA is already seeing an increase in membership applications and training class participation as signs of economic recovery continue. The association graduated 115 professionals from its four World of Concrete training classes—a significant increase from last year. The value of sending employees to industry-focused training courses is being realized by a growing number of people.
CSDA is for the concrete cutting, polishing and GPR imaging industry. It always has been, and always will be. As workloads increase and more opportunities come along, I encourage you to take a closer look at what the association has to offer and how its resources can assist employers and employees alike.