Several years ago I went on a week-long backpacking trip with my brother- and sister-in-law and their 16-year-old son. My nephew was strong and thin and had great balance. He would walk nimbly on a log to cross a stream and when we older folks hesitated (or fell off into the water), he would chide us by saying in disgust, “You people!” Much to his dismay, rather than being insulted, we adopted You People as an expression of praise whenever someone did something exceptional. Now I would like to pass along the expression to those in the concrete industry.

A month ago, in preparation for our 60th anniversary issue in September, I asked a large group of industry friends to share with me their thoughts on why we should be proud and optimistic about the concrete industry in 2016. The response was overwhelming! And one of the most common reasons to be proud was the people in this industry. You people!

Here’s what they said:

“Not only do people in our industry care about concrete, many of them are passionate about it,” said Jay Shilstone.

“We’re the toughest of all the trades,” said Jereme Montgomery, Nebraska Concrete and Aggregates Association. “I will put a concrete guy against any other tradesmen! We are tough, and that message needs to be promoted more.” Check out Jereme’s great video promoting our industry by clicking here. #ConcreteTough

“Concrete people are willing to help and bring along even the smallest contractor,” said Rocky Geans. “Size doesn’t matter, we help each other!”

“People in the concrete industry rock!” said Peter Craig.

"Concrete people are 'solid' representatives of the construction industry," says CSDA executive director Pat O'Brien.

“We should be proud of the very diverse background of people you meet in the industry and that we can learn something from all of them,” said ACI’s Mike Tholen. “From professors looking at concrete under a scanning electron microscope to engineers designing structures to placers and finishers, each has their own unique issues that they deal with and we can learn something from all of their experiences.”

"I am proud of the willingness of an organization like ASCC to annually take on Community Service projects that benefit children and veterans," said ASCC Membership Director Todd Scharich. "Personally seeing the reaction from each individual affected by these projects makes each one worthwhile. They will not produce new work for the volunteers, but they will produce a new sense of community awareness and respect for the concrete industry as each one is completed."

You people!