As editors of this publication, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to frequently visit construction sites. Specifically here in Chicago, we have access to the Trump Tower—with its state-of-the art high-strength concrete mix design to moderate size projects that feature self-rising forming systems, all the way down to a concrete repair project on the parking garage deck outside our offices.

Whether the project is large or small, complex or basic, we enjoy our time on these sites. More importantly, we relish the conversation with the project managers and other workers onsite.

During these conversations, the topic always turns to the economy and the unpredictable nature of our industry. Some contractors have no worries about the future as they have plenty of work to keep them busy for the next two to three years. On the other hand, there are contractors that are concerned whether or not they are going to survive the year.

One contractor I spoke with came right out and bluntly said, “I read your magazine and I like it, but what are you going to write about that will help keep me in business?”

A great question, and even tougher answer. We discuss trends, tips, and recommendations in dealing with a tough economy, but his question also got me thinking more about the editorial content that we offer Concrete Construction readers.

This magazine has been around for more than 50 years, and there are no plans to change the premise behind our editorial philosophy. We believe in the importance of offering in-depth technical coverage of the concrete industry; that alone makes up the foundation of this publication. Complementing that philosophy, we also will begin to provide even more in-depth coverage of the economy, state of the industry, future of the industry, as well as what business opportunities may be available to contractors. In order to better serve our audience, it is critical we keep our readers ahead of the curve by offering sound advice and market intelligence to our readers—in every issue of Concrete Construction and more frequently online at

There is no sense in sugarcoating the grim details of the economy; we are in a recession and it may be 2010 before a significant uptick is noted in residential construction. As for commercial construction, the numbers are slowing and they likely will continue to decrease as businesses tighten their belts during lean economic times. Following years of record-breaking construction figures, this decline, coupled with the mortgage crisis, rising oil prices, and inflation has led us into what some may consider a construction nightmare, but it will soon end.

Everyday, the world around us is changing, and we just cannot cling to the old dreams anymore.

Editor in Chief