Infrastructure funding could create jobs

The use of concrete for all new roads between now and 2015 could save state governments $100 billion during the life of the roads.
The use of concrete for all new roads between now and 2015 could save state governments $100 billion during the life of the roads.

Chief economist Ed Sullivan of the Portland Cement Association (PCA) believes if significant dollars are allotted for infrastructure improvements, jobs at both local and state levels could be created. “Infrastructure funding could create jobs on both an immediate and long-term basis,” Sullivan says. “For every 10 construction jobs created by a project, the community gains 17 additional jobs that stay in the region even after a project's completion.”

The PCA stresses that higher-quality materials need to be used in new building and repair projects to stabilize the economic situation. “If we used concrete instead of asphalt for all new roads built between now and 2015, state governments could save more than $100 billion during the life of the roads,” Sullivan adds. “This means more money for local economies that can go to schools, police, and other public services.”

LEED 2009 passed

The U.S. Green Building Council passed Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) 2009, updating the internationally recognized green building certification program. It includes a series of major technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes.

Other changes include incorporating regional credits and reallocating points to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities.

Students to design sustainable ideas

Registration is open for the 2009 “Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable World” international student design competition. The contest challenges students to investigate innovative applications of portland-cement based materials to achieve sustainable design goals. Sponsored by the Portland Cement Association and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the competition is open to all ACSA-affiliated schools.

Students will use design ideas from their work to show enhanced building performance based on the use of portland cement-based materials.

Two entry categories are available: Transit Hub, where the objective is to design an environmentally responsible public transportation center focused on architectural innovations; and Building Element, where the objective is to design a single building element that provides a sustainable solution to real-world environmental challenges.

Construction scholarships available—a joint initiative of the Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and the Associated General Contractors of America—is accepting applications for its annual scholarship program. Open to students and construction industry professionals, the program will award 10 scholarships of $1000 each to be used for higher-education tuition or to purchase tools to improve worker productivity.

CSDA announces 2009 training dates

The Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA) expanded its training program offerings for 2009. Classes have been scheduled for both the spring and fall in order to allow attendees to enroll according to their availability. The courses offer training for varying levels of knowledge and experience, enabling attendees to either learn the basics of the industry or hone their skills and become a CSDA Certified Operator.

These hands-on and classroom courses are in addition to CSDA's online training Web site, consisting of 21 new online training courses. By using CSDA courses as a company training program, participants receive instruction by industry experts, presenting the latest cutting practices, and assistance with career paths for employees.