Anyone who polishes concrete for a living probably feels like a second-class citizen more often than not.

When the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) absorbed the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) last month, that status changed.

I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of ASCC, especially if you’ve been to World of Concrete. It’s the only trade association that champions the contracting companies, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, and other people who, as Concrete Construction columnist Craig Cottongim so eloquently says, “contribute more to civilization than any other single trade.” There are more than 600 members worldwide.

ASCC had a specialty council – an independent body within the organization that elects its own board of directors, adopts its own bylaws, and develops its own strategic plan – for decorative concrete, but not for polishing.

CPAA was formed in 2010 to provide standards, education, and a professional network. As ASCC’s Concrete Polishing Council, it’ll be able to continue this work supported by resources that come with being part of a much larger organization. It’ll also have better access to the trade that most directly influences a polishing project’s success (or failure): placement contractors.

Architects, design engineers, general contractors, and finishers also affect a project’s outcome. But bringing together the people who prepare the canvas and those who polish is a big step toward self-actualization for an often marginalized specialty. It’s a logical union that bodes well for the entire concrete surfaces industry.