Most of the organizations within the concrete industry have some sort of strategic plan but never before has the entire community come together to create a plan to improve the industry, said Peter Emmons, Structural Group, to open the initial Concrete 2029 planning session. About 80 people gathered on Tuesday, May 10 in San Antonio to begin to develop such a plan.

The full-day session started with presentations intended to define the problems—basically to scare us into taking action. Jay Thomas from Structural Group noted that structural safety must be thought of by workers as just as important as personal safety. ASCC’s Bruce Suprenant insisted that there needs to be a feedback loop among the various parties so everyone understands the 10 to 1 cost benefit from communicating. Ron Magnus, with FMI, talked about what brings young people to choose an industry: an inspiring vision of the future. Webcor’s Chris Plue read a portion of an inspiring article from Roger Corbetta in Concrete Construction in 1958, Concrete is my Business,  then noted the poor productivity in our industry: half of construction expense is wasted.

These talks were followed by breakout sessions where the ideas were discussed and possible solutions developed. This is just the first step—the foundation for this effort. Over the next 12 months, at least two more sessions will be held to boil down all of these ideas into a few achievable goals and to assign actions that can make it happen. The objective is no less than to save the concrete industry for future generations. If you want to get involved, let me know!