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Michigan Concrete Association Educates Contractors on Concrete Parking Lots

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Many state concrete associations have indicated that one reason for concrete paving (whether it’s parking lots, street & local roads or driveways) not gaining as much market share as they’d like is their "lack of qualified contractors," reports NRMCA Senior Director, National Resources, Doug O’Neill. "A team in Michigan is taking corrective action to address the future of its marketplace by offering members a valuable tool that ultimately benefits everyone involved all the way down to the end user, the owner."

Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) Director of Engineering Heather Smith has taken the challenge to educate contractors and offer them valuable "Best Practices" guidance. Under the direction of MCA Executive Director/CEO Dan DeGraaf, Smith has developed a program aimed at concrete contractors and inspectors in an effort to educate them on "Best Practices" for exterior flatwork. The training is divided among seven "modules" consisting of Concrete Basics, Planning, Site Prep, Ordering, Finishing, Jointing and Hot & Cold Weather concreting. The program is being offered to individual MCA member producers who then invite their contractor customers to attend.

"We have found that many in our industry don’t know what they don’t know and this leads to trouble," DeGraaf said. "Teaching crews the hands on information that they need to know is a good motivational tool. Once work crews understand concrete they can properly deal with any issue that develops. The discussions that take place during the classes indicate that we are getting through to them and they are really thankful for the lessons presented."

Traveling across Michigan, Smith has been able to reach some 250+ contractors. "One of the ways we are increasing our market share is by doing our best to make sure that the concrete being placed is placed with excellence," Smith said. "Avoiding common problems and raising the level of quality within our contractor base is essential in promoting concrete on a statewide level. Our worst enemy is a poorly constructed very visible parking lot."

Click here for more information on the efforts MCA is making to educate contractors or contact Heather Smith at or contact Doug O’Neill at

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