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Association & Industry News

NRMCA's 2021 Annual Convention features a series of outstanding keynote speakers who will discuss their varied and successful careers while also providing timely insights regarding how their experience is relevant to the ready mixed concrete industry.

This impressive lineup begins Tuesday, March 2, at 11 a.m. when Dr. Jonah Berger examines the science behind leading effective change in an era of dramatic technological and business transformation. Why is it so difficult to promote change in the first place? How do you grease the system to make people more likely to adopt positive behaviors and ignore negative ones? How do you push past mental barriers that insist innovative practices are impossible or fraught with risk? Dr. Berger offers audiences practical strategies for leading change in a clear and actionable way that encourages buy-in and drives results. He shares how to overcome reticence to change, how to avoid the “curse of knowledge” and how to build a movement that shifts your audience from passive listeners to active participants. If your organization is looking for a forward-thinking talk aimed at getting change to catch on, this talk is can’t-miss.

Then on Wednesday, March 3, beginning at 11 a.m. Alex Garcia will present Understanding Climate Science and the Need for Resiliency, a topic that has particular relevance for NRMCA members and the Build With Strength initiative. Garcia is the chief meteorologist for the Fox News affiliate in San Antonio; there's no one better to explain climate science than an award-winning broadcast meteorologist who studies, forecasts and reports weather activity daily.

Mr. Garcia has taught students of all ages, from elementary school children to college students, about meteorology, oceanography, astronomy and science. He's logged more than two decades of broadcast experience in a long list of roles, including news director, assignment editor, meteorologist and reporter. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes named Garcia its 2016 National Weatherperson of the Year.

Finally, at 4:25 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, Pro Football Hall of Fame member Darrell Green will discuss his post-career experiences which involve a connection with the ready mixed concrete industry. As someone who played his entire career with the Washington Football Team, Mr. Green will touch on how business owners can instill loyalty in their employees along with how to develop a game plan that allows for flexibility in the face of adversity.

These speakers along with a host of other workshops, awards presentations and virtual networking opportunities are featured in this year's convention. Click here to learn more or contact Jessica Walgenbach at jwalgenbach@nrmca.org for more information.

Government Affairs

NRMCA has joined more than 580 business organizations urging Congress to adopt liability protections for businesses as part of the next COVID-19 relief and stimulus bill. The letter, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, urges bipartisan action to provide targeted and temporary liability protections that will assist the nation’s efforts to reopen and recover.

You can see the letter and signer list here. For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

NRMCA and the Transportation Construction Coalition this week sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to swiftly enact federal infrastructure investment and reauthorize the nation’s surface transportation programs.
The letter (accessed here) highlights the need for long-overdue infrastructure investment, a five-year surface transportation reauthorization, significant funding increases over current levels and project delivery and regulatory approval process enhancements.

In addition, NRMCA and other members of the North American Concrete Alliance – including Portland Cement Association, the American Concrete Pavement Association and other concrete industry associations – are meeting with members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to discuss the urgent need to invest in America’s infrastructure and the industry’s priorities.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

Last week, the PRO Act was reintroduced in both the House and the Senate, signaling that the Democratic-led Congress is ready to make good on President Biden’s campaign support for anti-business legislation. Within less than a week of introduction, the PRO Act has been cosponsored by 194 Members of the House and nearly half - 49 cosponsors - of the Senate. You can read the text here.

The PRO Act contains a host of policies championed by the Obama Administration, including some that have been repealed or struck down by the courts. Among these policies are requirements that employers turn over employees’ private information to unions without employees’ consent, elimination of private ballots in union elections, nullification of state right-to-work laws, compulsory payment of union dues by non-union members and impairment of employers’ ability to seek counsel on labor issues. You can read more about the legislation here.

NRMCA, in conjunction with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, are meeting with congressional staff to communicate the dangers of this legislation to small businesses, particularly at a time when upsetting the balance between labor and employers could jeopardize the nation’s economic recovery. You can help fight this legislation in two ways: first, click here to send your representative and senators a letter urging them to oppose the legislation and second, click here to share how the legislation, if enacted, would impact your business. The more examples the industry has, the stronger the case it can make to Members of Congress and key staff.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

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Now is the time for your company to shine while generating awareness around your brand. Information about NRMCA’s 2021 annual sponsorship program is now available. With several sponsorship opportunities available for member companies, NRMCA also has specific sponsorship opportunities for our upcoming Annual Convention being held March 2-3; you can find these specific sponsorship opportunities here. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for this year’s fall event, the ConcreteWorks Conference and Expo and the most visible part of ConcreteWorks, the National Truck Mixer Driver Championship.

ConcreteWorks is our most highly-attended event of the year and the driver championship is a must see for all ready mixed concrete fans! You can find these specific sponsorship opportunities here.

Sponsorship opportunities are limited and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Act now to join the growing list of members who support NRMCA through annual sponsorship. For more information, contact Jacques Jenkins at 703-706-4865 or jjenkins@nrmca.org.

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Pavement

NRMCA and the Northwest Cement Council (NCC) recently joined forces to provide training on concrete intersections and resilient concrete pavements for the engineering staff of the city of Lynden, WA, located about two hours north of Seattle, just south of the Canadian border. NRMCA Vice President, Local Paving, Don Clem, PE, discussed design and construction of concrete intersections and roundabouts while NCC Executive Director Diane Warner, PE, covered resilient concrete pavements, including lower carbon solutions and cement recarbonation. Joining the city public works director and the program manager were several engineers with Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering, Inc., also based in Lynden. The training was organized by Keith Korthius, owner/consultant, P. S. I.

For more information, contact Don Clem at dclem@nrmca.org.

Last week, NRMCA Senior Director, Local Paving, Luke McHugh, presented How to Design Concrete Parking Lots per ACI 330R-08, The Guide For The Design And Construction Of Concrete Parking Lots for the Illinois Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA). This was the first of 12 free webinars on pavement-related topics, McHugh said. More than 160 engineers, contractors, developers and ready mixed concrete producers attended. Webinars are being recorded and are scheduled every 1-2 weeks through July 2021.

For more information and a list of future webinars, visit IRMCA.org or contact Luke McHugh at 267-212-4700 or lmchugh@nrmca.org.

Buildings

NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Doug O’Neill reports that plans are underway to schedule socially distanced Coffee & Concrete Hard Hat Tours at sites in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. These events provide great opportunities to meet several of our promotional objectives, O’Neill stated. Inviting local developers, designers, community leaders and contractors to come on site and see and feel the versatility and ease of use of ICF construction opens up possibilities that were not feasible without having them as part of a tour. In addition, by propping up the developer/owners and sharing how they made a business decision that recognizes the value of this type of construction as energy efficient, durable and sustainable, the opportunities for additional projects from both the attendees and the host developer increase.

Our State Affiliate partners in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Northern New England are working alongside NRMCA to plan these events; in fact, Dominic DiCenzo with the Connecticut Concrete Promotion Council has already hosted several hard hat tours in 2021 with great success (seen here).

"At a typical site tour, the ICF contractor or manufacturer rep might conduct the tour, highlighting the construction phases and going into detail on how window bucks are installed, electrical and plumbing concerns, how the floor systems connect to the ICF walls, mix designs, etc.," O'Neill said. "The planning of these events revolves around the construction schedule; we try to meet while the structure is not quite completed, but can still show items like stacking forms, installing window bucks, electrical outlets and, if we get really lucky, we can schedule the tour during a concrete placement."

"That’s when the action is the most exciting," O'Neill continued. "We round out the tour with some kind of educational component that might be simply a question and answer session or might be more formal in the form of a presentation or seminar at another location."

For more information on a Concrete & Coffee Hard Hat Tour, contact your regional Build With Strength representative or e-mail Doug O’Neill at doneill@nrmca.org.

   Master Builder Solutions US LLC       Sika Corporation    
SEO

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took formal action to halt the implementation of the Trump Administration’s Independent Contractor Rule, which was slated to take effect on March 8, 2021. The Trump rule, published on January 7, 2021, aimed to clarify which workers qualify as independent contractors versus direct employees; it was supported by the ready mixed concrete industry. However, in an effort to allow for “additional opportunity for review and consideration of the new rule” by the DOL, the rule will now be delayed until May 7, 2021, absent any further delays, proposed changes or withdrawal of the rule.

In addition, last week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) acted under the jurisdiction of the DOL in proposing an update to the current Hazard Communication standard. According to OSHA, it expects the changes “will increase worker protections and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by further improving the information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals. Proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.“ Click here to review the Hazard Communication proposal.

Throughout the coming weeks, NRMCA will be monitoring progress on both issue fronts and provide comment for beneficial industry outcomes.

For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), put into law in 1986, requires industries to report on the “storage, use and releases of hazardous chemicals (and materials) to federal, state, and local governments.” This specific reporting requirement under EPCRA is commonly referred to as Community Right-to-Know (CRTK) reporting, Tier II reporting and/or Section 311/312 reporting. The reporting deadline is Monday, March 1.

Click here to learn more about EPCRA, chemical/material thresholds and how to report. For more information, contact Gary Mullings at gmullings@nrmca.org or Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

NRMCA’s March 19-25 Plant Manager Certification class is two-thirds full; do not dally registering. This virtual, self-paced class contains the same material, rigor and self-directed homework and requires the same post-lecture study time as the in person, demanding Plant Manager Certification class. With the requirement to view 24 hours of lectures in a seven-day period, participants can also reach out to instructors for further clarification. The two required, online exams have set times on Friday, March 26.

The challenging content has become the standard base of knowledge for plant managers, batchmen and operators. Content ties knowledge to application in product knowledge management, plant safety, environmental regulations, plant operations and ready mixed concrete industry business principles. This is the certification class cited in Army Corps of Engineers and Navy contract specifications.

Click here to register. For more information, contact Jessica Walgenbach at jwalgenbach@nrmca.org or 703-706-4852.

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Engineering

The NRMCA Research Engineering and Standards (RES) Committee annually recognizes an individual who has shown excellence and made significant contributions to the ready mixed concrete industry in the areas of research, engineering and standards. The award is named for Richard D. Gaynor who served with the NRMCA for more than 40 years heading up the Engineering Division. For 2021, the committee selected Terence C. Holland, a consulting engineer, who will be presented the award on March 2 during the award session at the virtual Annual Convention.

Mr. Holland has been involved in the concrete industry for more than 40 years. He is an independent consulting engineer specializing in the areas of concrete materials, codes and specifications, concrete durability and concrete construction. Throughout his career, he has emphasized the practical side of concrete technology, always remembering that concrete is specified, made, placed and finished by people who are not materials scientists.

Mr. Holland holds a bachelor’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point and master of engineering and doctor of engineering degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a veteran who has served in Vietnam and Korea. He has worked at the US Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, MS, and was instrumental in bringing silica fume to market in the U.S. in the 1980s. Mr. Holland also headed the Silica Fume Association and worked in the admixture business, supporting market acceptance of traditional and innovative admixture products.

He has been active in the American Concrete Institute, serving on technical and leadership committees. He is a past president and Honorary Member of the Institute. He has been a member of ACI Committee 318 responsible for the Building Code for Structural Concrete and the chair of the subcommittee responsible for concrete materials in the code for more than 20 years. He has facilitated several revisions to improve code requirements for concrete materials, durability, construction, and requirements and acceptance criteria for strength. He has been a strong proponent for industry initiatives to evolve industry standards to be more performance based. Mr. Holland has interacted and has been supportive of initiatives of the NRMCA Research Engineering and Standards Committee.


NRMCA congratulates Mr. Holland for this recognition. Click here for more information on the Gaynor award along with past recipients.

   Concrete Pump Supply       Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems    
Calendar

*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site. 

February 19 – March 1, Online Course *Sold Out
Concrete Technologist Training & Certification, Short Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4852

February 22 – 26, Online Course *Sold Out
Dispatcher Training Forum
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4852

March 2-3, Virtual Conference
NRMCA’s 2021 Annual Convention
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 11 – 19, Online Course
Handling Concrete Specifications
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4852

March 19 – 26, Online Course
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 22 – 26, Online Course
CCSP Module IV, Professional Sales Skills Workshop
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4852

May 4 – 7, Smyrna, TN
CCSP Module I “Concrete 101”, Technical Product Knowledge
Sponsored by Tennessee Concrete Association
Email: Darla Sparkman, 615-360-7393

June 15 – 17, Smyrna, TN
CCSP Module II, Customer Business Knowledge
Sponsored by Tennessee Concrete Association
Email: Darla Sparkman, 615-360-7393

November 9 – 11, Dallas
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

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