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Association & Industry News

NRMCA’s 2021 Annual Convention starts in less than two weeks and you won’t want to miss these featured sessions:

We Are Resilient – This session will offer overarching goal of supporting and advancing resilience in future construction through resilient building strategies, rating systems and the use of one of the most resilient building materials…concrete. Mark Ginsberg, an architect in New York City, and Bruce Carrell, a custom homebuilder in Myrtle Beach, SC, will discuss their approaches to resilient construction and how concrete has played a role in making their buildings more resilient.

We Are Innovative – Speakers representing a large owner supportive of concrete construction and a ready mixed concrete producer will discuss being nimble to take advantage of the opportunities for the industry. Jennifer Mitchell is a senior manager for Design-Build with Linkedin and John Lee is the director of business development with NRMCA Producer member Cemstone Products Co.

We Are Essential – In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the United States; the results of which continue to be felt today. Quick and sustained action by NRMCA personnel including those from the State and Local Advocacy Team along with Government Affairs and Compliance and Operations enabled our industry to continue working – safely – in a wide majority of states. NRMCA partnered with its State Affiliates, allied industry organizations and others to launch a Construction is Essential campaign. This session will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the timeline, the players, the actions and the impacts of this campaign.

We Are Concrete – If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that We Are Resilient, We Are Innovative and We Are Essential and, finally, We Are Concrete! This session will focus on these themes and how they make this year’s leadership transfer unique. NRMCA Chairman John Carew, Vice Chairman Abbott Lawrence and President Mike Philipps will discuss changes at the association and within the industry. Their conversation will focus on ways the association and the industry leveraged the need to take stock; to test internal assumptions about the way we do our work and how NRMCA will use the lessons learned in the coming year to better engage with our external audiences, compete more effectively in a changing business environment and elevate our industry in new ways with new audiences.

Click here to access the convention agenda and registration links. For more information, contact Jessica Walgenbach at jwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

The estimated ready mixed concrete produced in November 2020 is 31.6 million cubic yards, 8.9% higher than that in November 2019. The estimated production in the U.S. for 2020 through November is 350 million cubic yards, approximately 1% higher than that during the same period in 2019.

Ready mixed concrete production is estimated from cement shipments reported by the U.S. Geological Survey. More detail is available here for NRMCA members under “Production Statistics”.

Government Affairs

Please join us virtually from April 20 through 22, each day from noon to 4 p.m. Eastern time to advocate for the cement and concrete industry. During this event, individuals will be able to virtually meet with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss issues impacting the industry, including a long-term infrastructure bill, increased funding for developing carbon capture technologies and other critical issues. During this three-day virtual event, participants will also hear from key administration professionals and congressional committee leaders on issues impacting your company.

Click here to register. For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

The NRMCA Government Affairs Committee will meet on Thursday, March 11, at 2 p.m. Eastern time in conjunction with NRMCA’s Annual Convention. It will include an overview of what’s going on in Washington and an update on NRMCA’s legislative agenda, with additional updates from NRMCA’s government affairs partners at the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association and the Portland Cement Association.

Click here to register. For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

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The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (MIT CSHub) recently released its report, A Scientific Investigation into Concrete Pavement Durability, the product of several years of multidisciplinary collaboration among researchers at the MIT CSHub, Oregon State University, University of New Brunswick and industry experts. It provides a unified theoretical framework for understanding two causes of premature deterioration in concrete pavements: the alkali-silica reaction and freeze-thaw damage.

For more information, visit the MIT CSHub website or the RMC Research & Education Foundation which co-funds the CSHub along with the Portland Cement Association.

The website of Fortune magazine contains an article titled From Concrete to Steel, How Construction Makes up the "Last Mile" of Decarbonization. It is part of the magazine's Blueprint for a climate breakthrough package and discusses the challenges in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 in the build environment.

The article also quotes Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub, who states that when it comes to concrete, "the only thing we use more as humans is water."

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Pavement

On Thursday, February 11, NRMCA Senior Director, Local Paving, Luke McHugh presented Want to Reduce Concrete Pavement Costs…Stop Overdesigning at the virtual Engineer’s Week conference sponsored by the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. More than 50 engineers and construction professionals were shown how pavements for local roads and parking lots are overdesigned when using state DOT design methodologies specifically developed for highway pavements.

For more information, contact Luke McHugh at lmchugh@nrmca.org.

Buildings

3-D printed concrete is continuing to generate headlines and interest in the AEC community, reports NRMCA Senior Vice President, Structures and Codes, Scott Campbell. While the total number of 3-D printed structures is small, there is a growing number of demonstration projects along with some intended for use, including the first 3-D printed house for sale listed in New York State on Long Island. Several recent documents have attempted to provide guidance on 3-D building printing, including ICC AC509 and UL 3401. NRMCA is working with ICC, ACI and other groups to develop standards and to ensure that any code changes regarding 3-D printing of structures are not detrimental to the ready mixed concrete industry.

Build With Strength is a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes concrete building systems through communications, project promotion, education and advocacy. To learn more about these programs, please contact Scott Campbell at scampbell@nrmca.org or 502-552-5034.

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Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended for the fourth time an emergency declaration first issued last March that allows for flexibility of certain transportation regulations for carriers impacted by COVID-19. FMCSA noted that this will likely be the last extension granted; this latest extension runs through May 21, after which date carriers will be required to resume normal compliance operations for Hours of Service, driver training requirements, driver medical qualifications and CDL renewals.

Click here to review the declaration extension. To review this declaration and other COVID-19-related regulatory guidance, please visit NRMCA’s COVID-19 Resources website. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

In a victory for business interests, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week declined to reconsider its previous ruling limiting the definition of joint employers. The ruling, decided by the Republican majority that currently makes up the NLRB, was panned by the sole Democrat on the board and current board chairman. While this decision is supported by and falls in line with current and previous industry efforts and those of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), the ruling still may be subject to change when a Democratic majority likely takes control of the NLRB later this year. NRMCA continues to advocate for favorable industry positions with the DOL, NLRB and Congress and will continue to monitor labor-related developments.

Click here for more on the joint employer issue and here to review last week’s NLRB decision. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

As the realities of COVID-19 have become clearer, vaccines continue to be administrated and the impending reopening of the country draws nearer, there remains a number of existing and new safety, environmental and operations related best management practices (BMPs) to help the ready mixed concrete industry address the pandemic. NRMCA is hosting a free webinar on Friday, March 12, at 11 a.m. Eastern time that will outline current industry BMPs, compliance requirements, the COVID-19 vaccines outlook and beyond.

Click here to register for the COVID-19: Concrete Industry Update webinar. For more information, contact Gary Mullings at gmullings@nrmca.org or Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

The Financial Performance Improvement Group will host its Spring Meeting on Thursday, March 11, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time to discuss ongoing activities and projects relating to the Performance Benchmarking Survey, Think Like an Owner educational course and education breakout sessions for ConcreteWorks. An agenda and meeting minutes from the Fall Meeting will be circulated ahead of the meeting.

Click here to RSVP.

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Workforce Development

Please mark your calendar for this spring’s online Workforce Development Committee meeting to be held on Thursday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Listen to updates from the Partnerships, Practices and Strategies task groups; hear about the impact of Biden Administration labor and employment policies and find out how industry virtual training events faired over the winter months. All are welcome; our industry's workforce is inextricably linked to the vitality of the ready mixed concrete business. You and your colleagues' input and thoughts are appreciated.

Click here to register for this go-to-meeting gathering. For more information, contact Eileen Dickson at edickson@nrmca.org.

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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 10, Virtual Event
NRMCA Sustainability Subcommittee Meeting
Email: Brian Killingsworth, 210-508-4923

March 10, Virtual Event
NRMCA Promotion Committee Meeting
Email: Brian Killingsworth, 210-508-4923

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

March 12, Free Online Webinar
COVID-19: Concrete Industry Update Webinar
Email: Kevin Walgenbach, 703-706-4857

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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