ACPA education conference to provide networking opportunities

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Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature

The 2016 American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA) education conference will take place September 18-20 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centre in Nashville, TN. Filled with a variety of educational and networking opportunities, this year’s biannual event is being held in connection with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA)’s annual ConcreteWorks event.

ACPA executive director Christi Collins says the ACPA specific components of the conference will be tailored directly to the needs of concrete pumpers and their businesses. Topics will include major issues impacting the industry such as workforce development (how to find and retain staff), fleet management and achieving operational efficiencies. “We also have a program called Driving Sales with a Purpose which will look at proactive planning for growing a business and strategies for success.”

One of the event’s key feature sessions is called The Perfect Pour. Here, Collins says, Mike Schneider, chief people officer and senior vice-president with Baker Concrete Construction, Inc. will address the interaction of concrete, ready mix and pumpers and how the three can coordinate efforts to be safer, more productive, and more profitable.

Another feature component will include a financial benchmark survey looking at debt loads, expenses and staffing. “We actually started this in 2012 when the industry began digging out of the recession. The intent is to help owners really take a look at how their businesses are operating now to ensure they are more secure and profitable for the future.”

Collins says one of the biggest challenges members face is struggling to fully understand federal hours of service requirements. Another session is planned to help members understand how to navigate this complex program and to demonstrate that it is easier to comply than many believe.

“We’ll also have a general compliance session and another on contractual risk and several roundtables that will be of interest to many of our members.”

While the concrete pumping specific programs will clearly be of interest, Collins says holding this event in conjunction with NRMCA will provide distinct networking advantages and opportunities. There will also be some crossover in sessions on common topics of interest.

“Our kickoff speaker is a political analyst so he’ll be of interest to us all. Our members will also hear from NRMCA about the inroads the wood industry has been making, what NRMCA is doing to address this challenge and how we can help.”

Collins says safety is also a huge focus for members of both associations and the opportunity to partner with providers, to get one on one information from equipment manufactures who will be on hand, is invaluable to everyone involved.

APCA has members representing Canada and Mexico and Collins says both issues and educational topics will be of interest to members, wherever they work.

For more information, visit http://www.concretepumpers. com/content/2016-acpa-education-conference.

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