Why Continuing Education and Training is Critical for Industry Pros

Posted on November 08, 2018

Continuing education in American business and industry is more than a good idea; it is often a requirement. In many areas, it ensures compliance with new laws, codes and licensing requirements. Also, continuing education is sometimes a prerequisite for maintaining association memberships.

Ultimately, knowledge is power, particularly when you possess the most current knowledge in the industry. Monetize what you know through superior performance that enhances your reputation, whatever kind of industry pro you may be.

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Keep Pace With a Changing Industry

This is a time of extraordinary change in the concrete industry. Continuing education can help you keep up with emerging concrete products. For example, nanotechnology is driving the development of new admixtures with superior strength. The addition of optical fibers reduces concrete's opacity. Reactive powder concrete achieves high compressive strength without the use of coarse aggregates, and self-consolidating concrete (SCC) eliminates typical mechanical consolidation requirements.

The quest for sustainability increasingly drives construction specs, and the concrete industry is responding with newer products like roller-compacted concrete (RCC), CO2-cured concrete and low-dust repair mortar. Researchers are even experimenting with structural concrete that contains 10 percent recycled plastic.

Continuing Education Vital for Industry Pros

A changing construction environment, technological evolution and the sustainability revolution all require a commitment to continuing education. In today's rapidly changing and competitive world, continuing education can place certain technicians, contractors and producers ahead of the others.

Technicians

Continuing education helps individuals qualify for higher-paying jobs. Others that do not make the effort may be left behind. In today's world, traditional sources of continuing education are increasingly supplemented by convenient online opportunities, making it easier for those with busy schedules to participate.

Contractors

Continuing education certainly benefits contractors. There is often a clear connection between continuing education and increased profits. For example, awareness of the latest processes may increase efficiency, thereby reducing costs that improve your bottom line.

Producers

Today, more than ever, producers must be capable of delivering precisely configured and innovative mixes. Staying abreast of the latest innovations and testing methods is critical in a highly competitive environment.

Continuing Education Initiatives

PACA's commitment to continuing education takes many forms, including workshops, webinars and certification training. As a local Sponsoring Group for the American Concrete Institute (ACI), PACA offers a variety of popular certification classes.

It is also possible to learn at your convenience by checking out the webinars. They cover a wide range of interesting and important topics, including integral color, cold weather concreting and PennDOT-compliant concrete mixing.

Recently, a series of workshops provided contractors and others with important information about roller-compacted concrete (RCC). Other workshops promote innovative uses of concrete in diverse venues.

Lunch-and-Learn and related presentations include Professional Development Hour (PDH) events for the engineering community, and Continuing Education Systems (CES) for the architectural community. Available presentations focus on current topics of interest, like RCC, stormwater runoff, ICF and tilt-up construction.

Other Resources for Continuing Education

In addition to ACI, other national organizations offer continuing education and certification opportunities, including the Portland Cement Association (PCA), the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) and the Precast Concrete Institute (PCI). MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) is also a driving force in emerging concrete science.

About PACA

The Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association (PACA) is dedicated to promoting the many important attributes of concrete, including its beauty, durability, and sustainability. PACA serves industry stakeholders of every kind, from technicians and contractors to producers and specifiers.

For more information about PACA's continuing education opportunities, please contact us.