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Message From the Director: The TCA — What Can We Do Better? Tell Us!!!!

Every so often – in particular when due notices go out – we get the question: “What have you done for me lately?” or “What are you doing to justify the cost of membership?” It’s a valid question and we constantly ask ourselves if we are providing value. Are our programs and efforts serving the members? Are there things that we can do better, or differently? In some cases, these questions result from members not knowing what we are already do. There are, however, areas in which we are sure we can improve. For that, we need your input.

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association has come a long way since its inception. The early years included planning 3 board meetings, a booth at the World of Concrete, the production of some technical documents (Guideline specifications, tolerances, and Tilt-Tips), and a few promotional flyers.

The Association has a wide variety of benefits in place today to serve its members and the Tilt-Up industry. Our efforts can be classifies as practical of ‘how-to’ information, marketing and promotion, and technical support. If you aren’t taking advantage of any of our benefits, its time you take a closer look.

For contractors, the backbone of the Association making up more than 50% of our membership, we have the guideline specification. This publication has been updated at least three times and provides a tool to help establish the minimum standards required to compete in the industry. The bracing guidelines, which has also undergone several rewrites, set guidelines, practices and standards for both contractors and engineers in this critical step of the Tilt-Up process. The Tilt-Up Design and Construction Manual) (chapters 2-8 are devoted to construction), now in its 6th edition, presents an overview of the construction method. The Tilt-Up Field Superintendent Certification Program, administered jointly with ACI, provides experienced contractors a way of separating their company from the competition. The Achievement Awards program provides an excellent marketing tool for participants as well as much deserved recognition for advancement that have been made in the industry. This program can benefit all member classification. The Tilt-Up Convention, now annual event, has tracks for contractors as well as engineers. The current format presents separate beginner’s seminars the prior to the main event for contractors and engineers. This seminar is used to introduce Tilt-Up to newcomers, as a refresher for experienced Tilt-Up professionals, and a preparatory seminar for the certification exam. The convention also includes a trade show and two days of education with concurrent sessions for contractors and engineers. The Association has also been very active in the code and ACI arenas. The codes are becoming ever more stringent and our efforts monitor proposed changes, offer amendments and comment on the code, and alert membership to proposed modifications. Learning from peers is one of the top benefits of any trade association. TCA provides some great networking opportunities with its convention and co-sponsorship of the World of Concrete.

The balance of our membership is divided between professional firms (engineers and architects), associates (national and local), developers, educators and other professionals. We have benefits in place for those groups as well.

Professional firms have the Tilt-Up Construction and Engineering Manual (TCEM), which has complete design examples for engineers as well as construction details. Both engineers and architects, in their building specifications, can use the guideline specifications. They are in standard CSI format with a detailed commentary. The section on finishes can be particularly beneficial in putting the contractor and designer on the same page with regard to expectations. Architects have our newest publication, The Architecture of Tilt-Up. This publication explains the concept, and challenges their imaginations to expand the limits and uses of Tilt-Up.

All of our marketing publications and the Achievement Awards were designed as a response to member input. They include the Tilt-Tips, application flyers, the Take Pride brochure, and the “Tilt-Up Today” magazine. Members wanted tools to promote the industry, their projects and their companies. To that end, the Tilt-Up magazine was expanded and improved. A publication that started out as a 4 page black and white newsletter is now a full color, ranging in size from 48 to 60+ pages per issue. It will be going on-line in the near future. We are always looking for content so get in touch with us if you have a good story. Our public relations firm, Constructive Communication, puts member accomplishments and association efforts in front of over one million readers annually.

Perhaps the biggest change in the way we do business from 10 years ago is the use of the internet. It consumes a greater portion of our time and budget each year and we anticipate that the trend will continue for the foreseeable future as we transition to a less-paper (I won’t go so far as to say paperless – that’s for the next generation) society. Nearly every document we have is available on our web site; you can communicate with other members, research companies, projects and concepts – almost anything on the web. We are cognizant, however, that many of you still use paper, so everything we offer at this time on the web is still available in print.

With all of these efforts and benefits, we still feel we can do more. To do so, however, we need to hear from you, our readers and members. The TCA committees are a good way to actively participate, but if you don’t have time for that, simply call, write, or email us with your ideas. Our contact information can be found elsewhere in this newsletter or on the web site We can handle criticism – tell us what we are doing wrong, or what we can do better, or what you wish we were doing that we aren’t. But you have to tell us – we aren’t mind readers. To use the words of someone famous: “You can’t please all the people all the time” – but we try.


Ed Sauter, Executive Director

TCA Board of Directors

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.