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It is difficult to start this letter without acknowledging the horrific loss of life that recently occurred in my state of Texas. Another tragic school shooting on May 18 in Santa Fe. Ten people lost their lives. It seems that in today’s times, we should be able to get all the groups together to come up with a better solution to keep our children safe in school. Most of us will differ in opinion as to what the solution is, but if we do not listen to each other’s point of view, which would allow us to understand everyone’s position, then we will never come up with a solution to keep our kids safe. There are too many variables to prevent every tragedy, but if we do not change anything, how can we expect different results?

We all have to come together to create a safer environment for our children. As I was watching Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals the other night, the commentators were highlighting the 300 students from Santa Fe High School. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it have been great if there had been 310 students there just to watch the game? It pains me to see our youth having to deal with these tragedies.

There is really no way to transition into another topic here, but I do want to mention just a few things on my mind that I feel TCA could impact. These are items I am focused on during my presidency and time with the TCA Board of Directors.

First, there has been a shortage of skilled workers for quite some time, but in the next few years the shortage will be even more intense. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a news report that said 40 percent of construction workers will change jobs in the next year. Every company will have to find, train, and retain harder than they have ever had to in the past. With less qualified workers, it will make the project supervisors’ and foremans’ jobs more difficult, since they will need to thoroughly explain the tasks and continually demonstrate the proper safety methods to ensure employee safety and work quality.
Next, as the TCA, we need to constantly communicate with each other about good designs and poor designs. We need to try to fix the poor designs before they get built, because our industry does not need long-term risks resulting from poor design. As we all know, bad news travels seven times faster than good news.

Finally, we need even more collaboration. More collaboration between the architects, vendors, and contractors will allow us to continue to streamline the processes and materials necessary to make these beautiful concrete structures. Without that collaboration, panel costs will increase, which will make us less competitive than the other systems we compete against.

I am looking forward to a great TCA Convention in Dallas this September. There is no guarantee as to how cool it will be, but everyone will walk away with something they can use and benefit from on a daily basis. We have a great group working to ensure the success of the event this year. As Confucius once said, “Success depends on previous preparation. Without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.” There is a lot of planning going into this year’s convention – I hope to see you there.

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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.