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Slides, Slabs, and Millennials, Oh My!

Español | Translation Sponsored by TCA

By Katt Price, Michael Frew, and Joe Kirby

With the TCA Convention back and stronger than ever this year, the Tilt-Up Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (TILT) kicked off festivities by renting out St. Louis’s prized City Museum. This 10-story, 600,000-square-foot, interactive, surreal museum complete with castles, climbing walls, and a 6-story slide provided a perfect space for spirited networking and a fun start to the convention. Between Daniel Boone’s three log-cabin walls at the museum, both TILT and TCA members reveled in the opportunity to relax and catch up after a year and a half of seclusion.

Following the trip to the City Museum, TILT hosted its annual work session. The turnout was astonishing! Over 40 young TCA members, representing dozens of our industry’s top companies, brought forth their ideas for bettering the TCA and tilt-up community. Items discussed included TILT’s incessant influence in the TCA, such as uploading the Cyber Roundtable to the TCA website; steps toward a TCA mentoring program; expanding the TCA’s presence through social media; and coordinating a shared collection of typical tilt-up details. Several new missions were also presented, such as showcasing tilt-up site visits across the TCA’s platforms, improving accessibility of the TCA’s website, and reaching out to the next generation with what we understand best: YouTube videos! Who wouldn’t want to watch a 30-second video of how a lift insert is installed, how to trowel finish stacked panels, or how to remove reveals from concrete slabs?

With an end goal of bridging the gap between the TCA elite and younger generations, the discussions during the 2021 TCA convention set TILT on the right path for laying the groundwork and creating a footprint in this industry.

For those who had the opportunity to attend the convention’s education track, you may have seen a few TILT faces on stage. Travis Jennings, one of TILT’s founding members, presented on best practices for temporary panel bracing. His insights continued the conversation from the “Crane and Ground Bearing Pressures” session, which identified pivotal construction coordination decisions that, if not appropriately reviewed, can lead to some very costly remediation efforts.

Additional TILT members Darian St. Michael (contractor), Cliff Saunders (supplier), Michael Frew (architect), and Katt Price (engineer) served on a panel to share their thoughts and answer hard-to-ask questions related to company culture, pay, and the workforce. A hot discussion topic arose from the panel discussions: Entitlement. While the word is often associated with millennials, perhaps the industry is looking at this from the wrong perspective. As panel moderator Mitch Bloomquist related, his grandparents were thrilled when they first bought a car that provided air conditioning, but now air conditioning in a car is a fair expectation. If pay is today’s air conditioning, do you have the right company culture in place to recruit and retain young talent? What sets your company apart from the rest of the industry?

The 2021 convention in St. Louis offered TILT the opportunity to share its imprint on the TCA community. During 2020 and 2021, TILT focused on expanding and modernizing the TCA’s website and virtual platforms to promote a welcoming atmosphere for today’s emerging leaders. Building this strong foundation where information, ideas, and solutions are easily accessed and shared enables the next generation of motivated individuals to make an immediate and lasting impact on the industry. Just think of what we will accomplish as we move forward together!

Next steps: Encourage your emerging industry leaders to get involved! Watch for news related to the anticipated mentoring program and requests for tilt-up detailing. Pose your questions on the new virtual Cyber Hotline. Share your tilt-up expertise, photos, and videos on social media, and hashtag the TCA! TILT is also live and active on Slack. 

If you or someone you know would like to join the fray, reach out to any TILT board member or Mitch Bloomquist, and we will take it from 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.