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This edition of RMCREF Spotlight features the recruitment, education and training programs supported by the RMC Research & Education Foundation.
In 2007, the Board of Trustees for the RMC Research Foundation decided it was important to add “Education” to the Foundation’s name to ensure that donors understood that educational programs were equally important as research. Since that time, we have expanded the scope of that element to include not only education but recruitment and training as well.
The most recent of the Foundation-funded educational offerings, released this spring, is a respiratory protection video to help ready mixed concrete producers meet new silica requirements recently-released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The video, available from the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, also addresses other elements of building a strong respiratory protection program for all employees.
One of the greatest and most persistent challenges faced by the ready mixed concrete industry is the struggle to find, hire and train new drivers. To meet this significant need, the Foundation funded the development of a series of recruitment and onboarding tools, including a nine-minute video, a two-and-a-half-minute video, a 30 second video snippet and two sample radio ads – a 30 second version and a 60 second version. All of these resources are available for free on the Foundation’s website and on our YouTube page. Released over two years ago, the main video on our YouTube page still averages over 1,000 views per month.
Equally important as finding new drivers is training them. The Foundation partnered with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association to develop a series of online safety training lessons. What make these lessons unique are their 24/7 accessibility and the automatic proof of training that is generated once a viewer passes the related quiz. The series includes nine titles currently with another two planned for development this year. More information may be found on NRMCA’s Safety Series page.
The educational component of the Foundation’s work also supports learning more about areas where the concrete industry can improve and expand. The development of guides to increase the knowledge base of those who may not be familiar with how concrete may help meet a need is an important element of the Foundation’s work. With the development of the Guide to Concrete Overlays of Asphalt Parking Lots, the Foundation, in partnership with the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center) provided an easy-to-understand guide to help identify the best project candidates for a concrete overlay and how they can be achieved. The Foundation is looking forward to the release of our next collaboration with the CP Tech Center, the Guide to Concrete Trails, expected for release in summer 2019. Recreational paths are becoming more popular in communities all over the country and the concrete industry has a huge opportunity to help meet those communities’ needs with a long-lasting, sustainable choice in using concrete for those projects.
Support of the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program is a cornerstone of the Foundation’s educational platform. Since 2001, the Foundation has provided $925,000 in funding to the CIM National Steering Committee, while also participating in governance and administration of the program as well. The more than a thousand graduates of the program have had a profound impact on the concrete industry and the Foundation is proud to be a strong supporter of CIM.
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