Expedited by the Board of Directors, ICPI has launched a workforce development program in response to wide-spread contractor needs for new and better skilled employees. It includes a new Hardscape Installer/Contractor Career Path, in partnership with the National Concrete Masonry Association, that aligns the two groups’ certifications and education courses in a clear, achievable process for those entering the industry.
“We are all aware of the labor shortage in construction, and especially in our industry,” says ICPI Chair Kendall Anderegg (Mutual Materials), noting how four of every five participating contractors in the 2018 ICPI Contractor Industry Report said that their top challenge was recruiting and hiring skilled employees. “In response, the ICPI Board created a Workforce Development Special Committee in 2017. Participating members and staff have spent the last few months developing a strategy and plan that includes a Career Path, a Boot Camp training program, installer curriculum development and deployment in postsecondary schools and online, and promotion of hardscape construction careers.”
“The Hardscape Contractor Career Path provides a roadmap for installers to have a very rewarding career,” adds David Pitre, chair of the NCMA SRW and Hardscape Committee. “Many contractors install both segmental retaining walls and pavers so the joint program between NCMA and ICPI will benefit installers and give them the tools, resources and certifications necessary to become successful hardscape professionals.”
Scheduled for a winter kickoff, the ICPI Boot Camp is an entry-level course, which includes one day of hands-on installation training and one day of classroom instruction. Content will include paver project overview/planning, documentation, tools and terminology; safety; soil characteristics; sub-base preparation and base construction process; edge restraints and construction details; bedding sand; concrete paver specs and installation methods; joint sand; cutting/splitting and compaction; and, finishing the project.
An updated list of Boot Camp offerings will be maintained on ICPI’s website, www.icpi.org/educate.