Toronto, Canada – The segmental concrete paver industry is thriving in the U.S. and Canada, however it must overcome a qualified labor shortage and be prepared to fulfill the growing demand for segment concrete pavement systems, according to Matt Lynch, Board Chair of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).
During his State of the Institute remarks at the 2017 ICPI Summer Meeting, Lynch informed members that the recently released 2017 ICPI Industry Sales Profile showed sales of concrete pavers in the U.S. and Canada reached a post-recession high of 721.4 million square feet in 2016. The same study reported sales of permeable interlocking concrete pavers soared 20.2% in the U.S. during 2016, while paving slab sales increased 9.6% in the U.S. and Canada during the same period.
Lynch then said, three of every four contractors who participated in the 2017 ICPI Contractor Industry Report survey indicated that one of the greatest challenges confronting them was recruiting/hiring quality employees, particularly installers.
To help the industry address both challenges, ICPI is taking a leadership role in developing specific programs for paver producers, materials suppliers, contractors, and designers, according to Lynch.
“ICPI now provides contractor webinars, video education offerings, and installer courses designed to help develop qualified employees,” he said. “During the last 12 months, ICPI member paver producers and dealers have sponsored 94 installer courses in the U.S. and Canada for more than 1,700 participants. This summer and fall, course sponsorships and registration are strong again.”
The ICPI Board Chair also said the Institute’s “Education Committee has created an education road map that identifies new education programs that support and expand on existing ones. These education programs are for installers, sales reps, design professionals, academics, students, and project owners.”
In addition, ICPI is working diligently to help establish product standards and installation/maintenance best practices for permeable interlocking concrete pavement and slabs, according to Lynch. He said ICPI:
- Released Tech Spec 18: Construction of Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement Systems and Tech Spec 23: Maintenance Guide for Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavements
- Is currently creating Tech Spec 24: Structure Design of Segmental Concrete Paving Slab and Plank Pavement Systems and Tech Spec 25: Construction Guidelines for Segmental Concrete Paving Slabs and Planks
- Participates in developing product and design standards published by ASTM, CSA, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
- Developed permeable and slab information resources on its website (www.icpi.org) for industry professionals and designers, as well as residential and commercial customers