The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute is launching a new campaign targeting young adults to consider hardscaping as a career path.
“The hardscape industry offers a well-paying career with many possible career paths,” Charles McGrath, ICPI executive director, said in a statement. “Our goal is to raise awareness about our industry and to encourage young people to consider hardscaping as a career.”
The campaign will be led by Halstead Media Group, a New York-based marketing firm serving the design-build industry. It will direct the campaign on ICPI’s behalf.
“ICPI’s partnership with Halstead is a natural fit—one that will ultimately help our members to find and hire new workers into this growing industry,” McGrath said.
ICPI’s “2019 Industry Sales Profile” found U.S. sales of permeable interlocking concrete pavement and concrete paving slabs increased by 4% and 5%, respectively, between 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, sales of interlocking concrete pavers fell slightly over the same period—0.6%.
Slabs are suitable for residential construction, and Kendall Anderegg, ICPI chair, attributed the increase to “demand for more restful, stone-like paving patterns that enhance residential projects.”
While sales for interlocking concrete products increased in 2018, the report posited the low levels are due in part to the labor shortage, as well as inclement weather and increases in shipping costs.
“While ICPI continues emphasizing programs in support of member sales, we are becoming the catalyst in meeting the workforce shortage,” said Anderegg. “Three of every four contractors who have participated in recent studies by ICPI have indicated that their top business obstacle is recruiting and retaining qualified employees. In response, we’ve created a multifaceted program to attract young people into the installation/contracting business and teach them the skills they need to succeed in installation and hopefully manage a contracting business someday.”
Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.