NCMA, ICPI helps hardscape installers, contractors further their career

In an effort to further the careers of new professionals in the hardscape installer and contractor paths, the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), have developed a workforce development program with a goal to not only assist these promising individuals but also boost available hardscape contractor workforce. Lack of qualified installers is often cited by contractors as their greatest challenge in running a successful and prosperous SRW business.

The track, known as the Hardscape Contractor/Installer Career Path, encompasses both the concrete paver industry as well as the segmental retaining wall (SRW) industry.

The plan and partnership was first announced in 2018, at the Hardscape North America trade show (HNA) in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We are creating a program to attract young people in the installation/contracting business and teach them the skills they need to succeed in installation and eventually manage a contracting business,” said Kendall Anderegg, ICPI Chair.

“The Hardscape Contractor Career Path provides a roadmap for hardscape installers to have a very rewarding career”, says 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.”

The steps of the path are as follows:

Step 1: Boot Camp

One day of hands-on installation training in addition to one day in the classroom. This course will provide everything needed to land a job and start a new career in the hardscape industry. Content covered includes tools and terminology, soil characteristics, safety, edge restraints and construction details, cutting/splitting and compaction and so much more. To get more information, or to sign up, click here.

Step 2: Certification

Installers can earn certification for either segmental retaining wall or concrete paver installation by passing an in-person course and documenting requisite installation experience on specific number of projects. NCMA offeres SRW installer courses, and ICPI offers their certification for paver installers. Details to get certified for either program are online: ICPI here, and NCMA here .

Step 3: Advanced

Once one attains basic SRW or paver certification, the next step is to demonstrate advanced installation knowledge through additional certifications. NCMA offers advanced Residential as well as Commercial Installer programs, consisting of a certification exam and additional installation experience. Information on NCMA Advanced Certifications can be found here .

ICPI overs Specialist Certifications, covering Residential, Commercial, and Permeable Pavement applications. Requirements for certification are similar. More information on ICPI Specialist courses can be found here.

Marketing and promotion

Additionally, to foster the growth of the path, and encourage people to learn more about becoming an installer or contractor, both associations are launching a grassroots marketing campaign through the United States and Canada. The effort will include video, digital and print media catered to the young audience of potential new additions to the industry as well as versions that will inform educators and parents.

These materials will be disseminated at job fairs, nonprofit organizations and other venues and outlets.

To find additional information on other NCMA EDU courses, online or in-person — SRW, concrete masonry, manufactured stone veneer and more, click here .

Published February 24, 2019
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