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Tennessee Concrete Conversations

Tennessee Concrete Conversations

By Tennessee Concrete Association

Tennessee Concrete Conversations is a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. It is hosted by Alan Sparkman, executive director for the Tennessee Concrete Association.

Learn more at www.tnconcrete.org/
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The Intersection Between Workforce, Technology and Sustainability

Tennessee Concrete Conversations

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Workforce development + transportation: an inside look
Workforce development + transportation: an inside look
On this episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, host Alan Sparkman is joined by Kent Starwalt, Executive Vice President of the TN Road Builders Association. Kent is a longtime ally and partner of TCA, and shares his valuable insights on workforce development and Tennessee’s new infrastructure program, making this an extremely timely episode. Alan and Kent begin by discussing the Be Pro Be Proud program, which allows students to engage with trades through hands-on experiences, educational opportunities and construction equipment demonstrations. Together, they explain how his program helps workforce development, and allows organizations like TCA and TN Road Builders Association to connect with and educate younger demographics. Then, they discuss the Governor’s new infrastructure program, which aims to support urban areas by addressing traffic congestion and transportation issues. Further, they share their thoughts on the relationship between this new program and the construction and concrete industries. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
20:18
December 12, 2022
The Spotlight on Concrete and the Drive to Reduce Carbon Emissions
The Spotlight on Concrete and the Drive to Reduce Carbon Emissions
On this episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, host Alan Sparkman is joined by Walter Flood IV – Assistant Engineer for Flood Testing Labs, Inc. The two spoke live at the recent ACI Convention in Dallas, TX. Walt is the fourth generation to take part in the Flood Testing Labs family business in Chicago founded by his great-grandfather in 1913. Very active in the American Concrete Institute, Walt was the longtime chair of student activities. He recently rotated off the board and is now the chair of the chapter activities committee. He also is an active member of ASTM, serving as subcommittee chair for pervious committee. Alan and Walt discuss top challenges facing the concrete industry over the next five years including predictability and availability of materials. They also talk about the recent changes with 1L cement, the speed at which that happened and how to approach it. Finally, they take a deep dive into sustainability, the push to carbon neutral and the spotlight on concrete when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
20:54
October 31, 2022
The Competitive Edge of Concrete Pavements & Parking Lots
The Competitive Edge of Concrete Pavements & Parking Lots
On this episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, host Alan Sparkman is joined by Amanda Hult – Senior Director of Local Paving for NRMCA. Hult brings her more than 11 years of experience with NRMCA to the podcast, discussing the benefits of using concrete pavements to improve everything from local temperatures to safety and accessibility. Together, Alan and Amanda begin by walking through the design and competitive marketing side of concrete. They share the many opportunities that concrete brings for producers and contractors, like energy conservation and market growth. Amanda brings in her own lens and perspective when discussing the safety benefits of using concrete. She goes on to explain how concrete’s light reflective qualities can help people feel safer at night when walking around or going somewhere alone. This episode is packed full of helpful information to help anyone in the concrete industry know how to better market concrete paving, and discuss its many benefits to prospect clients. Have questions for Amanda? You can reach her here: ahult@nrmca.org ‭(720) 648-0323‬ Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
17:40
October 10, 2022
The Intersection Between Workforce, Technology and Sustainability
The Intersection Between Workforce, Technology and Sustainability
On this episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, TCA Executive Director Alan Sparkman is joined by Wes Blalock– General Manager at Blalock Ready Mix. Wes manages ready mix, building materials and logistics, and joins the podcast to share his insights on the industry. The two begin by discussing workforce issues within the concrete industry. Wes shares the need for more drivers, and how the number of residents versus visitors in his county creates a unique infrastructure situation for companies like Blalock. Together, they express the difficulties that come along with navigating the tourism industry, and solving the labor puzzle. Next, they discuss cross training, and how technology can be used to make jobs in the concrete industry not only easier, but more appealing too. From concrete testing to customer data, the two talk about how technology is transforming the industry. Lastly, Alan and Wes touch on sustainability, and how new rules surrounding it can impact everything from quality control to driver training. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
20:51
September 26, 2022
An Inside Look at TCA & the Benefits of Working in Concrete
An Inside Look at TCA & the Benefits of Working in Concrete
On this episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, TCA Executive Director Alan Sparkman is joined by Sam Pittenger– current TCA President and General Manager of Harrison Construction based in Knoxville, TN. Sam is a longtime member of TCA, and has decades of experience in the concrete industry. Pittenger shares his story in the concrete industry, and describes the impact that TCA has had on his career. He discusses the stability that this industry offers him, and explains that the people are one of the reasons he’s stayed in concrete for so long. Then, the two discuss workforce recruitment and retention, as well as the obstacle that retirement plays in this issue. Then, they talk about work-life balance in concrete, why more people are needed in concrete and how TCA can act as a resource for people looking to get into the industry. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
17:45
September 10, 2022
Environmental Product Declarations – Why They Matter & What You Can Do
Environmental Product Declarations – Why They Matter & What You Can Do
On this episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, TCA Executive Director Alan Sparkman is joined by William Paddock– Co-founder & Managing Director of WAP Sustainability. As one of the largest life cycle assessment groups in the U.S., WAP Sustainability is an expert in carbon footprint measuring and all things EPD. Together, the two discuss the history and evolution of life cycle assessments, and highlight legislations surrounding this topic that have impacted the concrete industry and concrete projects. William shares insights on how these assessments and measurements can be used to make decisions for federal projects, and how concrete plays a factor in this whole process. They express the new power that these legislative pieces have over construction, and how industry leaders can navigate this change. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
21:33
August 29, 2022
Bringing an Economic Lens to the Construction Conversation
Bringing an Economic Lens to the Construction Conversation
On our latest episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, host Alan Sparkman, executive director of the Tennessee Concrete Association, is joined by Kathryn Thompson, founding partner and CEO of Thompson Research Group– an equity research and advisory firm focused on the construction industry. Kathryn shares her insights and expertise on how the construction industry, and specifically the concrete industry, have been impacted by inflation, and what’s in store for the industry throughout the rest of 2022. Both Alan and Kathryn discuss raw material and energy prices, and what these numbers mean for Tennessee. Kathryn brings industry trends and rates to the discussion, like an increase in renovations rather than new construction, to provide context and perspective on the situation. Throughout this episode, both experts hypothesize and explore how exactly these economic factors will impact everyone in the construction industry, and how industry leaders can navigate these changes. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
16:53
August 15, 2022
Updates, Insights and Opportunities for the Concrete Industry
Updates, Insights and Opportunities for the Concrete Industry
On the latest episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, Tennessee Concrete Association Executive Director Alan Sparkman provides updates and insights about the concrete industry. Alan runs through everything from housing market statistics to concrete supply chain dynamics so you can stay in the know. He shares some big news for TCA, and recaps the recent Tristate Summer Meeting that took place a few weeks ago. Sparkman looks at stats surrounding the economy and Tennessee housing market to discuss what the next few months could look like for the industry. He goes on to consider how ICFs can address lumbar costs, and opportunities for the concrete industry to step in. Listen now, and make sure to follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
13:56
July 26, 2022
Addressing Workforce Challenges in the Concrete Industry
Addressing Workforce Challenges in the Concrete Industry
On the latest episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, host Alan Sparkman executive director of the Tennessee Concrete Association is joined by guest Dr. Heather Brown, VP of quality control for Irving Materials Inc. Dr. Brown brings a unique perspective to this conversation having spent 20 years teaching in the Concrete Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee State University. The two longtime industry experts discuss workforce challenges facing the concrete industry today. Dr. Brown talks about students today looking for a quicker entry into the job-force and the need for the concrete industry to show them that way. She also shares her insights on solutions that can benefit the industry including improving outreach to young people who may be interested in working in the industry and getting better at telling both the story of the industry and of the opportunities available for advancement and development for employees. Subscribe today so you never miss out on future episodes. Follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
13:45
July 11, 2022
What's ahead for the construction industry?
What's ahead for the construction industry?
On the inaugural episode of Tennessee Concrete Conversations, host Alan Sparkman, executive director of the Tennessee Concrete Association, provides an overview of the storm clouds on the horizon for the construction industry: inflation, interest rates and supply chain. He shares his insights on how serious that may be and what we can expect in Tennessee specifically.  Subscribe today so you never miss out on future episodes. Follow along for a podcast about all things concrete with a focus on the great state of Tennessee. Twitter: @tnconcrete LinkedIn: @tennesseeconcreteassociation  Facebook: @tnconcrete Instagram: @TennesseeConcreteAssociation
10:37
June 27, 2022