The NPCA professional staff works to expand the use of quality precast concrete products in many ways. To keep you informed of these ongoing efforts, we created the Working For You page at precast.org/working-for-you.
This recap provides a year-in-review of professional staff activities throughout 2020. Visit the Working For You page to read the full stories or to learn more.
Certification and Specifications
Chris Frederick, director of certification and regulatory services, continues to promote precast and NPCA Plant Certification to federal agencies, state departments of transportation, cities and counties. In 2020, plant certification earned recognition in state specifications for Alaska, Montana and Arizona, and in city specifications for Green Bay, Wis. These efforts to promote precast specifications and NPCA Plant Certification result in more jobs and project bids for NPCA members.
NPCA encourages members to get involved with the association’s committees, such as Quality Assurance/Quality Control, to help steer the plant certification program and push the needle in favor of quality precast products. On the Working For You page, you can also view a map of current state, city, municipal, county and other specifying entity requirements. Contact Chris Frederick via email at [email protected] or call (800) 366-7731 with questions pertaining to specification of NPCA Plant Certification.
Targeted advertisements have resulted in more than 200,000 visits to precast.org in 2020. NPCA’s efforts on Facebook and Facebook and Twitter have netted more than 1,150,000 impressions and resulted in 5,634 new followers.
Codes and Standards
NPCA professional staff members have attended or participated in conference calls for more than 75 meetings, as they actively represent the precast concrete industry on 40 groups, committees and task forces.
Specifier and Academic Outreach
With restrictions on travel beginning in March 2020, many organizations began to offer webinars in place of in-person education. NPCA was no different in 2020 but managed to conduct 45 presentations (both in-person and virtually) to 5,339 specifiers and students across the country this year.
NPCA trained 4,835 specifiers via 33 presentations offered at both in-person and virtual specifier events, including the 2020 Specifier Webinar Series.
NPCA professional staff offered 17 in-person presentations to 1,524 specifiers from January to mid-March prior to shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outreach program switched gears in May and began offering virtual education to specifiers for the remainder of 2020.
The four installments of NPCA’s 2020 Specifier Webinar Series kicked off in May and covered topics in jointed precast concrete pavement, stormwater, infrastructure and microbially induced corrosion. This was a record-breaking year for specifier webinar attendance, which collectively led to 2,063 specifiers trained – a 162% increase from 2019 attendance. The table below illustrates a steady yearly increase in registrations and attendance for specifier webinars from 2016 to 2020.
NPCA professional staff trained 504 civil engineering, construction management and concrete industry management students within the first three months of the spring semester and throughout the fall semester in 2020. As colleges and universities across the nation moved to remote instruction for the fall, so did the outreach program’s strategy for reaching this audience. Offering virtual guest lectures to students and faculty allowed NPCA to continue developing relationships with programs at Purdue University, California State University Chico, and Oregon State University, while also leading to new ties with Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.
Free year of professional membership offered to graduating students
NPCA began offering a free year of Professional Membership to graduating Student Members in spring 2020. Since then, NPCA has converted 9 Student Memberships to Professional Memberships. This added benefit is aimed at keeping students entering the workforce engaged with NPCA as they embark on careers in the construction, manufacturing or specifying industries.
Precast Days 2020
More than 30 plants across the U.S. participated in Precast Days 2020. COVID-19 restrictions caused many plants to shift to a virtual format, and NPCA provided webinar-based programming and virtual plant tours for all plants. The virtual Precast Days events and in-person events collectively brought in 693 registrations and more than 460 attendees to the live sessions and events.
This year has brought many challenges and caused nearly every business to pivot – sometimes more than once. NPCA is no exception. Yet, despite the changes, it has been a very successful year and these same efforts will be carried into 2021 until we are able to resume in-person outreach efforts.
For more information on NPCA’s outreach efforts, contact Ashley Benson at [email protected] or (800) 366-7731.