Farmington Hills, Mich. — In conjunction with the Women in Concrete Alliance (WICA), the American Concrete Institute (ACI) will host a Workforce Innovation Summit at the upcoming Concrete Convention and Exposition in Detroit on Wed., March 29.

Addressing the question, “Do we have the right labor force for the jobs that will exist in 10 years?” attendees will learn about an effective diversity strategy – what is working and what is hurting progress. The session will provide attendees with an understanding of actions that can be taken to drive progress in organizations.

In addition to a keynote session as well as roundtable forums led by Pam Jeffords, a partner at Mercer and a global expert on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the morning will include commentary and insight from industry leaders related to key issues facing the concrete industry including:

  • Research update on the status of the industry
  • Talent acquisition and workforce retention
  • Opportunities for women
  • The future labor force
  • Generational differences

The session will also include an update from Sefla Naomi Fuhrman on her recent doctoral research focused on women in nontraditional occupations, specifically the concrete-construction industry. She will share why women’s participation remains low, discuss tactics to address the shortage, as well as examples of support for women.

Registration is required for this free event, organized by WICA and sponsored by ACI and Baker Concrete Construction. Use the promo code WICA. The event is designed for all levels of the concrete industry and both men and women are encouraged to attend as strategies to drive innovation, revenue and profit are for everyone.

“Building on the success of similar gatherings in South America, the Women in Concrete Alliance Steering Committee is excited to be able to host an event for the concrete industry that shares insight on today’s changing workforce,” said Kimberly Kayler, WICA co-founder and ACI Board of Direction member. “Through the sponsorship of the American Concrete Institute and Baker Concrete Construction, we have been able to assemble leading-edge speakers that will not only educate but provide practical guidance on how to thrive in today’s global workplace environment.”

Kayler and Anne Ellis, ACI Past President, presented at the Women in Concrete Forum, held in conjunction with the 10th annual International Concrete Sustainability Conference on May 11, 2015, in Miami. Kayler also presented at the Women in Concrete Alliance Forum, held in conjunction with Reunion del Concreto 2016, held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and Ellis spoke at the event in 2014. Manuel Lascarro of Asocreto spearheaded these events and will be a speaker in Detroit as well. Kayler and Ellis are both members of the WICA steering committee.

“Events organized by the Women in Concrete Alliance provide great access to industry visionaries, trailblazers and emerging leaders with fresh and impactful solutions to client and industry challenges,” stated Ellis. “The Detroit Workforce Innovation Summit provides a unique opportunity to apply the ACI brainpower and amazing problem-solving skills to a paramount concrete industry challenge: attracting and retaining people.  As we tackle this immediate problem, we are faced with an equally perplexing problem: finding people and developing those skills that will be in demand in the concrete industry in 5 to 10 years. It will be insightful to learn from our colleagues what those skills may be in academia, design and construction.”

The Women in Concrete Alliance is a networking organization for women in the concrete industry, that focuses on increasing the percentage of women in the concrete industry, encourages opportunities for women in leadership, fosters organizations that embrace diversity, and challenges the concrete industry to mentor and sponsor women.

For more information on the Women in Concrete Alliance, e-mail info@womeninconcrete.org, or go to www.womeninconcretealliance.org.

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