These techy times

I recently visited with a contractor who mentioned something to me that I hear from just about every concrete contractor I talk to -- one of his challenges is finding employees. He attributes a lot of that to school systems and their lack of providing alternatives to college. He goes on to say, "Construction is always looked at as a dirty job, but today with robotics, computers and modern equipment, jobs require less physical labor and more technical skills and an employee's use of their intelligence." I grew up in the time of computers -- all my journalism professors expected me to email them assignments and I typed all my college papers on computers. But it's very interesting to me to hear stories from people who were in the newspaper and magazine industry 30years ago, even though the idea of typing a 20-page paper on a typewriter sounds like a nightmare. I'm also interested in hearing from you about how technology has changed the concrete business since you first entered it. What products, techniques and equipment have made your job easier? What concrete-related nightmares do you tell the younger workers on your crew? Do you think technology has allowed concrete contractors to produce a better product?