Take advantage of industry training

I recently attended a two-day seminar on exterior decorative staining applications. Being a relatively new editor to Concrete Contractor, this was the first decorative training event of this sort that I have attended. I was impressed by the amount information instructor Jim Nielsen packed into the event, not only demonstrating stamping, staining, sealing, saw cutting and offering insightful tips, but also giving everyone who attended a chance to try all of these techniques. I know that training sessions like this happen all over the country for all types of decorative concrete techniques, and that's great for the industry -- knowledge is power, and the decorative industry is lucky to have so many knowledgeable leaders willing to share their knowledge. If you're looking to break into the decorative concrete industry, or if you're currently doing decorative work but want to learn a new technique, there are plenty of training opportunities for you to take advantage of all over the country. Visit your manufacturers' websites, talk to you decorative suppliers or flip through the pages of industry magazines for information about upcoming training sessions you can take advantage of.  The event I attended was sponsored by L.M. Scofield and held at their supplier in the area, Schmitz Ready Mix in Milwaukee, Wis. Approximately 40 people attended the event, all from the Milwaukee area. Many attendees were competitors in the concrete business world, but everyone worked together on group samples  during coffee and lunch breaks. If you're interested in training, there are also opportunities for you to bring a trainer into your company for private, focused training for all your employees. There are also opportunities that allow you to travel to a training center, stay overnight a few days and explore a new city! Whatever kind of training works for you, take advantage of it. As the decorative industry becomes more educated and the level of quality continues to rise, decorative concrete will become more and more popular with consumers and the industry will continue to grow stronger!