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  • Writer's pictureAmy Numbers

Developing Concrete’s Future Leaders

Degree program provides skills necessary for successful careers in concrete

The U.S. construction spending reached $8.2 trillion in 2022, according to Statista. With a 4.7% compound annual growth rate projected between 2021 and 2025, economists expect the market to remain strong. Demand for construction is high and expected to continue to rise. With a growing population and increasing GDP, the United States needs more housing, medical and educational facilities. Further, there is more demand than ever for warehouses and storage facilities due to increased consumer spending. These factors and more result in the need for additional transportation systems and updates to current infrastructure—a market expanding rapidly due to the Infrastructure and Jobs Act. Additionally, the country is in the midst of an energy transition where more sustainable facilities are being built to generate, transmit and distribute energy.

What does all this growth have in common? A heavy reliance on concrete. Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world. In addition to skilled trade worker shortage, there are simply not enough people to fill the management roles needed to manage concrete production, operations, and construction. To meet this demand, employers and industry stakeholders have had to get creative to bridge the talent shortage. They’ve needed to find innovative ways to recruit people to the industry, while retaining those in the industry by providing exciting career paths, meaningful work and attractive compensation packages.

AOE has served the design and construction industry for more than two decades and one common theme during this tenure is the need for talent. To this end, we want to share an update on a program we are very proud to have served for more than 16 years – the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program. CIM provides a clear pathway for people to enter the concrete construction industry. The four-year business degree in concrete management is offered at five schools throughout the country: California State University, Chico., Middle Tennessee State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, South Dakota State University, and Texas State University. In contrast to many construction management programs around the country, CIM is a business-intensive program that provides students with concrete-specific management skills. Students learn the fundamentals of concrete, properties and testing, concrete construction and more, as well as general topics like finance, marketing, management, and business law that can be applied to any industry.

The CIM program exposes students to the latest in concrete and construction technology, and students take part in coordinated research activities that can have lasting effects on the industry. Students in the CIM program gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the concrete industry, its production techniques and construction applications through typical classroom-style learning. Innovation and technology also are central parts of the program.

AOE is proud to have served CIM for almost two decades and witnessed the growth of the program and the impact on our industry. We encourage you to support CIM today! Find out more about the CIM program by visiting their website at


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