The Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association (PACA) continues to schedule additional classes for these certification programs. Information on these programs can be found at https://www.pacaweb.org/certification-exams.
Certified Concrete Finishers Course
Pennsylvania and other states are finding that details within the concrete finishing process can be as important as the physical concrete itself in influencing product quality and longevity. The goal of the Certified Concrete Finishers Course is to help eliminate mistakes with concrete finishing, including the occurrence of scaling on state and local projects. Rework due to concrete scaling can be expensive to all stakeholders and can create a stigma of poor-quality work.
To further support muncipalities in Pennsylvania, a new Class S Sidewalk Concrete Mix Specification went into effect in 2023, along with improvements to the construction methods noted in Section 676 of PennDOT Publication 408. Pennsylvania’s municipalities are most often the specifier, and many times the owner of sidewalks placed in commercial and residential developments across the commonwealth. Ensuring these are built in accordance with a specification that provides for their maximum service life will be beneficial to everyone.
How Does It Work?
All PennDOT and consultant inspectors and concrete finishers receive training to better understand the mechanisms that cause scaling, so they can better identify it and monitor field practices. Concrete finishers who complete the course, consisting of classroom and hands-on training, will receive formal certification. A training video is planned for contractors to demonstrate how to identify and monitor field practices to improve quality.
What Are The Benefits?
By certifying concrete finishers and training inspectors, the Certified Concrete Finishers Course will help increase quality and longevity of finished concrete. The main benefits of this innovation include providing a basic standard in which finishers are trained and certified, which can lead to longer product lifespan, savings in time and money on costly repairs and rework, and the ability to have new and existing staff trained in the proper finishing techniques.
Innovation in Motion
A pilot class was held in June 2019. The single day training included a half day of classroom instruction and a half day of hands-on training, where attendees practiced finishing techniques on square slabs of concrete. Following the pilot, classes were conducted during several PennDOT District Winter Schools.
In April 2022, PennDOT adopted a specification change to include the certification requirement on all PennDOT projects. With this change, contractors are required to ensure that 60 percent of their crews are certified to meet the specification.
Training and certification is being performed by the
Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association, the
Pittsburgh Chapter of American Concrete Institute (ACI), and the
Eastern PA Delaware Chapter of ACI.
For more information about this innovation, contact the
STIC Management Team.