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Demolition Workforce Development: One Essential Way NDA Serves its Members

Association executives and NDA members are helping educate young people about the wide variety career opportunities that await them in the demolition industry

By: Rick Givan

During the years I've been a member of the National Demolition Association, I've seen an industry that has undergone an evolution. I've seen the increased professionalism of our industry leaders, a variety of new technological advances, a more intense focus on jobsite safety, and interestingly, a change in the way young people view our industry.

Young people who express a desire to enter our industry today say they do so because they like the work we do as environmental stewards.They see us recycling up to 100% of the materials we demolish, cleaning up contaminated sites, and contributing to a greener world. They used to be impressed by wrecking buildings; today they appreciate our dedication towards recycling and reuse.

My journey to becoming a member of the NDA started when I worked for LVI, a large provider of environmental remediation and facility services. When I joined my current employer, Fiore & Sons, I took over responsibility for the company's NDA involvement because of my prior experience serving on the NDA Board of Directors while at LVI.Today I remain on the Board and I am also deeply involved in our Education Committee.

This work as an NDA volunteer brings me in contact with young people from all over the country. Some are students at Purdue Universitys College of Technology where they are majoring in Building Construction Management with a concentration in Demolition and Reconstruction Management. These are young men and women who are highly focused on entering in the demolition or construction industries on the entry-level management track.

But I've also learned that there are many other young people who could be candidates for our industry. We as an industry need to focus more of our efforts towards attracting the talented young people who may not choose the four-year college degree route.There are many who are attending community colleges and trade schools that need to become more aware of the good things our industry is doing and the great careers opportunities that await them, such as foreman and demolition superintendent.

Being able to volunteer and share my knowledge with the young generation of workers is just one of the reasons why I value our membership in the NDA. Membership gives me and my company a window into the industry that we would not get otherwise. We receive current and topical news that affects our business and keeps us up to date with future trends. We meet our competitors at NDA functions, but there we all put that competition aside and help each other become more knowledgeable and better operators. After all, we all want a safe and healthy industry.

I encourage fellow NDA members to take full advantage of the networking and training opportunities the NDA has to offer. At our Annual Convention, for example, we are exposed to the latest and greatest equipment available today and we can see it all at one time, in one place. Our speakers bring great messages that enable us to run more profitable businesses, as well.

As regulatory changes come down the pike, we are counting on the NDA to continue its advocacy on our behalf with representation with lawmakers and key regulators. We also need to continue to stay current with best practices in every aspect of our industry. To me, NDA membership has become an invaluable part of my company's success.

About the author: Rick Givan is Manager, Special Projects, for Fiore & Sons, a site work construction contractor based in Denver, CO. The website is


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