ICPI Installer Career Path Lays the Foundation for Industry Training and Certification

    By Merry Beth Hall, ICPI Director of Education and Workforce Development

    The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) has begun an industry workforce development effort to recruit, train and retain talented young people into the hardscape installation and construction business. One of the programs developed to address the issue is the ICPI Beginner Boot Camp Course. The Beginner Boot Camp is the first of four steps on the Hardscape Installer/Contractor Career Path.

    Step 1: Beginner – Attend a Beginner Boot Camp
    Beginner Boot Camps, which are sponsored by ICPI member companies, consist of one day of hands-on installation training and one day of classroom training. The goal is to provide beginning installers with the knowledge and skills they need to start a career in hardscape installation.

    Step 2: Certified – ICPI Certified Concrete Paver Installer
    The ICPI Certified Concrete Paver Installer credential is the recognized certification for the industry. Individuals can earn ICPI certification in two ways: (1) pass an in-person ICPI Concrete Paver Installer Course sponsored by an ICPI member or approved affiliate organization in his/her area, or (2) attend a post-secondary school that teaches ICPI-approved curriculum. In addition to the education courses, the candidate must gain and document a total of 10,000 square feet of paver installation experience in at least five projects.  Michigan State University has already implemented ICPI content into its existing curriculum. Students who pass the MSU course will be able to gain certification once they have completed and submitted their installation experience.

    Step 3: Specialist – ICPI Installer Specialist Designations
    Once an individual become a Certified Concrete Paver Installer, he/she can become a Specialist in one or more of the following installation fields: residential, commercial, and/or permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP). To earn the Specialist designation, he/she must attend and pass a specialist course and document 50,000 square feet of installation experience in at least ten projects in the corresponding specialty area. The Residential Specialist classes are offered in-person and online on ICPI’s new Hardscape Institute learning management system.  The Commercial Specialist course will be available on the Hardscape Institute starting this summer.

    Step 4: Professional Designations
    Beginning in Spring 2020, individuals can take residential and/or commercial Professional business courses. These courses will provide participants with the business knowledge they need to manage a hardscape contracting company. Topics will include managing employees, proven business practices, design and estimating, contract development, and marketing. To earn the Professional designation, participants must first become an ICPI Certified Concrete Paver Installer and Specialist.

    Get New Installers Started Off on the Right Foot: Host an ICPI Beginner Boot Camp!
    The Beginner Boot Camp curriculum is now available for ICPI members, affiliated ICPI Chapters, government agencies, municipalities, educational institutions, and ICPI-approved nonprofit organizations to implement. ICPI has launched instructor and sponsor trainings in a series of three one-hour webinars. Individuals interested in teaching Beginner Boot Camps are required to be active ICPI Certified Concrete Paver Installers and complete the webinar training series:

    “Trying to find and hire people is tough in any industry with today’s economy,” explained ICPI Member and Boot Camp Instructor Frank Gandora of Creative Hardscape Company of Lakewood, CO.  “The ICPI Boot Camp gives contractors the resources and tools necessary to effectively promote, recruit and train those individuals who didn’t know that the hardscape industry was a choice.”

    ICPI Members and approved industry organizations are now able to host Beginner Boot Camp events. Companies must enlist an approved Beginner Boot Camp instructor. Additionally, companies must review the guidelines for sponsoring an ICPI Beginner Boot Camp Course and sign up to sponsor an ICPI Beginner Boot Camp event.

    For more information, including a list of approved ICPI Beginner Boot Camp instructors, where to purchase Beginner Boot Camp Student Manuals, a list of Beginner Boot Camp materials, marketing materials and how to become an instructor, please visit the ICPI Beginner Boot Camp webpage. Please contact ICPI at (703) 657-6900 with any additional questions.