Custom Concrete Founder Joe Carr at Open Doors Project

Skilled Trade Jobs

Let’s Talk Skilled Trade Jobs, the Skills Gap and Myths

Today’s installment is indeed about a hot topic – myths around skilled trade jobs. It’s a subject I’m passionate about.

I strongly believe that attending a four-year college isn’t the only path to success for our young adults. A career in a skilled trade can be just as rewarding in terms of personal happiness and financial reward, but who’s sharing that fact with our middle school and high school students these days? Not many are, and often not even guidance counselors or parents. The next generation of workers’ career path hinges on the advice they receive or don’t receive in high school.  While Mike Rowe is doing a stand-up job, more of us could be spreading the word and opening eyes to the fact that there are more opportunities out there than 4+ years of college debt and a desk job.

“Consider the reality of today’s job market. We have a massive skills gap. Even with record unemployment, millions of skilled jobs are unfilled because no one is trained or willing to do them. Meanwhile unemployment among college graduates is at an all-time high, and the majority of those graduates with jobs are not even working in their field of study. Plus, they owe a trillion dollars in student loans. A trillion! And still, we push a four-year college degree as the best way for the most people to find a successful career?” -Mike Rowe

So why aren’t more young people picking hard hats, work boots and other skilled labor jobs?

Let’s explore five common myths around blue collar jobs:

  • Skilled labor jobs aren’t in-demand
    • The truth is that there is an ever-widening skills gap occurring in our nation because young people aren’t considering skilled labor careers. There is good work and great pay available right now with these positions, but there is no talent to fill them. It’s becoming an increasing problem nationwide. Come to think of it, we’re hiring! Check out our skilled labor openings!
  • Skilled labor jobs are less important
    • It’s become the cultural norm that if a young adult desires a good, respectable, well-paying job, the only option is to get a 4-year college degree. Skilled trade jobs are often thought of as the career track for those who might not be able to hack it in college. Different really doesn’t mean less important, now does it? Did you know nine of the current Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs are within the skilled trade industry with earning potential ranging from $38,000 to $76,000? Not too shabby!
  • Blue Collar work isn’t stimulating or creative
    • There is a false notion skilled labor is mindless and tedious work. This one makes me laugh a bit. In fact, I know of more office jobs that are more tedious and boring than a skilled concrete job. Think about a job superintendent. He’s out and about all day, seeing new sites, meeting new people, and grappling with new problems. His days are multi-faceted.
  • Skilled labor jobs are dirty
    • Have you taken a look at manufacturing lately? Clean rooms, white manufacturing areas, automation, and Big Data around every corner. You may think working your brain in a desk job sounds better than working with your brawn in a skilled labor position, but in the end every job is about working hard, no matter white collar or blue collar. Mike Rowe notes that our culture is heading down a road where an hour of a plumber’s time is going to cost more than an hour with the psychologist. Let’s help the next generation overcome their fear of dirt and sweat.
  • Young People don’t dream of being a skilled laborer
    • Most young adults have no idea what they want to be when they grow up. Telling them to follow their dreams and passions can sometimes be a mixed bag. Most retirees will tell you their success came when they found the sweet spot of what they were good at and what they chose to work hard at each and every day, not necessarily what they had dreamed of becoming. We need to think about how we guide our next generation of workers from tender ages. Are we nurturing their interests and talents and helping them explore careers where those talents might flourish? Imagine a youngster building amazing Lego structures or detailed blanket forts. Does that little boy or girl realize the love for building could translate into various careers from commercial or residential construction to an architect and everything in between? Let’s help them consider all the options available not just the ones at the end of a 4-year college stint.

For most of us, our careers will span 40-some years and 90,000 hours of our life.  My advice for today’s middle school, high school, and even elementary students is to be engaged in their search for a post-secondary career path. Explore all options. Be curious, and take advantage of trade classes, career fairs, shadowing opportunities and career workshops during your K-12 years. College may not be for everyone, but neither is sitting at a desk for 40+ years. Know your options.

Stay tuned for my next post in the Concrete Chronicles series. I’ll be exploring the skilled labor positions with the Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs more in depth.


[In the News] The Shift to Multi-Family Real Estate

The Growing Sector of Multi-Family Real Estate

Did you know multi-family real estate is one the fastest-growing sectors in the country right now? In fact, investment hit a record $43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, and multi-family units now account for more than one-third of all new housing.

Shifting lifestyles in the U.S. have sent demand for rentals through the roof. America’s rental population is expected to grow by 4.2 million people between 2015 and 2025, according to a recent Harvard study.

So why is multi-family real estate so popular now?

Top three reasons why multi-family housing is hot:

  • Demographics. The number of young adults (20-34) is rising.
  • A major change in attitudes about how we live. Many desire a walking-based urban lifestyle.
  • The real estate collapse of a few years ago left some cautious at the thought of home ownership.

Multi-Family Real Estate in Central Indiana

Moreover, did you know Indianapolis was recently called “one of the best new boom towns in the U.S.” by Forbes and an “emerging hotspot” by Newsweek? Yes, Indianapolis! With numerous locally-authentic urban areas, Empty-Nesters, Baby Boomers and Millennials are leading the return to walking-based lifestyles in a highly livable metro area.

At the core of so many Central Indiana urban living areas is vibrant and convenient living. Multi-family construction plays a large factor in that, and it’s an expertise we are proud to work within daily. From downtown Indy to Carmel, Westfield, Brownsburg, Greenwood and beyond, Greater Indianapolis has counted on Custom Concrete for over 50 years for quality concrete foundations for luxury living, senior living and university living environments.

We may be partial, but we think Central Indiana is one of the most beautiful places to call home, whether single family or multi-family. Some of the best restaurants, performing arts, entertainment, sports, museums, waterways and parks are in Indy. How could it not be a hotspot?!

Explore our multi-family project portfolio.



Central Indiana Concrete Foundations|


It’s no secret that we love quality concrete. We’ve been building solid Central Indiana concrete foundations for nearly 50 years.

So what is it we love so much about concrete?

Oh let us count the ways!

It’s versatile, has great structural strength and interesting architectural details to name a few. Can you imagine a world without concrete? No flatwork, no sidewalks. The infrastructure of a city would certainly look different.

Over the course of the next few months, we’d like you to #ShowUsYourConcrete on social. Send us a picture on Facebook or tag us on Twitter or Instagram @IndyFoundations and show us what elements you love and what you find exciting and unique about concrete! Anything from foundations and flatwork to architectural elements and the basics like sidewalks. Are we in your neighborhood? Send us a #SpotATruck picture too.


Telebelt Operator

New Year, New You

Employee Dave Abbitt Wins “New Year, New You” Wellness Contest

The Custom Concrete team is pleased to announce Dave Abbitt as the overall winner of our “New Year, New You” wellness contest. As part of our corporate wellness strategy and in partnership with our employee benefits firm, American Health & Wellness Group (AHW), we launched a fun and innovative 12 week wellness program in January called “New Year, New You”.

All of Custom Concrete got involved with actively working on well-being and healthy living accountablity. The program allowed all of us to take small steps toward healthIER living one day at a time over a 12 week period. We worked on things like hydration, 30 minutes of daily activity, trying new fruits and vegetables, the right amount of sleep, handling stress better and a few personal goals as well. It was fun to see everyones’ progress and learn new ways to engage in our own health journey.

To make the program extra fun, AHW added a contest element, where employees could get points toward winning a grand prize at the end of the 12 weeks. All we had to do was challenge ourselves in new healthful ways, create new healthy habits, engage on social and share our journey with our co-workers.

We are so proud of all of you and your healthIER choices over the 12 weeks!  Kudos to everyone and keep up the good work! Congrats to Dave Abbitt for rocking the 12 weeks and being our big winner!

To see more on our corporate wellness journey, click here.

Custom Concrete Healthy Path on the Monon Trail

Custom Concrete Named Greenways Foundation 2016 Outstanding Corporation

Greenways Foundation 2016 Outstanding Corporation

Custom Concrete is honored and humbled to be named Greenways Foundation’s 2016 Outstanding Corporation. There are many gorgeous greenways throughout Indiana, and we are lucky enough to have one right in our own backyard – the Monon Trail extension in Westfield.

Last year Custom Concrete made three additions to the trail in close proximity to the Westfield, Indiana headquarters. There’s now a quarter of a mile stretch that we call the Custom Concrete “Healthy Path”. Additionally, three fitness stations were installed with various exercise and stretching equipment so employees and the general public can utilize those fitness stations. One station is really unique. It’s designed to be handicap accessible. An individual in a wheelchair can pull right up to it and do various exercises all at different points.

It has been Custom Concrete’s pleasure to partner with the City of Westfield and the Westfield Parks Department to help the Monon Trail grow. We were thrilled to be able to build a paved trail connector from our campus to the Monon path. It has allowed our employees to continue to work on their health and wellness goals and has facilitated fun fitness stations the entire community can use as well.

“We want to promote a healthy lifestyle. We want for our company and community to take advantage of the great amenities we have here in Westfield,” says Brad Schrock, Custom Concrete vice president.

Open Doors Westfield Project

Employment Opportunities

Custom Concrete is a Central Indiana Destination Employer

Recognized as an ultimate destination to establish and grow a career, Custom Concrete is an employer of choice for many within the Central Indiana construction industry. As we continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the Indianapolis area, career opportunities are readily available in positions from crew member to jobsite superintendent.

Whether you’re a recently graduated student looking to start your career or an experienced professional looking for a new challenge, we’re always looking for the best and brightest individuals to expand our capabilities.

As an employer with a reputation for positively influencing our employees’ lives both on and off the job, Custom Concrete has a core focus within the following:

  • An Engaged Management Team
  • Positive Company Culture
  • Competitive Compensation
  • Goal Oriented Growth
  • Training & Personal Development Plans
  • Mentor Programs
  • Recognition Programs
  • Company Programs & Events
  • Strong Benefits Package with Free Health Coaches
  • Robust Companywide Communication

Our talented employees are our biggest asset. We believe in listening to our people, promoting equal opportunities and utilizing a robust communication strategy. By actively creating an environment that is a great place to work, we’ve become a destination for job seekers throughout Central Indiana. Why not explore our open positions and join the growing Custom Concrete team?


Concrete Slab Work

Seeking Commercial Concrete Estimator to Join Our Team

Commercial Concrete Estimator

As a growing Central Indiana firm, we are looking for the ideal commercial concrete estimator to join our team. At Custom Concrete, every team member’s contribution is valued, and together we are making a difference in the foundation of our neighborhoods, communities and Indy as a whole! As we often say, you can count on concrete, especially Custom Concrete.

We are currently seeking a commercial concrete estimator. The position will work closely with internal personnel, as well as external clients. A minimum of three to five years of experience in commercial concrete estimating (foundations, walls, slabs and site concrete) is preferred.

Additionally, the ability to understand/interpret concrete construction blueprints and specifications. Candidates should have extensive understanding of the major concrete systems, experience with detailed concrete proposals and meeting deadlines as well. Proficiency in Microsoft Office is required. Click here to view the full job description and requirements or to apply online.

Join Our Team

Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for residential, commercial and multi-family facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Recent projects included providing the foundations for large “Big Box” distribution facilities, retail buildings, a number of upscale multifamily developments and many complicated single family residences throughout the Metro Indianapolis area. As a growing Central Indiana firm, we are always looking for the best and brightest individuals to expand our capabilities. Click to explore career opportunities with Custom Concrete.


CAD Drawing

Seeking AutoCAD Technician to Join Our Team

CAD Technician Needed

As a fast-paced Central Indiana employer, we are looking for the ideal AutoCAD technician candidate to join our ranks. At Custom Concrete, every team member’s contribution is valued, and together we are making a difference in the foundation of our neighborhoods, communities and Indy as a whole! As we often say, you can count on concrete, especially Custom Concrete.

We are currently seeking a CAD/Print Technician to work with our senior CAD staff to create and revise CAD drawings for residential construction projects. Additionally the position includes obtaining take offs for estimates, working closely with our sales team, data entry and printing duties, along with excellent verbal and written communication with internal staff, builders, architects, draftsmen and designers to gather information and solve problems.

Applicants must have basic knowledge of construction components and showcase strong math and analytical skills, as well as be able to work individually or as a team. Proficiency in AutoCAD, Adobe Reader, Cute PDF Writer and Microsoft Office is required. Click here to view the full job description and requirements or to apply online.

Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for residential, commercial and multi-family facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Recent projects included providing the foundations for large “Big Box” distribution facilities, retail buildings, a number of upscale multifamily developments and many complicated single family residences throughout the Metro Indianapolis area.

Join the Custom Concrete Team

We want to hear from talented individuals who are ready to roll up their sleeves and dive into a career with Custom Concrete. Are you ready to join our team? Apply online today!


Community The Reason for the Season

The Reason for the Season

Bringing Glad Tidings to Our Neighbors

Open Doors of Washington Township, a local non-profit, has been assisting residents in need in the Westfield, Indiana area since 1990. Through their mission of being an expression of the ministry of Jesus in the community, they assist individuals with their physical and spiritual needs, including food, clothing and referrals to additional community services.

This year Open Doors is celebrating their 25th year in the community and Custom Concrete is proud to a part of their annual Christmas New Toy and Sweat Suits Program. Through these programs and in conjunction with the Amanda Strong Project, Open Doors helps provide new clothing and new toys, along with food to families in need within the Washington Township area during the Christmas season. Through a legacy of love, caring and giving, families do not go without during this special time of year due to the work of these two dedicated local charities.

Our Custom Concrete family banned together and were able to provide clothing for 15 individuals and new toys for 16 children this year. We are overjoyed to be able to spread glad tidings within our own community and encourage others to explore Open Doors and the Amanda Strong Project. You never know how your organization might be able to fulfill a need within the community through time, treasure or talent.


Let’s Choose Wellness … Together!

Custom Concrete has taken numerous active steps to promote the health and well-being of our employees.

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month, Custom Concrete and the American Diabetes Association reminds both our employees and customers that diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. Did you know that 86 million adults in the U.S. are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

By adopting a healthier lifestyle — like many of our Custom Concrete employees already have — we can prevent up to 90 percent of type 2 diabetes cases.  Read more