Building Partnerships An environment that supports training helps businesses and employees succeed

Brian Farnsworth, general manager of Cement Colors, a Texas-based decorative concrete supply store with locations in Fort Worth and Houston, places a high value on continuing education and training for decorative concrete professionals.

He has proven his support for training opportunities by being among the first companies to sign on as a sponsor of the Concrete Decor RoadShow, a show featuring a panel of rotating experts and a custom trailer loaded with top-quality products and tools that travels around the country to support training events and demonstrations.

“When you get a group of people together there’s a lot of idea sharing that goes on,” Farnsworth says. “It becomes a testing ground for guys to share ideas and grow from each other. I think a lot of times decorative concrete contractors get stuck in the rut of doing what they’ve always done — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because they get dialed into what works and what makes them money — but a lot of times a little tweak here and there can open up a whole new world they have not tapped into before.”

Farnsworth supports training his employees because of the investment it makes in the business as a whole. “The more they know the better they can communicate the systems and the products that we’re selling,” he says.

He joined the Concrete Decor RoadShow, which made a pit stop at his Fort Worth store April 28-29, because of the caliber of the people involved, from Concrete Decor magazine’s publisher, Bent Mikkelsen, who created the RoadShow program, to the individual trainers involved, such as Troy Lemon and Bob Harris, both of whom are well-respected and trusted industry leaders.

“These trainers (can) communicate ideas and share techniques that no one else has the ability to do,” says Farnsworth. “We’re 100 percent on board with the idea and we like the fluidity of the trailer moving around to different places and different events.”

Farnsworth says business in Texas as a whole is booming, but much of it is what he calls “bread-and-butter work,” meaning it is stamped concrete that may not be all that innovative. “When you bring in fresh ideas from training it can really rejuvenate an individual’s desire to go out and be creative again and have that artistic side of the business come out,” he says.

Photos courtesy of Concrete Decor 

“Some of the most valuable experiences that I’ve personally had in training is when you’re standing next to a guy who installs work day in and day out and he shares a little bit of insight into what works for him. When you treat people right you have the opportunity to learn from one another. There’s a trust that develops. Ideas are shared and growth can take place.”