Fifty Years of Serving the Masonry Industry
Fifty years ago this August, visionary mason contractors from nine different chapters met to form the Mason Contractors Association of America to deal with many of the national issues facing contractors at the time. During the late forties, there were many local mason contractor associations supporting contractors, but not a national organization to nationally promote the mason contractor?s issues of the local chapters. The representatives of these nine local mason contractor groups felt a national association with a national focus was needed. Moreover, they felt a group working solely on the concerns of mason contractors was in order. Thus the MCAA was formed.
Since that time, the MCAA has been on the forefront of many critical issues. The MCAA has lead the industry for the past fifty years, from industry promotion and the formation of the International Masonry Institute, to providing pensions for our industry?s workforce, recruitment, training and educational programs for mason contractors. Through our many accomplishments over the past fifty years, the MCAA has steadily proven our worth to all mason contractors. While many of our accomplishments go unnoticed or are intangible to the average mason contractor, the benefits are expediential. For example, what is the immediate value to a contractor when the MCAA defeats a detrimental code or standard change? What is the tangible benefit to mason contractors when the MCAA can modify a prospective federal law or OSHA standard? What does it mean today if the MCAA is successful in protecting a masonry market? Yet, that is what the MCAA does, fight for the future of all mason contractors, often times without notice.
The founders of the MCAA would be pleased with the progress that the MCAA has made over the past fifty years. The founding visions of a national association supporting the goals of the local chapters has become a thriving reality. Because of their leadership and foresight, the masonry industry, through the MCAA, has effectively navigated through, OSHA regulations, manpower development and competitive construction forces, while at the same time provided programs and services to support the work of our chapters.
Even today, the MCAA has expanded our service to the mason contractor. We have been in the vanguard of providing materials to our members in forklift training, hot and cold construction and wall bracing. Most recently we are in a search to add a staff engineer to represent and protect the interests of mason contractors in the codes and standards fronts.
While many other associations lose sight of who they are and whom they truly represent, the MCAA has steadfastly remained focused on the needs of all mason contractors. Even with annual budgets as limited as the MCAA?s, few industry associations can match the effectiveness of your association. In fact, MCAA?s impact rivals those of much larger budgeted organizations.
As the MCAA looks forward to celebrating our fiftieth anniversary as an association, we would like to thank all those chapters who have been our partners since the beginning. Chapters such as MCA of Dayton, MCA of Milwaukee, MCA of Chicago, MCA of Nashville, MCA of Louisville, MCA of Charleston, WV, MCA of Kansas City, MCA of Northern IN, and MCA of Washington D.C. Your continued support is our hope for the future. To those mason contractors and local organizations not affiliated with the MCAA, I encourage you to join us. The future is filled with uncertainties and competitors who would willingly take away our future. Your membership and partnership in the MCAA guarantees your future as mason contractor and the future of the industry.
About the Author
Donald Larsen is a past president of the Mason Contractors Association of America.