Busy on ‘The Hill’ for you
By Mark Kemp
May was a very busy month for the MCAA, starting with a meeting held to set up a MCAA chapter in upstate New York. Then, later in the month, Jeff and I headed to South Carolina to build an alliance with another chapter. I will have more to report on this in my next news article, but the point is that the MCAA’s membership is on a steady rise. I urge all of our existing members to take advantage of all the great things the MCAA has to offer.
During May 12 – 14, we had our Legislative Fly-In, and it was very well attended by our membership. We made progress on things like the Check-Off Program, the proposed silica rule, pension reform, immigration, and misclassification of employees. The Check-Off Program is picking up steam, and several sponsors signed on while we were at the Fly-In. So far, there are 90 co-sponsors covering 31 states. We are hopeful to add another 30 to 50 from the Fly-In.
We also attended several fundraisers and handed out four Freedom and Prosperity Awards to our friends in Congress and the Senate. We had a meeting with OSHA and walked away with a joint effort to run some additional safety seminars. Unfortunately, they also informed us that they are in the process on writing their final silica rule, and the administration is pushing to have this in effect before the end of the current term.
We also had a meeting with the Department of Labor on the misclassification of employees and how we could possibly work together to put an end to it. Our voice is being heard loud and clear on pension reform. I thank all of you who took time from your busy schedules to assure your voices were heard in D.C. I am sure everyone walked away knowing they made a difference. A special thanks again to The Keelen Group, who continue to do an outstanding job for us.
At the end of April, we held our annual MCAA Online Auction. Thank you to all who donated items to make this year’s auction the best ever and to those who opened their wallets to make it a success. All the money earned goes to support our association and the many programs it runs for you. If you missed out this year, make sure to follow it next year.
Also at the end of April, our officers attended the BIM Conference in St. Louis. I am pleased to say this project is moving along and should have plug-ins available late this year for contractors and vendors to see firsthand what this will do for our industry and you as a contractor. We all walked away very impressed with the direction and progress of this project. At the end of the BIM meeting, we had a Masonry Summit meeting with the MCAA, NCMA, IMI and BAC. We all agreed it is important for us to work together and share not only our ideas, but where appropriate, our resources.
Some of the key things we decided to work on together are increasing masonry programs at universities and colleges; promoting the fire resistance of masonry; the energy efficiency of masonry; increasing the education on cost-effective structural masonry; and working together on workforce development.
We attended the Canadians Contractors Association convention in Chicago. Again, we discussed what each of us does and how we could work together. It is these coordinated efforts by those in the masonry industry that excite me and, hopefully, you.
The Masonry Foundation continues to push toward its first phase goal. Our goal is to roll out Phase II by our Midyear Meeting in Key West, Fla. Thank you to all the contractors who have made and returned your pledge forms. You have made an investment not only in your companies, but also the masonry industry. We are working on a special event for the Foundation at our Midyear Meeting to be held in Key West.
I will end by saying you must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-loss record of the referee, so get in the game and get involved.
About the Author
Mark Kemp is the President and CEO of Superior Masonry Builders, Inc. in Butler, Wisc. He has served as an officer on the Executive Board and Region D Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.