The Changing Tide And Road Ahead
By Paul Odom
Did I mention in last month’s message that our annual MCAA Convention was fantastic!!???
MASONRY MADNESS was unbelievably good. I’ll admit that I was initially very concerned that moving from the Gold lot to the Bronze lot would be detrimental
to MASONRY MADNESS. Boy, was I ever wrong? It was a great move. I want to thank everyone that participated in the event and give a big applause to all of the winners!
Once again, SPEC MIX and the rest of the sponsors worked tirelessly to make the event the best ever. Thank you.
MCAA and our industry looks bright and I am excited about all the opportunities out there, starting with workforce development.
The times are changing; federal funding is coming back for vocational training and schools across the country are bringing the programs back into their curriculum. Students and parents are learning that construction jobs are a great alternative to college. This is not only good for our industry, but greatly needed for our country. Trades need to be promoted as an outstanding career. Now is the time we can help. I ask each of you to encourage your local schools, organizations, and trade schools to promote masonry vocational programs. I had the opportunity to visit with four high school students who were at MASONRY MADNESS. They had all participated in a masonry vocational program and were given the opportunity to attend this great event. All four students told me that they plan to become masons and work in our industry. Talking to them it was obvious that this event was a great way to spread the excitement in the future of our industry.
I am excited to congratulate Florida and Arizona for their block check-off programs. So far Florida has implemented their program and Arizona is set to begin in April. These two programs (and hopefully more in the future) will provide local funding to work on many things, including:
- Hiring engineers to train practicing engineers and architects to use masonry
- Educate college architecture students to design with masonry
- Promote workforce development for existing and future workers
- Advance awareness of fire safety through the use of masonry
- Marketing masonry, including total masonry construction
Together we are stronger, just like the masonry we promote. We have a lot of marketshare to regain throughout the building industry. Promoting total masonry construction as the safest product that also stands the test of time is what must be done for us to regain the market share we’ve lost.
With that said, MCAA is here to assist state associations develop and build their checkoff program. Contact us at any time so we can help you!
Until next month,
Artistic Manipulator of the Burnt Clay Product (aka bricklayer)
PS: Mark your calendars!!
Legislative Walk on the Hill May 14-17th
Midyear Meeting September 24-26th Austin, TX
About the Author
Paul Odom has served as an officer on the Executive Board and as the Legislative Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America.