Let’s Help Close The Skills Gap
By Mike Sutter
I know in my last article I talked almost exclusively about our MCAA Midyear Meeting in Steamboat Springs, Colo. beginning on August 28th, but I need to remind everyone of a few more things. First of all, this is probably the most important meeting we have all year. This is when we set our committee goals for the coming year and thus the direction the MCAA will go. Members can come to the meetings and express their opinions on the direction they think we should be heading and how we should be getting there. We welcome every member’s opinion and you don’t need to be a committee chairman or even a committee member to express your opinions, just being a member is enough so please join us.
Secondly, if you haven’t registered or reserved a room yet and you would still like to attend, there may still be an opportunity to do that. You’ll need to call the MCAA office and a staff member would be more than happy to help you with the process. I hope to be able to greet and spend time with as many members as possible while we are there. Meeting members and spending some time with them is one of my favorite things to do at the Midyear Meeting because it isn’t such a busy time like our annual meeting in Las Vegas. It is a much more relaxed atmosphere with plenty of time to network with other members.
We all realize the importance of workforce development. We are experiencing an extreme shortage of workforce across the country, both union and open shop. We are doing everything we can to recruit high school students to join our industry. If you have heard or read Mike Rowe, from TV’s Dirty Jobs, you know what he is talking about when he talks about the skills gap. Mike is a very good communicator and talks to anyone that will listen to him about this topic. Businesses need to replace an aging workforce yet the kids coming out of our high schools do not have the skills that business owners are looking for. There are millions of jobs available and the vast majority of them do not require a college degree. The kids that are not going to college are the ones we are looking for to reinforce our workforce. In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey is promoting the hiring of people that have recently been released from the Department of Corrections. Many of these people have learned the skills we are looking for while incarcerated. I have gone to a couple of career days they hold and interviewed quite a few potential employees. I have recently hired a couple of them and they are working out great. Both have expressed an interest in joining our apprenticeship program in January. I also have another man that was released from DOC three years ago and he is graduating our apprenticeship program in January. This is a success story that I hope we can repeat. These people made a mistake, many of them early in their adulthood and deserve a second chance, let’s give it to them.
Congressman Mark Pocan from Wisconsin, recently introduced legislation that supports and promotes apprenticeship programs that he calls the LEARNS act. This program could increase the number of skilled workers and close the skills gap that currently exists. We hope to be able to work with Rep. Pocan and other members of the Committee on Education and Workforce to make this bill even better. We would like to see block grants given to the States to prepare Middle School students with introductory courses in the building trades and High School students to receive trade specific instruction that could be a major portion of their classroom instruction required in their apprenticeship program. These students would truly be “Career Ready” when they graduate High School and employers would be lining up to hire them. That is what Mike Rowe is talking about when he says we need to close the skills gap. We will urge congress to partner with private industry to develop these programs as we are the ones that know the skills we need from these young folks graduating High School and we are the ones that will be employing them.
Chairman’s Message Archive
August 2017Let’s Help Close The Skills Gap
July 2017A Conversation With Mike And Colleen Sutter, Act I
June 2017Calculating Your Return on Investment
May 2017Sweet Tea and Grits
April 2017Silica, Auctions and Policy
March 2017Things to Remember
February 2017Looking Forward
January 2017A Fresh Start
December 2016Making Our Industry Stronger
November 2016MCAA Midyear Meeting Does Not Disappoint
October 2016Have You Made Your Pledge to the Foundation?
September 2016MCAA to Publish Masonry Magazine
Who Moved My Cheese?
August 2016Get Ready for MCAA’s Midyear Meeting
July 2016Making a Difference
June 2016Southern Hospitality
May 2016The 2016 MCAA Legislative Conference
April 2016MCAA: Looking out for your interests
March 2016Let’s share our passion!
February 2016Thanks for letting me give back
January 2016A week of masonry you can’t miss
December 2015Giving back
November 2015A successful Midyear Meeting in the Florida Keys
October 2015Seeing the future before our eyes
September 2015Join us for the Midyear Meeting
August 2015The MCAA Midyear Meeting is approaching
July 2015Spread the Word: Masonry Doesn’t Burn
June 2015Busy on ‘The Hill’ for you
May 2015Progress in the making
April 2015A voice in Washington
March 2015Another successful Convention in Vegas
February 2015An exciting year ahead
January 2015MCAA Convention is approaching
December 2014Defining success
November 2014Coming together for our industry
October 2014Striving to reach perfection and continually improving
September 2014Hitting the road and making a difference
August 2014Staying busy for you
July 2014MCAA Midyear Meeting approaching
June 2014MCAA staying busy and making progress
May 2014Be a voice in your industry
April 2014The MCAA is on the move
March 2014It’s all about helping each other
February 2014Ready for action
December 2013Happy holidays
November 2013MCAA Midyear update
October 2013Ushering in a busy fall season
September 2013Workforce a familiar friend
August 2013The MCAA in D.C.
July 2013A lot happening
May 2013Why not be a member?
April 2013First South of 40 Conference
March 2013Positive movement
February 2013Headed to Vegas
January 2013New beginning
December 2012It’s finally over
November 2012My trip to the Rockies
October 2012The 2012 election
September 2012Stay involved
July 2012Summer time
June 2012Exciting time
May 2012Working for you
April 2012Join us in D.C. next month
March 2012New beginnings
January 2012One more to go!
December 2011The life of a mason contractor
November 2011Join us in Vegas
September 2011This ole cowboy is excited!
August 2011As the world turns
July 2011Update From the President
June 2011The Strong Spirit of our Industry
May 2011A Bright Future
April 2011Springtime Updates from MCAA
March 2011Tidbits From MCAA
February 2011Time Flies By
January 2011The MCAA Convention: A Priceless Experience
December 2010The End of the Year
October 2010South of 40
September 2010Get Involved on All Levels
August 2010What Are We Doing?
July 2010Have a Great Summer
May 2010MCAA Key Accomplishments 2009-2010
The Government is Working, 24-7
April 2010MCAA is Working for the Mason Contractor
March 2010Moving Forward
February 2010A Fond Farewell
January 2010A New Year
December 2009Start the Year Strong
November 2009The Greening of our Industry
October 2009A Successful Midyear Meeting
September 2009MCAA in D.C.
August 2009Brick Voids
July 2009Vision 20/20 Moving Forward
June 2009Success On The Hill
May 2009Show Your Support Through Membership
March 2009On a Positive Note...
February 2009Vision 2020
State of the Association
January 2009The Silver Lining
December 2008How Is Your Business Doing?
November 2008Fastest Trowel on the Block
October 2008Thoughts on the 2008 Election
September 2008Industry Cooperation for Positive Change
August 2008Networking: Not Just a Buzz Word
July 2008MCAA: A Critical Investment in Your Future
June 2008Impact on the Hill
May 2008An Industry Response to a Customer Request
April 2008Join Us Next Month in D.C.
March 2008Were you at the World of Masonry in January?
February 2008New Horizons
January 2008State of the Association
Thanks for an Enjoyable Term as President
December 2007Wrapping up Another Year
November 2007Greetings From Italy!
October 2007MCAA, World of Masonry Join Forces
September 2007MCAA Looking to Expand Masonry Markets
August 2007Certification: Good Efforts and Bad Rumors
July 2007Positive Changes on the Horizon
June 2007MCAA Appoints New Executive Director
Mason Contractors Step up to Promote Total Masonry Construction
May 2007Certification is Not a Financial Windfall to the MCAA
April 2007Isn’t It Time You Joined With Us?
February 2007Advancing Masonry in a Global Economy
Certification Can Strengthen Our Markets
January 2007A New Battle Rages in Washington
December 2006National Initiatives Will Build a Stronger Industry
November 2006Masonry Showcase 2007: Networking to Build a Better Industry
October 2006Totally Engaged in Washington
September 2006MCAA's Skills Competitions Create Enthusiasm for Training
August 2006Heeding Huckabee's Call for Action
July 2006MCAA Membership Can Pay Real Dividends
June 2006Inaugural Masonry Industry Legislative Conference Presented a United Masonry Industry
May 2006This Years Convention Exhibited A New Excitement
April 2006I Can't Wait To Get Started!
March 2006Coming Together to Advance the Industry
Serving the Industry Has Been a Rewarding Experience
February 2006Coming Together to Expand Our Opportunities
January 2006Strategic Planning Creates Successful Future
November 2005It's Time You Joined the MCAA
October 2005You Have A Choice of Trades Shows Next Year in Las Vegas, But Only One Supports The Industry and Your Future
September 2005Volunteerism Advances America and Our Industry
August 2005Legislative Conference Puts Face of Industry in Front of Elected Officials
July 2005MCAA National Insurance Program Has Something to Offer Everyone
June 20052005 Masonry Showcase in Chicago Promotes Our Finest
April 2005Advancing the Masonry Industry
"Village" Competition Will Spotlight Our Industry at Construct America
March 2005Strong Reasons to Go to Masonry Showcase
February 2005Contractors Taking the Promotion Initiative
January 2005We Need Your Help!
December 2004Elections 2004: An Interesting Political Year
November 2004The Internet is Opening New Doors for Contractors
October 2004Mason Contractors + Specifiers = Construct America
September 2004Your Influence Can Impact the Election
August 2004Mason Contractors Lead Effort to Develop Volunteer Silica Work Practice
July 2004MCAA is More Active Than Ever on Your Behalf
June 2004Stepping Up to Sell Masonry Systems
April 2004New Challenges Await Us!
The State of the Association
March 2004Seeking Expanded Opportunities for Mason Contractors
February 2004The MCAA: Getting Plugged into Washington
January 2004Contractors Organize to Tackle Promotion
December 2003If You're Not Part of the Team, Now's the Time to Get off the Bench
November 2003The Strength of Unity
September 2003Association Health Plans - Making Insurance Accessible and Affordable
Military Construction: Traditional Masonry or Modern Design