The MCAA is working to recruit high school students to join our industry.
The MCAA is working to recruit high school students to join our industry.

Let’s Help Close The Skills Gap

Chairman’s Message


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 2017

Let’s Help Close The Skills Gap

July 2017

A Conversation With Mike And Colleen Sutter, Act I

June 2017

Calculating Your Return on Investment

May 2017

Sweet Tea and Grits

April 2017

Silica, Auctions and Policy

March 2017

Things to Remember

February 2017

Looking Forward

January 2017

A Fresh Start

December 2016

Making Our Industry Stronger

November 2016

MCAA Midyear Meeting Does Not Disappoint

October 2016

Have You Made Your Pledge to the Foundation?

September 2016

MCAA to Publish Masonry Magazine
Who Moved My Cheese?

August 2016

Get Ready for MCAA’s Midyear Meeting

July 2016

Making a Difference

June 2016

Southern Hospitality

May 2016

The 2016 MCAA Legislative Conference

April 2016

MCAA: Looking out for your interests

March 2016

Let’s share our passion!

February 2016

Thanks for letting me give back

January 2016

A week of masonry you can’t miss

December 2015

Giving back

November 2015

A successful Midyear Meeting in the Florida Keys

October 2015

Seeing the future before our eyes

September 2015

Join us for the Midyear Meeting

August 2015

The MCAA Midyear Meeting is approaching

July 2015

Spread the Word: Masonry Doesn’t Burn

June 2015

Busy on ‘The Hill’ for you

May 2015

Progress in the making

April 2015

A voice in Washington

March 2015

Another successful Convention in Vegas

February 2015

An exciting year ahead

January 2015

MCAA Convention is approaching

December 2014

Defining success

November 2014

Coming together for our industry

October 2014

Striving to reach perfection and continually improving

September 2014

Hitting the road and making a difference

August 2014

Staying busy for you

July 2014

MCAA Midyear Meeting approaching

June 2014

MCAA staying busy and making progress

May 2014

Be a voice in your industry

April 2014

The MCAA is on the move

March 2014

It’s all about helping each other

February 2014

Ready for action

January 2014

Thanks

December 2013

Happy holidays

November 2013

MCAA Midyear update

October 2013

Ushering in a busy fall season

September 2013

Workforce a familiar friend

August 2013

The MCAA in D.C.

July 2013

A lot happening

May 2013

Why not be a member?

April 2013

First South of 40 Conference

March 2013

Positive movement

February 2013

Headed to Vegas

January 2013

New beginning

December 2012

It’s finally over

November 2012

My trip to the Rockies

October 2012

The 2012 election

September 2012

Stay involved

August 2012

Networking

July 2012

Summer time

June 2012

Exciting time

May 2012

Working for you

April 2012

Join us in D.C. next month

March 2012

New beginnings

February 2012

Farewell!

January 2012

One more to go!

December 2011

The life of a mason contractor

November 2011

Join us in Vegas

September 2011

This ole cowboy is excited!

August 2011

As the world turns

July 2011

Update From the President

June 2011

The Strong Spirit of our Industry

May 2011

A Bright Future

April 2011

Springtime Updates from MCAA

March 2011

Tidbits From MCAA

February 2011

Time Flies By

January 2011

The MCAA Convention: A Priceless Experience

December 2010

The End of the Year

October 2010

South of 40

September 2010

Get Involved on All Levels

August 2010

What Are We Doing?

July 2010

Have a Great Summer

May 2010

MCAA Key Accomplishments 2009-2010
The Government is Working, 24-7

April 2010

MCAA is Working for the Mason Contractor

March 2010

Moving Forward

February 2010

A Fond Farewell

January 2010

A New Year

December 2009

Start the Year Strong

November 2009

The Greening of our Industry

October 2009

A Successful Midyear Meeting

September 2009

MCAA in D.C.

August 2009

Brick Voids

July 2009

Vision 20/20 Moving Forward

June 2009

Success On The Hill

May 2009

Show Your Support Through Membership

March 2009

On a Positive Note...

February 2009

Vision 2020
State of the Association

January 2009

The Silver Lining

December 2008

How Is Your Business Doing?

November 2008

Fastest Trowel on the Block

October 2008

Thoughts on the 2008 Election

September 2008

Industry Cooperation for Positive Change

August 2008

Networking: Not Just a Buzz Word

July 2008

MCAA: A Critical Investment in Your Future

June 2008

Impact on the Hill

May 2008

An Industry Response to a Customer Request

April 2008

Join Us Next Month in D.C.

March 2008

Were you at the World of Masonry in January?

February 2008

New Horizons

January 2008

State of the Association
Thanks for an Enjoyable Term as President

December 2007

Wrapping up Another Year

November 2007

Greetings From Italy!

October 2007

MCAA, World of Masonry Join Forces

September 2007

MCAA Looking to Expand Masonry Markets

August 2007

Certification: Good Efforts and Bad Rumors

July 2007

Positive Changes on the Horizon

June 2007

MCAA Appoints New Executive Director
Mason Contractors Step up to Promote Total Masonry Construction

May 2007

Certification is Not a Financial Windfall to the MCAA

April 2007

Isn’t It Time You Joined With Us?

February 2007

Advancing Masonry in a Global Economy
Certification Can Strengthen Our Markets

January 2007

A New Battle Rages in Washington

December 2006

National Initiatives Will Build a Stronger Industry

November 2006

Masonry Showcase 2007: Networking to Build a Better Industry

October 2006

Totally Engaged in Washington

September 2006

MCAA's Skills Competitions Create Enthusiasm for Training

August 2006

Heeding Huckabee's Call for Action

July 2006

MCAA Membership Can Pay Real Dividends

June 2006

Inaugural Masonry Industry Legislative Conference Presented a United Masonry Industry

May 2006

This Years Convention Exhibited A New Excitement

April 2006

I Can't Wait To Get Started!

March 2006

Coming Together to Advance the Industry
Serving the Industry Has Been a Rewarding Experience

February 2006

Coming Together to Expand Our Opportunities

January 2006

Strategic Planning Creates Successful Future

November 2005

It's Time You Joined the MCAA

October 2005

You Have A Choice of Trades Shows Next Year in Las Vegas, But Only One Supports The Industry and Your Future

September 2005

Volunteerism Advances America and Our Industry

August 2005

Legislative Conference Puts Face of Industry in Front of Elected Officials

July 2005

MCAA National Insurance Program Has Something to Offer Everyone

June 2005

2005 Masonry Showcase in Chicago Promotes Our Finest

April 2005

Advancing the Masonry Industry
"Village" Competition Will Spotlight Our Industry at Construct America

March 2005

Strong Reasons to Go to Masonry Showcase

February 2005

Contractors Taking the Promotion Initiative

January 2005

We Need Your Help!

December 2004

Elections 2004: An Interesting Political Year

November 2004

The Internet is Opening New Doors for Contractors

October 2004

Mason Contractors + Specifiers = Construct America

September 2004

Your Influence Can Impact the Election

August 2004

Mason Contractors Lead Effort to Develop Volunteer Silica Work Practice

July 2004

MCAA is More Active Than Ever on Your Behalf

June 2004

Stepping Up to Sell Masonry Systems

April 2004

New Challenges Await Us!
The State of the Association

March 2004

Seeking Expanded Opportunities for Mason Contractors

February 2004

The MCAA: Getting Plugged into Washington

January 2004

Contractors Organize to Tackle Promotion

December 2003

If You're Not Part of the Team, Now's the Time to Get off the Bench

November 2003

The Strength of Unity

September 2003

Association Health Plans - Making Insurance Accessible and Affordable
Military Construction: Traditional Masonry or Modern Design

August 2003

All the Fun of Las Vegas will be Right Outside Your Door at the 2004 Masonry Showcase

July 2003

Award-winning Masonry Magazine is Vital to MCAA's Strategy

June 2003

Partnership with CSI Benefits Industry

May 2003

Masonry Showcase: Promoting Our Industry's Best

April 2003

Strength Through Advocacy

March 2003

Galvanizing Our Industry through MCAA's Masonry Magazine

February 2003

A New Year, a New Congress and a New Outlook

January 2003

Masonry Showcase ... Take Your Business Further

December 2002

Let's Not Lose Sight of Training

November 2002

MCAA Is Working Hard On Your Behalf

October 2002

Washington Representation - The Final Piece of the Leadership Puzzle

September 2002

Spirit of Cooperation Will Lead To Larger Markets for All of Us!

August 2002

Phoenix ... Rising From the Ashes

July 2002

Industry Beginning To Think Together

June 2002

New Ergonomics Standard: Right Approach, But May Be Short Lived

May 2002

Industry Training at a Crossroads

April 2002

Coming Together As Contractors

March 2002

A Steadying Force in Uncertain Times

February 2002

Changing of the Guard

January 2002

Associate Members Play a Key Role in Industry

March 2001

Strategically Thinking About the Future of the Masonry Industry

February 2000

A Half Century of Service...A Half Century of Leadership

January 2000

Fifty Years of Serving the Masonry Industry

March 1998

Our Work Awaits Us… Let Us Begin!

March 1993

Meeting the Challenges Ahead

February 1961

A Message from Stephen D. Raimo