MCAA Key Accomplishments 2014-2015
Your membership dues at work
Membership dues paid to the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) is the largest source of funding that we have. Its importance cannot be understated…it's a vital part of the association that enables us to continue to fight for our industry on behalf of all mason contractors. Our involvement on all fronts (from regulatory reform to education and training) continues to ensure the survivability and viability of our industry for generations to come. Below is a list of some of our recent successes supported by MCAA membership dollars, followed by a brief outlook for the year ahead.
BIM Software DevelopmentPhase II of the BIM Software Development program is well on it’s way. Just this past April, the BIM group had a BIM Masonry Symposium in St. Louis and revealed what your BIM dollars are working on. It was very impressive and the development is very near some tangible assets. By the end of 2015, there should be some BIM Masonry plug-ins for software available free to designers on-line. It will make utilizing masonry in BIM a lot easier and quicker. This is an exciting step forward in the process and will offer huge opportunities for contractors. We are in year three of a five-year process and are excited to see our end result.
Silica RuleWhile OSHA has been busy reconstructing their new silica rule, the MCAA and our coalition have been busy working on continuing our efforts to educate on what the proposed rule would do to not only the masonry industry but construction as a whole. The coalition had more extensive research done on our cost analysis and now has a breakdown by state with regard to the economic impact it will have in both dollars and jobs. It is shocking how widely different it is of OSHA’s estimates. In addition to continuing to build our numbers and research for our case, we have also been working the political side of things. We have been lining up our supporters in Congress to help us question and interrogate OSHA on the need and soundness of this proposed rule. We have gathered quite a bit of support and look forward to them working with us to present our case.
New Learning Experiences for ContractorsIn 2014-15 the MCAA continued our popular networking sessions for contractors to share information with one another. Something that has branched out as a result has been the development of on-line networking groups. These are designed to take the valuable networking events we have had at our meetings and make them available all year long.
The MCAA has also bulked up our webinar series and made the program free for the 2015 season. Contractors will now see multiple webinars in one week and they can attend and allow everyone in their company access to the recorded events 24/7. Not all events are free to non-members, but nearly all are free to members, another great new benefit in 2015.
New Member BenefitsIn 2014-15 new member benefits were rolled out. Benefits were added to our Biz Unite program. New programs for propane gas, an expanded WEX gas card to include new service stations have been added all with the purpose of saving members dollars on things they already use. A survey of members was done and those utilizing the program saved on average of $10,000 per company per year with all the different Biz Unite programs. If you are not utilizing them yet, contact the MCAA office to get your dollars back today. Membership does really pay you back. Sprint cellphone service did a great promotion and still offers tremendous benefits in our program. Beeline Safety Products has expanded their offerings and has worked with us to make our members aware of the quality products they offer and the great pricing they offer. This is a program that again can save you a ton of dollars you have to invest in safety equipment. Don’t pay more than you have to, buy with the power of our group.
Our Newest and most exciting benefit that we added this year is a reduced price seat to members with CMD/REED. If you track work in your area with any on-line program, you will want to check this out and be a part of it. The MCAA has engaged in a three year contract with CMD to offer a substantially reduced rate on a seat ($750 per seat per year). These seats typically run at minimum $1,500 and up per year. It gives contractors nationwide reach. We know you can’t get a better deal, because the association subsidizes the program with CMD. We are convinced that our members want and need this service and want to provide it to you at a great rate. Make sure you take advantage of this program and do not miss out on this opportunity to save and find work. You can also use it for market research if you prefer. It is an awesome program and you can call the office today to schedule a demo of the service.
A look to the year aheadIn the year ahead there are several projects already in development. The following are projects identified are to occur in 2015-16:
Silica InitiativesIt is expected that OSHA will release their final rule before the end of the current administration. The MCAA will be poised with our coalition members to continue our effort for reasonable regulation on this issue. Further action on this initiative will be dictated by the content of the final rule. If very little changes about the rule, the MCAA is prepared to work with coalition members to continue our fight on a multitude of levels including politically and legally.
Development of Detail VideosWe expect 2015-16 to realize the development of a series of sort detail videos for members to utilize on our web-site free of charge. The videos will be on a variety of different trouble details and will be short topical video files. They will be easily adaptable for use on tablets and laptops so they will be portable resources contractors can use on the job. Current planning has the videos offered in both English and Spanish.
Development of Short CertificationsWe expect to roll out several new certification opportunities this year. These will be courses contractors and employees can take to show proficiency at the topic. One currently on the schedule is safe room certification. It will be a short series of 4-5 videos on how to properly build a safe room. In addition, a grouting certification will also be developed as well as others, look for more on these as we move through the year.
As the year develops there will be undoubtedly more exciting opportunities for our association. We need your continued support to maximize our opportunities and serve the needs of our industry.
About the Author
Jeff Buczkiewicz is the President and CEO of the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has worked in the masonry industry for several years as the Executive Vice President of the Building Stone Institute and the Director of Marketing and Membership for the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has also served as Secretary on the Board of the Natural Stone Council and is a former Board Member of the StonExpo Federation.