EZ Scaffold Corp.
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Husqvarna Construction Products N.A.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
January 26, 2018 10:00 AM CST

MCAA Regional Report, Region C

Presented at the 2018 MCAA Convention


Michigan - Ed Davenport
Ohio - Greg Schuerman
West Virginia - No State Chairman

Workforce Development

Of the Vocational schools in Ohio, there are some prospering and others losing ground, it seems to correlate with the efforts of the instructor. Even though we are at odds with councilors and school pushing kids to college, the ability and willingness to market the masonry program and put the time in recruiting dramatically affects the number of students.

Ohio has changed their programs from a State Standard to Units thereby allowing students to get experience in multiple trades. This format reduces the time for students to not only learn masonry construction, but also inhibits the ability of students to lay brick and block with less time with hands-on training.

The Ohio Vocational Schools participate in a masonry competition, hosted by a Vocational Training Center. Then we have the VICA State Competition. In 2017 we had the first all-female First Place for Junior and Senior High School Students.

There are some adult education programs throughout Ohio, but these are “Multiple Trades” classes.

Masonry Marketing Activities

Ohio has only four masonry promotion associations. The Ohio Masonry Association (includes Tri-State Masonry Institute a Southwest Promotional partner of the OMA), and the International Masonry Institute are the only full-time masonry promotion associations. There are two smaller associations, Mason Contractors Association of Northeast Ohio and the Cincinnati Brick Council, which contribute very little to the promotion and marketing of masonry, due to either budget, makeup or participation.

The Ohio Masonry Association, and the International Masonry Institute present accredited programs to designers, end users and installers throughout the year. Josh Naragon, Executive Director of the Ohio Masonry Association provides NCMA and BIA AIA programs in the form of lunch and learns or seminars.

Josh Naragon, Executive Director of the Ohio Masonry Association serves as a Captain for the CMU Check-Off bill. Ohio Masonry Association supports the Check-Off and Josh travels the state educating the industry on the program.

The Ohio Masonry Association and Tri-State Masonry Institute host awards programs. Tri-State Masonry Institute holds one each year and the Ohio Masonry Association holds one every other year.

As many know the PCA is putting most of its resources in pavement. PCA helps fund the Ohio efforts in masonry promotion as well as other cementitious materials, but in recent years has reduced its funding to masonry by over 87% in Ohio. This includes further cuts in 2018 as noted in previous reports. As you know PCA removed regional offices from under their umbrella and some regions reinstated or started an independent group of the supporting cement manufacturers. Ohio is lucky to have a group funding Ohio cement users, but masonry only sees a small sum of support. Lafarge/Holcim has committed $15,000 directly to OMA for masonry promotion in Ohio, THANK YOU Lafarge/Holcim!

Reduced PCA funding over the years from $127,000 to $15,000 dramatically affects the ability to promote and market until other sources can replace what has been lost.

College and Universities

Colleges and Universities are involved in masonry programs both in architecture and engineering. The National Concrete Masonry Association’s Foundation helps fund some of these programs hosted by local CMU producers or the Ohio Masonry Association and its producers.

Currently The Ohio State University, Bowling Green State University, and The University of Dayton, all have programs. The University of Toledo, Sinclair, University of Cincinnati and Kent State have had programs in the past. Colleges are more concerned about students designing buildings “pie in the sky” dreams and not buildings that can actually be built.

Economic Conditions Forecast

To determine wall share, there is no formula to determine the increase or decrease in masonry wall share at this time. Contractors, CMU producers, and masonry suppliers are busy, and some more than past years, however the use of structural block as diminished in 2017. We still have the majority of the Schools being designed with conventional masonry wall systems.

There are still problems with material quality / installation issues. “Low Bid” scenario, materials provided by manufacturers out of state no longer in business, cutting corners in the field and poor design all play a part.

As our industry pushes the envelope of new design and materials and upcoming energy code changes, masonry should become more cost effective and taking more share back. Steel Stud will be heavily affected by the new energy code in the coming years. There is a push for 100% continuous insulation that allows limited options with single wythe masonry providing a wall system without continuous insulation in the near future according to IECC. Only those with available proprietary products will be able to keep some single wythe masonry alive.

South of 40

In Cincinnati, there are at a minimum 16 people working within the masonry contractor management teams / principals.

About the Author

John Jacob is the Operations Manager at J. Construction Co. Inc. He has served as the Region C Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.


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