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February 2007

President's Message

Masonry Magazine

At the Mason Contractors Association of America's (MCAA) Midyear Meeting, the MCAA Board of Directors approved the first-ever national certification program for our industry's contractors. We did this at the urging of our customers and local chapters, many of which also have been moving toward certification. Upon further reflection, many realized that one national certification, supported by local contractors and associations, is preferable.

So why would MCAA seek to certify our industry's contractors? And more importantly, why would we force contractors to take an exam? Because certification is one of the best ways to distinguish between our industry's quality contractors and those who have hurt our industry's image.

We have fought the idea of certification for years because we did not want to force quality contractors to jump through hoops to become certified if our customers were only going to take the lowest priced contractor, regardless of their capability. We have pushed to educate customers on the idea of using a quality contractor, but we did not give them a way to identify "quality." Now, our certification program will give customers that level of measurement.

It is a tough program, but it is affordable and achievable. Every contractor that attempts to become certified can ultimately reach that goal; it just may take some time and effort to achieve certification.

The Association's ultimate goal is to promote the National Mason Contractor Certification program to the point where our customers specify a Certified Mason Contractor. Architects, specifiers and other customers will recognize a mason contractor's certification seal as synonymous with quality.

David Hill, MCAA education chairman, provides a feature article in this issue of Masonry, further explaining the requirements necessary to achieve a National Mason Contractor Certification (see page 20). There also is a brochure in this issue. I urge you to review the details and begin working toward your certification today.

One good way to begin is to start taking educational programs, both locally and at the MCAA national convention at Masonry Showcase held later this month in Orlando. A wide range of educational programs is being offered, all of which qualify toward your certification credits. In addition, the required Masonry Quality Institute (MQI) session is being offered in Orlando as well. The sooner you begin earning your credits, the quicker you will gain that all-important designation of Certified Mason Contractor.



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