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April 2014: Chairman’s Message

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April 2014

Chairman’s Message

On the Move and Working for You

Have you ever experienced some one telling you he saved 10 percent on a purchase, but then spent more so he could save an additional 25 percent? Well, I am beginning to understand that type of logic with my frequent flyer program. During the month of April, I will be traveling to Washington, D.C., for the proposed new silica rule, Florida to meet with the Canadian Contractors, Las Vegas to do our wrap-up meeting with Hanley Wood, North Carolina for a Masonry Summit, and then back to Florida for a couple days of R&R. So as you can see, the MCAA is on the move and working hard to assure it provides value for its members.

During the last week in March and the first part of April, the MCAA will be present for the silica hearings. Rashod Johnson will be speaking on behalf of the MCAA, and Jeff Buczkiewicz and I will be there for support and to provide input with questioning. The proposed silica rule is the biggest challenge our industry has ever faced with OSHA. For this reason, the MCAA has joined a coalition to try and stop this rule before it is ever started. We are lucky to have the expertise of The Keelen Group to guide us with our efforts. The proposed ruling will have no health benefit for the worker, yet it will cripple the construction industry and be devastating to the masonry industry, specifically. There has been no scientific evidence to warrant what OHSA is proposing, and the impact to the average contractor, which OSHA utilizes, is grossly understated. I urge all of you to contact your representatives and ask for their support in opposing the proposed changes. The masonry industry has the most to lose on this, so please make your voices heard!

From Washington, I will be going to Florida to meet with Canadian Masonry Contractors’ Association (CMCA). After this long, hard winter, it is no surprise they are meeting in Florida.  By attending this meeting, both associations will be able to share ideas and learn from each other. We share a lot of common issues – things like silica, BIM, workforce development, growing market share, and energy research. Right now, the MCAA has a partnership with CMCA and International Masonry Institute (IMI) on an energy study to help regain single-wythe masonry walls. The study will provide a more holistic approach to evaluating the energy efficiency of buildings. This study is being done through the University of Louisville, headed by Professor McGinley. You can learn more about this important study at the MCAA Midyear Meeting in Milwaukee, Sept. 9 – 13.

Next, I’ll be off to Las Vegas to have a wrap-up meeting with Hanley Wood and start planning how we can improve next year’s convention. We have some great ideas, and you will hear about them at a later date. We also will discuss Masonry Madness and how we can even make it bigger and better. If you have some ideas, feel free to give me a call or send an email.

I want all of you to plan on attending the Legislative Fly-In, which takes place May 20 – 22 in Washington, D.C. This is the time we unite as an industry to voice our concerns on issues that face our industry. This might be the most important one since its origination, because of two major issues: silica, which we talked about earlier, and the Check-Off Program. These two issues will shape the future of our industry. The Check-Off Program will provide financial support for things like research and development, workforce development, and promotion – so we can grow our market share. It is through the joint working relationship with the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) and The Keelen Group that we are so close to moving this bill forward. But “close” is like coming in second on a bid. We need to make the final push to get this bill on the floor and passed. Do not sit back and think the others can do it; the strength is in the numbers.

In closing, I urge you to be passionate about being a MCAA member. Get involved and, if you are not, please pick up the phone or shoot me an email, mark@superiormasonry.com. Remember, Together We Are Stronger!

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