Words: Mark Kemp
The time has finally arrived, the Masonry Foundation will be reviewing any grant request, which will come by July 15. It is an exciting time for our industry. Through these grant requests, the Masonry Foundation will be supporting the masonry industry. These grants will be for things like workforce development, education programs, research, and masonry programs at our universities that have architectural and engineering programs.
We have received several grant requests already. By July 15, all of the grants will be reviewed first by the MCAA staff to make sure they meet the guidelines of the Grant Review Process. This document laid the ground rules of how the grants will be reviewed, making sure the industry gets the maximum benefit out of the dollars spent by the Foundation. Preference will be given to requests that provide national benefits first and regional benefits second.
Matching funds and partners would be given preference to those looking for funding from the Masonry Foundation. The grant dollars will provide the seed money necessary to get programs off the ground. The finance committee recommends the actual dollar amount spent each year and then approved by the Masonry Foundation Board.
The grants will all be reviewed again by the review committee, evaluating the relevance to the Foundation’s mission statement and the guidelines given in the Grant Application documents. The review committee will submit its recommendation for funding to the foundation board for final approval.
The successful grant applicants will also have to give updates on their progress, ensuring they are meeting their commitments as laid out in their grant request. Think of it as a checks-and-balance procedure. We will be announcing the grant approvals at the Midyear meeting.
Those who have pledged to the Foundation, this is a very special moment in our industry. We have stepped up to ensure a brighter future for our industry. We are finally proactive rather than reactive. While our dollars for grants are currently small, we are still making a difference and controlling our future rather than letting the future control us.
Thank you to all who have pledged, you have turned this goal into a reality. There still is time for contractors and suppliers to step up and make a difference by supporting the Masonry Foundation. Remember it is a pledge, not a contract and can be spread out over five years.