What Have You Done For Me Lately?

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Words and Photos: Julie Trost, IOM,  Executive Director at MCAC

MCAC 60th Anniversary Logo

No joke, one of my members actually asked me this right to my face. And you know what? That’s a very valid question. Here at the Mason Contractors Association of California (MCAC), we’re up to a lot…

Influencing Decision-Makers

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West! MCAC operates in a state that specializes in creating a business-unfriendly environment. If you’re one of the 4+ million small businesses operating in this judicial meat grinder, you need to stay on top of the dynamic, convoluted, ever-changing laws being introduced and passed each year. And it’s challenging enough just to focus on the masonry sector!

MCAC Past President, Ray Wetmore of Pacific Bay Masonry, testifying at Cal/OSHA Silica Regulation hearing in Walnut Creek, CA

Our mission is to represent both open-shop and signatory mason contractors of all sizes and specialties on a variety of issues related to the trade. MCAC aims to be the 411 center on legislation, regulations, contractor licensing, safety best practices, and building codes that impact masonry businesses’ day-to-day operations and, ultimately, their bottom lines. With the help of the member dues, MCAC promotes and advocates masonry industry positions on important issues, including:

  • California’s landmark first-in-the-country Silica and Heat Illness standards.
  • Assembly Bill 2173—making the 5% Public Works Retention Fee Cap permanent.
  • Assembly Bill 2322—high fire hazard area critical infrastructure building code fire rating changes.
  • Combating the harmful effects of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)—the PAGA Repeal Ballot Measure is slated for November 2024.
  • Zero-emission vehicle and construction equipment mandates.
  • Currently-in-progress effort to bring gender-specific restrooms to jobsites.

Members receive email “alerts” if a law passes that may impact how they do business. At times, our updates have been lovingly described as “Death Dealer Reports”. Although “keeping it real” means I occasionally have to be the bearer of bad news, oftentimes my job is to relay what didn’t happen to our member companies—the whole “things could always be worse” adage is a very real thing in California.

MCAC Past Presidents, Ray Wetmore of Pacific Bay Masonry, Joel Guth of iQ Power Tools and Jeff Barber of John Jackson Masonry, pow-wowing before Cal/OSHA Silica Regulation hearing in Walnut Creek, CA.

Built to Last

Wildfires are a big deal in the Golden State! Here’s the great news—our industry offers the ideal materials to build commercial and residential infrastructure that can better withstand wildfires. Using masonry materials makes both solid business sense and good environmental sense. Win-win!

So, it was a welcome opportunity to represent masonry at the first-ever UC Davis Wildfire Resilient Structures Conference (WiReS) in San Diego, California, in February 2023. Supported by a grant from The Masonry Foundation and other California masonry organizations, MCAC produced a video, designed a booth and created marketing collateral showcasing masonry’s fire resilience and our mission to build safer, greener, stronger communities with masonry. You can view the video at https://www.mca-ca.org/whymasonry/.

Heart and Soul

Founded in 1963, MCAC is celebrating our 60th anniversary this year! In honor of MCAC Founder Ryan M. O’Brien, United States Air Force Navigator, Purple Heart recipient, avid golfer and supporter of veterans’ organizations, we just held our 2nd Annual Legacy Golf Tournament. With the help of the Resource Building Materials betting hole, coupled with the proceeds from the tournament, MCAC was able to donate $4,750 to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

MCAC Founder, Ryan M. O’Brien, and me, current executive director, Julie Trost at MCAC 137th State Meeting in Indian Wells, CA

MCAC is committed to being an advocate, information center, and connection point for the masonry industry. We truly value our members and we’ve been around long enough to know that people and relationships matter!

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