Author: Bronzella Cleveland

The Latest in Building Anchors

While masonry anchors and ties have remained stable throughout the years, innovations within the systems and how they are manufactured are producing better-performing structures, say two experts in this field. Heckmann Building Products Inc. The majority of the anchoring systems manufactured by Heckmann Building Products Inc. in Melrose Park, IL, are used to transfer lateral loads from a masonry or stone veneer wall to the backup wall These anchors are typically specified in the construction documents, says Paul Curtis Technical Sales/Product Development – Heckmann Building Products – Division of Mechanical Plastics Corp. Heckmann has been manufacturing masonry anchors since...

Read More

MCAA Gateway: December 2017 Cont.

Shirley Named MCAA Pennsylvania State Chairman Christopher Shirley Appointed to Represent Pennsylvania  Christopher Shirley, masonry instructor at the Indiana County Technology Center (Indiana, Pa.), has been appointed to the position of MCAA Pennsylvania State Chairman. Christopher is in his eighth year as a masonry instructor. Christopher holds an Associate’s degree from the PA College of Technology in Masonry. He earned his teaching certification, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Workforce Education and Development from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Industry Advisory Council for the PA Housing Research Center and a member of the Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association (PCMA) where he serves as President of the Masonry Instructors Association of PA and Maryland, a committee of the PCMA. He also assists the Pennsylvania SkillsUSA organization with the operation of State competitions. “I elected to pursue teaching masonry as a way to give back to the Industry for all it has given me by training the next generation of masons, and I look forward to working with the MCAA.” The Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and our members welcome Christopher to his new role....

Read More

The Trades vs. Traditional College: A Breakdown

While many college graduates are often paid well as they progress into their careers, a very good living can also be had by entering the construction trades – and at a fraction of the education or training cost. Contractors can better recruit would-be candidates by showing them compelling evidence demonstrating the strong ROI of apprenticeships, certifications and other types of training to obtain the skills needed for their chosen trade. But contractors must do more than that to attract and retain workers, particularly millennials: contractors must also find ways to let workers collaborate more on projects, as well as...

Read More

Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation Working with the Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation (FMAEF) are making strides in the effort to develop skilled workers for the masonry industry in Florida. The FMAEF has Registered Apprenticeship programs throughout Florida. They have a mutually beneficial working relationship with the Florida Department of Education and with Secondary and Post-Secondary Career and Technical Education schools. Although these programs are doing well, they cannot meet all the growing demands for our workforce. Moving forward after the Great Recession, Florida is enjoying major growth in the construction industry. The Florida tourist industry also continues to grow. We have become the third...

Read More

Contractor Tip Of The Month: “How to Navigate the Other Side of a Business Boom”

“How to Navigate the Other Side of a Business Boom” Damian Lang Last month we discussed how important it is to hire and expand during boom construction cycles. When times are good, you best cash in on the opportunity before it disappears. We also said that expanding when times are good means the opposite when things go south… and they will go south eventually. Many business owners struggle with this, and for good reason, because it is hard to lay off or let go of people you care about. But as soon as the work is gone, you have to cut back just as fast as you expanded. If you don’t, you might end up belly up! Knowing when to expand and when to contract is one of the greatest responsibilities company owners and managers have. Think about this: If you grow 40% during a booming market and business drops by 40% in a downturn, aren’t you back to where you were before the boom began? Or, let’s say you had 50 employees and expanded to 70 during the boom. Then during the recession, you cut essentially 20 employees. You are, of course, back to 50. When you make cuts, be selective and only cut your poorest performers. In our example then, when you reduce the 20, you don’t necessarily have to let go of the same 20 you...

Read More