Chairman's Message: June 2023

Words: Larry Vacala

In my recent travels I attended some important meetings for the MCAA and our industry.  On April 5th, a group of us took a trip to Washington D.C. My son Tyler Vacala, Jeff Buczkiewicz, Kent Huntley, Ryan Shaver, and I flew in to meet with the Department of Labor.  Our meeting was specifically with the Office of Apprenticeship for a follow-up to a prior conference call. MCAA’s goal is to develop a national youth apprenticeship program endorsed by the DOL. We presented the North Carolina youth apprenticeship program. The N.C. program allows 16–18 years old students to work on jobsites and potentially earn high school credits.  It’s a proven program developed in North Carolina and has become the gold stand model being used throughout the country. We all came away from this meeting feeling very positive. It was stated by one DOL representative, “this is going to happen, it’s not a matter of if, but when”.  We are looking forward to our follow-up meeting.

April 27, I attended the North Carolina Mason Contractors Association annual meeting held at The Kingston Resorts in Myrtle Beach. Once again, they showed me why they are considered leaders in the masonry industry. It was an honor to join them and be a part of their family atmosphere. All their chapters were in attendance. Their passion for our industry and camaraderie amongst contractors is nothing short of impressive. All coming together with common goals. To protect, promote and advance our industry. 

Some highlights from the event were the auction and closing banquet. The live auction raised just over $77,000.00 for workforce development. This was due to very generous donations from suppliers and contractors. The auctioneer from Texas, Mackie Bounds, did an amazing job generating excitement amongst the bidders. As Mackie stated, “In our industry you don’t usually win if your high bidder, so here is your chance.” It was a fun event with generous bidders. 

At the closing banquet, two of their recently retired leaders, Gary Joyner and Lynn Nash were honored. Both of which were key to growing this strong North Carolina association. It was great hearing all the stories and memories of these two leaders for their association. Their current leadership is solid, and they do a great job developing new programs and next generation leaders. It was an honor for me and my son Tyler to be in attendance. Thank you for your Southern hospitality!

The MCAA has proven that working together makes us stronger! The association is focused on strengthening the future of our industry. If you’re not attending at least one of our 2 yearly meetings, you are losing out on the valuable benefits of being a member.  It’s much like having a gym membership and not going to the gym. You will not see the personal benefits or results without participating. Just by having that gym membership you might get good health information but if you do not attend the gym, you’re missing out on the best part of being a member. 

MCAA is comprised of industry legends, leaders, and coaches to network with that can benefit you personally. Participating will help you, your company and your local association become stronger. Finding solutions to challenges can be accomplished when you collaborate with others in your industry. If you have any interest in becoming more efficient, more profitable or growing your business, get involved in your local association and MCAA. Your participation will not only benefit you but it’s important to the future of our industry. 

Stay Safe and Stay Strong!
Larry Vacala

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