Chairman's Message: Getting to The New Normal

Words: Paul Oldham

Paul Oldham, MCAA Chairman

The first six months of 2020 have definitely put life into perspective. It also has reminded us how fortunate we are to live in a country that affords us the freedoms that we do have. As the new normal sets in (hopefully, it is not much different than how we have lived our lives before we heard of COVID-19) adjustments will have to be made. It is amazing how a change in life at first can seem so difficult, but can become so normal.   I think back to when our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of nine, and how our world got flipped upside down. All these new things to think about, to monitor, and to keep her safe. It was overwhelming, but here we are eight years later. All those things function in our “normal” today, and life did not fall apart for our family. We all will be able to adapt to whatever the “new normal” ends up being.  Our organization, the MCAA, has always been good at changing with the needs of our membership and industry. This has not been any different during this situation. We have had the infrastructure and technology in place to work remotely and be able to offer more member benefits in the virtual world. That has a lot to do with everyone involved in our organization.   This includes the out-of-the-box thinking that Jeff and the staff continuously do, along with the ideas and thoughts of our committees and our membership in general. Many in the construction industry look at us as being the Flintstones of the trades, but in reality, we lead in many aspects. We have focused on our webinar format to provide additional training and we have seen many members use that during this time. Also, we continue to push our message in the social media world.  Even though we were not able to have our Legislative Fly-In this year, we will continue to reach out to our elected officials as we all need to do. Of course, this has been even more difficult than ever, and we are up against the election this year. So, seeing movement is going to be far and few in-between, but we have to keep on it. We continue to talk to Congress about Guest Worker Programs, the Infrastructure Bill, Healthcare and Workforce Development. We need to pressure all of our elected officials; it is far past time for Congress to work together. We need and we want them to work together to move the pendulum forward.  Unfortunately, Skills USA has been cancelled this summer. This has been a great event that as an organization and industry we have stepped up tremendously the last few years. A huge part of our involvement comes from our own Ryan Shaver, and how he has led us and the event to new levels. I would like to ask everyone to keep Ryan and his family in their thoughts.   This year, Ryan has learned and is battling a medical condition that he is currently being treated for it. The passion and drive that Ryan has for our industry and fostering the craft is unparalleled. We look forward to Ryan being back to 100% soon. For anyone that has not been to Skills USA, pencil it in for June 2021 when the event will be in Atlanta.   We currently have all intentions of the Midyear meeting happening. In Indiana, we are in a five-stage process for “Back on Track Indiana.” The plan is to have Indiana back on track, to what the new normal is by July 4th. I am looking forward to it, and it is coming together to be a great event. For those that have never come to a Mid-Year Meeting, it is a great setting to network, learn, and share with others in our industry. The Midyear Meeting will be held in French Lick, Indiana, September 13th through 17th, with some possible optional events, held early. More to come on that. I hope everyone is staying healthy and busy. It is amazing how many hours are in a day when you are not running all over the place.   
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