October 2014: Chairman's Message

Words: Mark KempOctober 2014 Chairman's Message

Striving to Reach Perfection and Continually Improving

Did you ever belong to something, but not feel you were a part of it? Well, the easiest way to overcome this is by putting yourself out there and getting involved. For me, whether it is doing martial arts, a Tough Mudder, or being a member of an association, I feel you have to get involved. You cannot just sit on the sidelines waiting for things to happen. By getting involved, you start to feel you’re a part of something. You start to see all the benefits through your involvement.

There is a saying: To be a great martial artist, you must reach out and teach others. This is true within MCAA. It is by reaching out and participating that we not only help others, but ourselves as well. I urge all of you to get involved with the masonry industry – your industry – by being an active member of MCAA. We can use your help, and you will see the benefits of being involved.

One year ago, we started to see our industry pick up. Today, we are in most areas of the country at full employment. Along with this good news brings other challenges, like a skilled workforce shortage. MCAA is committed to working on this problem through our Workforce Development program. We are presently working in the states of Tennessee and Arizona by reaching out to the high schools and offering to be their sponsor representative through NCCER in any construction-related trade. We are excited about expanding these opportunities to other states, next through a grant we applied for with NCMA. As these programs become self-sufficient, we will continue to expand into other states.

Along with the problem of a skilled workforce shortage comes the problem of safety. I urge all of our members to take advantage of the great webinars we offer on safety. Remember, if you signed up for the webinar package, you can go back and listen to any webinar through our On Demand program. I recently hired a young engineer from college, and this webinar program has been a huge benefit to expedite his growth about masonry. Another thing to help keep your company safe is to download one of the safety topics, and go out to the field and use it as a safety toolbox talk or training aid.

It has been great to see our membership increase during the last several months. I can count on Linda or Angie (MCAA staff personnel) to email me a couple of times a month, asking me to send out a welcome email to our new members. I have to thank some of our Regional VPs for welcoming our new members as well. As I have stated in the past, our strength grows with membership. With the construction boom taking place, I expect lots of new members in the months ahead.

It is hard to believe that in a couple months, our Annual Convention will take place in Las Vegas. I assure you, we are working hard to make it better than ever. The MCAA headquarters will be at the Aria this year, to keep the event alive and fresh. We have added a ladies’ event to this year’s program. Masonry Madness will be bigger and better than ever. Watch your emails as we get closer to the date to see what is going to take place.

MCAA will be holding its first Regional Program in Arizona, Nov. 14 and 15. These regional programs are starting as a way for MCAA to reach out to our members and non-members on a more personal and local basis. This is just one more way MCAA can better serve its members. ????

The Foundation Board continues to solidify its pledges through its strategic regional members. This Masonry Foundation will enable our industry to meet its fiscal responsibilities, not only now but for the future. We will be able to provide funding through grants for things like BIM, workforce development, masonry programs at universities, and educating architects, engineers and construction managers – all of this at state, regional and national levels.

We all should be positive about the future of our industry. I assure you that MCAA and the masonry industry are striving and continually improving.

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