December 2013: Chairman's Message

Words: John Smith Jr. Chairman's Message

Happy Holidays

We are all very busy this time of year. We all work to balance our lives all year long, but during the holidays, it is time to reflect on our families.

The MCAA staff is extremely busy this time of year as Jeff and Tim are spending a lot of time preparing for the World of Masonry in January.

We have shortened the conference by one day. We did this as a result of the survey last year. We have a lot of seminars and events during the three days. Take a look at the information, and register. We added an additional hotel in a modest price range to encourage you to bring a larger group to the convention. We offer many seminars that would help your staff and company in the next year.

Regarding masonry around the country, most companies are reporting continuing growth. Profits are still slim, but the opportunities are growing. We continue to address manpower issues with NCCER as we have seen areas that are starting to have difficulty finding qualified craftsmen. We just hired a new staff person, Terry Ruppel, to begin our initiative to work hand-in-hand with the high schools, career centers and community colleges in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. He will work to encourage high school programs in the trades and become their liaison and sponsor with NCCER, so they can credential their students. Credentialing their students will give them the ability to track their training and show competence on both the written and performance sides.

We are also working heavily on the silica issue. Our coalition is busy evaluating the new rule, and I can assure you that – from what we have initially discovered of the rule – it will dramatically change the masonry jobsite and create a new burden on mason contractors with paper work and new liability exposure.

We are hopeful that we can get changes made to the rule. The proposed PEL of .50 is not a practical or feasible limit we can meet. Our studies have shown that wet cutting can get consistently below .8 to .9. Look for more information on our website, www.masoncontractors.orb, on this issue. We need all mason contractors to work together to try to get changes made to this rule. It will make compliance with the rule extremely costly and quite complicated.

Please enjoy your holiday, and make time to register for the convention.

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