2016 Goes into the Books as a Great Year for the MC&MCA 2017 is Looking Good

By Gary Botzek, Executive Director

As 2016 ends, we can be thankful for the construction projects and building opportunities that were fulfilled this past year. For that we are grateful! According to most “experts,” 2017 is predicted to be a strong building year. For that we are hopeful!

The MC&MCA remains strong as well. With 46 concrete, masonry, and general contractors and 39 suppliers of concrete and masonry products, as well as other goods and services, we are strong and active. We represent general contractors, specialty contractors, and suppliers of great goods and services.

MC&MCA, working with the AGC, negotiated three-year labor contracts with the unions our industry uses most: bricklayers, tile setters, cement masons, laborers, and the 49er’s. A fair agreement was reached with no work stoppages. Included in the bricklayer’s agreement is language that allows the MC&MCA to collect, through a third party, five cents per bricklayer hour worked in the metro 11 counties. This commitment to the association and to marketing the industry bolds well for the future. Work hours have increased this year over 2015.

We are proud that our contractor members stepped forward to represent the MC&MCA on all negotiations committees, fringe fund committees, and apprenticeship committees. This is a lot of time and energy, but very important to the long term healthy of the concrete and masonry industry in this market.

Our membership services include a directory, an active website, a monthly newsletter, and regular educational and social events. We added a new “Food 4 Thought” event that features educational forums for our members. We toured the new State Capitol and attended a Saints game in their new stadium. We had a tour of the new Viking Stadium. We held a couple of craft beer brewery visits as well! Our June golf outing in Elk River was well attended and enjoyed by all. Our golf tournament will be back there in 2017. Our bird hunt in early December drew 32 hunters.

We continue to feature the Excellence in Concrete & Masonry Design and Construction awards contest. We had close to 40 entries this year. We judged the projects “on-site” with the judging done by 14 volunteer architects. We will be recognizing the nine winners on February 18 at the annual awards banquet.

Elena Peltsman, our Marketing Director, continues to market masonry to architects, owners, developers, and general contractors. In late 2016 we merged our masonry marketing efforts with the MMC’s structural masonry marketing efforts. Elena works with Mark Swanson of IMI to promote and market both structural and architectural masonry applications and advantages. We will continue to work with the design community to promote masonry as the #1 choice in building materials.

At the end of 2016 the Minnesota Concrete Masonry Association closed its doors as a trade association in Minnesota. The functions and activities of the MCMA will be taken over by the MC&MCA. We will continue to promote block and brick, as well as stone!

We will be asking our many members to rejoin our association efforts by paying their dues and contributing to the marketing fund. We added two new membership categories in 2016; architects and architectural firms and service providers (computer services, catering services, restaurant facilities, etc.). We were able to attract two new members in these areas and hope to attract more in 2017.

The MC&MCA Membership Committee reviewed the current dues structure and recommended to the board that dues not be adjusted for 2017. The committee also recommended that we provide a “Pay Online” option for membership dues, directory, golf, bird hunt, etc. We will be able to accept online payments starting January 3, 2017!

The MC&MCA board has approved a budget for 2017 that is again based on a strong financial contribution of our members. We are grateful to the IMI, bricklayers, laborers, and LECET for their financial assistance to our efforts, as well as their working relationship with the MC&MCA in architectural and structural masonry marketing efforts.

2017 promises to be a very good year! Thanks to all of our members, allied construction friends and colleagues, and the unions for their hard work and strong commitment to concrete and masonry building in Minnesota. Together we make a great team! Go MC&MCA!