I want to take this opportunity to personally acknowledge all the hard work and effort that went into the approval of AC478. What is that, you ask? Formal, world-wide recognition of a standard to which quality contractors and erectors can aspire, be measured and held accountable. This game-changer will level the playing field. So how did we do it? Let's stroll down memory lane:
During Conference 2013 a question was raised at the round table: what means is there to certify ourselves; to prove that we have the training, processes, people, etc. to assemble a building properly? How do we distinguish the "good guys" from the "rascals"? Tula Thompson from Bay Insulation and Erin Sullivan from Chief were drafted to help address this issue. Joining their team were Andrew Logue, Chief, Ben Ferguson, Pacific Insulated Panel, Anthony Diver, Tamora, Josh Quinter, Kaplin Stewart, Orris Schlabach, Northeast Erectors and Fadel Alsoudi, Evans Building.
Think about it; this is a perfect example of the power of the MBCEA. Members coming together for the good of membership and industry! This group laid the ground-work, did the research. They reported that accreditation is used worldwide to verify the competence of companies and organizations. Accreditation involves a formal assessment performed by a third-party (accrediting organization) to determine if a company or entity has demonstrated competence and meets specified requirements to perform specific tasks. They also identified the International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS) as a highly respected company that already had a program in place for the Metal Building Manufacturers (AC472)
The first team had delivered, and delivered big! They connected us with Sandi McCracken, Programs Manager at IAS. Sandi currently manages four accreditation programs for the IAS. She was instrumental in the development of the most recent accreditation programs for steel construction and has been directly involved with structural steel fabrication for over 35 years, predominately in Quality Assurance and Quality Control.
Next we needed a Technical Committee to draft the actual criteria. It was our specific intent to not set the bar so high that only the elite, large firms could apply nor so low that the program was meaningless. We also knew it was important that we have a cross-functional team representing all facets of industry. Tim Seyler, S&S Structures agreed to chair a team consisting of Tom Frahm, Butler Manufacturing, Wes Young, NCI Building Systems, David Bergholz, Chief Buildings, Eric Kay, Thomas Phoenix International, Inc., Stephen Moore, MMS Northeast, Ryan Grouws, CHG Buildings Systems, Mark Bailey, MarKim Erection Co., Kurt Ives, American Buildings Company, and Mike Reynolds, Systems Contractors. I also tapped Jackie Meiluta who had previously helped me with the Apprenticeship program.
Since last February, this team met weekly and crafted a standard to which we all can be very proud. They labored over sentences and wording to ensure a quality document. Jackie and Sandi kept the team focused. Together this group delivered an excellent product.
Tom Gilligan, Butler, Ken Buchinger, MBCI, Sheryl Cattau, Behlen Building Systems, Erin Sullivan, Chief Buildings, Martin Harper, Chief Buildings, Kenny Waugh, Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), Tula Thompson, Bay Insulation, Dave Volk, American Buildings Company, Chuck Haslebacher, Varco Pruden Buildings, and Matthew Threadgill, BlueScope Construction, Inc. joined me as a Review Committee. Our job was less time-consuming but no less important.
By August, it was ready! Many thought it could not be done. Many thought it would take years. But the power of the MBCEA delivered! Tim Seyler, Jackie Meiluta and I presented our program to Sandi's management team at IAS. We agreed on a schedule for the next few months that involved trial and tweaking. On December 6, 2014 the IAS announced to their world-wide audience that our program would be considered for approval on February 9, 2015.
Due to health issues I was unable to attend that meeting but again the team came through: Mike Reynolds, Tim Seyler, Mark Bailey, Dave Bergholz, Kenny Waugh, Tom Gilligan and Jackie Meiluta joined Sandi McCracken in Los Angeles. Lee Shoemaker and Dan Walker of the MBMA also came to bolster the program. I was able to attend via webcast and was on the seat of my chair the entire day. Tim Seyler summarizes the days events in the next column.
When it was finally over I yelled "WWWHHHOOOPPPEEEE!" But in all seriousness, I am so very appreciative of everyone involved. This is a major accomplishment for the MBCEA and for the men and women that are proud to make a living assembling metal buildings. I have said it before, this is a game-changer!
In closing, I hope to see you at the MBCEA Conference in San Diego. I assure you, you don't want to miss it.
Gary T. Smith
Now in our 46th year, the MBCEA is dedicated to the support of the professional advancement of metal building contractors, erectors, and our industry.
There are three levels of membership available depending on the scope of your business.