President's Message - Dec '22

President's Message,
On behalf of Sasha, Jackie, Britain and the entire MBCEA Board, please accept my heartfelt wishes for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and Prosperous New Year. We end 2022 with more than 600 members, 66% of whom are contractors and erectors. A few years back, our marketing committee, led by Robert Tiffin launched the catch phrase “Reaching New Heights Together.” I am pleased to report we continue to soar. I am looking forward to an exciting 2023 as we continue to grow.
With all this growth and success comes some unwanted attention. Scammers and bad actors from the web continue to plague us and attempt to scrape contact information. Sasha has employed all the tools we can to minimize these threats. We do not and will not ever sell your data. Unfortunately, scam artists will continue to find new opportunities. Please take a moment to review your internal safety controls; remind your staff that no legitimate contact is ever going to ask them to buy gift cards or wire money or give out personal details. And be sure to mark these incoming messages as spam. We all need to do our part.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to address MBMA leadership at their winter meeting. I spoke for all members about the importance of Training, Training and more Training.
Training topic number one is the need for more language appropriate training and drawings. Many of us rely on Spanish speaking crews; it is important that we are able to provide them with the tools they need like drawings and installation manuals in the language they understand. Our central and south American workers are an important part of our crews; they deserve the same access to training as their English speaking counterparts.
Topic number two was a request for more installation videos from the manufacturers. People today learn from watching YouTube videos. There is a lot of manufacturer sponsored content but it's geared towards marketing and not training. The installation videos that are available on YouTube are primarily from erectors and may not reflect the manufacturer's installation process.
The third area of focus for training is workforce development. The industry needs affordable, comprehensive metal building assembly training, presented in the way students learn today. The industry needs to invest in workforce development and needs to improve the quality and quantity of available erectors. As previously reported, MBCEA, MBI and NCCER have embarked on a new initiative to create a complete Metal Building Assembly Training program that goes deep enough to qualify as a formal apprenticeship program and is robust enough to create craft workers skilled in the unique needs of metal buildings.
Safety and building integrity will be emphasized in every module. The program will be available in Spanish and English. It will not rely on textbooks and other outdated ways of learning but will be presented in an interactive online learning experience with a hands-on component either in a classroom or in the field.
I was very excited to present the first module of this new program to the MBMA members. I also shared with the MBMA members that we need their financial support to complete this million dollar, multi-year transformational project that will benefit ALL of us. The project has been kick-started by a generous commitment from the Ketenbrink Education Foundation. Many of you remember Bob and Bev Ketenbrink, of Spacemark, but do you also know that they created a foundation dedicated to the training needs of metal building assemblers? Their legacy will live on with each new worker we develop.
Over the coming weeks, I will be reaching out personally to manufacturers and suppliers to pledge their support. Feel free to preempt my call with an early pledge. Visit the Training Program pledge page.
Lastly, a brief word on MBCEA leadership. We have an awesome board of active and engaged members who are doing great things on behalf of the association. Last month, we put out the word that we will have two open seats for the National Board. We received a large number of extremely impressive candidates. I want to personally thank all the nominees for their willingness to serve. With much difficulty, the nominating committee narrowed the group down to 6. Their bios are detailed in the December newsletter. In a separate email, voting members will be sent a poll to select only two. The two candidates with the most votes will join the National Board in January.
Read the December newsletter for more great news and information!
Jen Heimburger
President, MBCEA
President, Heimburger Construction