Message from the President

What’s that expression…March goes out like a lamb… not this year. March ended and April began with all hell breaking loose! The covid crisis is impacting each state and region differently but it is certainly impacting us all. We need to be smart, think ahead, plan and plan some more.

When you think about, moments of crisis are exactly why membership in a group like the MBCEA is so very valuable. A simple definition of a professional association is a group of people from the same profession who gather together for networking events and to come up with standards for the profession.

I know we don’t always like the word “networking” but the advice, support and connections of peers and colleagues are very powerful tools in your toolbox.

The second part of that definition refers to standards for the profession and MBCEA certainly delivers on this. Members have access to a powerful arsenal of tips, templates and documents in the member’s only area of the website. Through the MBI we have access to, perhaps the only, national (open shop) guidelines for apprenticeship for our trade. And last but not least, members get free consultative support on THE standard for our trade – Metal Building Assembly accreditation (AC478) with the IAS.

Whether or not you are serious about pursuing apprenticeship or accreditation at this time, I urge you to acquaint yourself with these powerful programs for improving your business. You may be able to incorporate bits and pieces now, laying a framework for long-term success.

Other benefits of membership include our social media outlets. You and your team should all friend/follow MBCEA for news and updates. Sasha regularly posts “crews available” and “crews needed” news. We also have a MBCEA Facebook group page which is limited to members where you can vent, share and discuss ideas. Joining this page is simple but does require Sasha to “accept” you. This two-step process is how we keep it limited to members, so make sure you answer the questions when submitting your request to join.

We have also built a Covid resource page on our website. Check in often. We are posting and sharing new job site practices as they become available. The NY region has already had to implement quite a few new protocols that we are happy to share so they are available to you as needed.

Our friends at Metal Construction News are tracking changing attitudes about the pandemic. You can read the results of their first survey here. Highlights include:

  • Jobs shut downs and layoffs may not be at as high a rate as expected
  • Field workers are more likely to be laid off than office workers
  • Respondents in the East region are more pessimistic and hit far harder
  • Uncertainty rules the industry
  • There is still resilience

Our friends at METALCON are hosting a weekly live discussion on breaking news and what you should be doing NOW to strengthen your business. These are free and open to anyone in the industry. Check them out here.

Now is a good time to consider your investment in training. If your schedules are disrupted by Covid, assign your crew some training programs. The Quality and Craftsmanship series is free to MBCEA members. Consider alternative schedules and reduced hours. If you are faced with laying off your workers, I urge a quick read of this article for simple common-sense advice.

Access to good information, best-practice and peer-to-peer support is the lifeline you need to weather this crisis. We will get through this together. Stay safe and wash your hands!

Sincerely,

Art Hance
President, MBCEA
President, Hance Construction