Message from the President

Hard to believe we are almost halfway through the year. I hope everyone reading this is off to a great start to make 2019 a banner year. I know we say it all the time but active participation in our Association is one of your tools for success.

Consider this: at Conference last month during the round table, a new guy asked for tips on being invited to bid, how to grow his business. The overwhelming response from the experienced guys was to get involved; attend Chapter meetings, and network within the MBCEA. Actual quotes:

“I want to do business with people I know and have looked in the eye”

“It’s all about rapport and getting to know people”

“Worst thing you can do is isolate yourself”

“Cozy up to the bigger guys, they may feed you projects they consider too small”

Another hot topic at Conference had to do with retention. We all know how difficult it is to find new workers but even worse, how do we get them to last 90 days and then 6 months… ? This same subject comes up when we talk about women in construction and millennials. It is easy to cast blame on the new hire, “he didn’t work out” or “she wasn’t a good fit”, but maybe it is time to reconsider and look deep within ourselves.

Do we create a welcoming environment or do we haze the new guy? Are we sure hedidn’t work out or maybe he just didn’t know how to fit in? Teasing and bullying have long been a part of the typical crew make-up. The tip of the month goes to our friends at J&M Steel Solutions. They have obviously thought about this issue quite a bit. They are almost two years into a new program based on mentoring. And it’s working!

Their program is simple: each new hire is paired up with a mentor. The mentor gets a cash bonus if the worker succeeds and stays. The new hire also gets a ding after 60 and 90 days. The mentor is not necessarily the trainer or the foreman, he is simply someone who knows your name, who makes sure you have someone to sit with at lunch, who makes sure your safety gear is on properly – you know those basic acts of human kindness that unfortunately are often lacking on the typical jobsite.

Sounds simple right? Just think, if you get involved in a local chapter and learn one tip to save you money or meet someone who may have some work for you, how great your return on your membership investment would be. If you have not yet recruited one new member, maybe now is the time to forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague. He’ll thank you for the tip!

Thank you and Stay Safe!


Keith Wentworth
President, MBCEA
Vice-President, Dutton & Garfield, Inc.