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What's Happening at MCAA?


UA Journal Editorial Highlights Pension Reform

UAJournalMcManusMCAA encourages all members and local affiliates to read an excellent editorial from UA General Secretary-Treasurer Mark McManus which supports "Solutions Not Bailouts." If you would like to do more on this very important topic after reading his editorial, please


MCAA President Chuck Fell Addresses UA Industry Day

MCAA President Chuck Fell addressed a record-breaking crowd at Industry Day during the UA's 25th Anniversary Instructor Training Program at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor, MI last week. President Fell delivered his address to a packed auditorium, noting the strong partnership that MCAA has forged with the UA through joint strategic planning initiatives and on the Board of Trustees for the International Training Fund (ITF). President Fell was joined by UA General President Bill Hite, the dean of the U.S. Congressional delegation, retiring Congressman John Dingell (D-MI-12), and UA representatives from Canada and Australia. The UA's Director of Training Chris Haslinger also addressed the Industry Day forum, noting that approximately 2000 participants engaged in week-long train-the-trainer academic courses. After the program, President Fell and MCAA ITF Co-Chairman Michael R. Cables toured the WCC facility and the new and impressive micro-turbine, co-generation training installation that the ITF financed and installed at the Great Lakes Training facility on the WCC campus. Later in the program, President Fell addressed the national apprenticeship contest participants, applauding their strong achievement for succeeding through local and regional competitions. President Fell noted their high-skills accomplishments and commented that the contest reflects well on local training programs across the country.  He also stressed the need to focus on safety performance to meet the increasing owner attention to safety records in project selection decisions.  President Fell also addressed the ITP graduates at the graduation ceremony the following day, noting their crucial role in expanding workforce training and development and preparing the industry to meet market demands into the future.  The UA announced a 15-year extension of the ITP program at the WCC campus.


Improve Your Negotiating Skills at MCAA's 2014 Collective Bargaining Seminar -There's Still Time to Sign Up

MCAA's 2014 Collective Bargaining Seminar (September 8-10 in Washington, DC) is where you'll get the latest information about strategies and relevant issues that will improve your effectiveness at your next collective bargaining negotiation. Labor and employment law experts will be on hand to brief you on basic collective bargaining approaches and technical compliance issues, advanced bargaining topics, the latest issues affecting local labor negotiations, affirmative action and EEO compliance for bargaining teams and federal construction contractors, National Labor Relations Board procedures and issues and Industrial Relations Council rules and processes. The full program and the registration form are at http://www.mcaa.org/education/mcaa/collectivebargaining


Meet With Your Congressional Representatives on Multiemployer Pension Plan Reform During the August Recess

With lawmakers back in their districts for the August recess, now is the time for local MCAA employers, their associations, and local labor representatives to press their House and Senate representatives for passage of the Solutions Not Bailouts reform proposal. All Congressional offices - Republican and Democrat - should be contacted. Request a meeting in person with the lawmaker and top staff; invite your local UA business representative to the meeting as well. Background material is on the MCAA website and at http://www.solutionsnotbailouts.com If you schedule a meeting and need further back-up information or data, please contact John McNerney at jmcnerney@mcaa.org or at 800-556-3653. MCAA's Government Affairs Committee and advocacy program have implemented a Voter Voice email advocacy program - effective today - for the pension reform legislative campaign. Go to www.mcaa.org/advocacy to email your House and Senate representatives.


ALI Exceeds Top Executives' Expectations

Since 2000, MCAA's Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI) has been challenging our industry's leading executives to be more effective as leaders of their companies and in strategically charting a course for the success of their businesses. If you or the top executives in your company have not yet experienced ALI, now is your chance. ALI is accepting applications for Course 15. The ALI curriculum focuses on strategic planning and leadership development and is geared for today's and tomorrow's toughest business challenges. The program has been enhanced with the addition of a module on "Branding" and another on "Customer Partnerships."  The branding module will include Webex-delivered components during the interim period between Week 1 and Week 2.  Dates for ALI's Course 15 are: September 27-October 2, 2015 (Week 1) and November 8-13, 2015 (Week 2). To request an application or learn more about the ALI, please contact Dennis Langley at dlangley@mcaa.org


Discover Leadership Techniques to Build Effective Teams and Get "Unstuck" with Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas will present Effective Team-Building through Leadership: Navigating through Human Weirdness at the MSCA 2014 Educational Conference (Huntington Beach, CA) on September 30. Effective leadership is paramount to building a successful team and organization. In addition to dealing with customer challenges, you must also be prepared to manage differing personalities. In this session, Thomas will teach you how to navigate through the complexities of human weirdness and provide you with simple ways to serve and lead your team effectively. In a follow-up to this session, he will present STUCK! Moving from Stuck to High-Performance on October 1. In this program, Thomas will discuss the challenges involved with sustaining a leadership-centered culture within your company and how to overcome getting "stuck." You'll leave these sessions with a greater understanding of the principles and best practices that every high-performing company has mastered, so don't miss out! Register for the MSCA 2014 conference today at www.msca.org/msca2014 to attend these events.


AIPM Will Make Your Best Senior Project Managers Even Better

Even your most experienced project managers can still learn new practices and procedures that will improve their management of projects, increase productivity and grow profits. MCAA's Advanced Institute for Project Management (AIPM) is specially designed for those who've been managing projects for several years, but whose project management skills are ready for significant enhancement. The next AIPM (January 18-23, 2015, University of Texas, Austin, TX) will cover: Advanced Leadership Skills; Keeping Customers for Life; Legal Issues with Difficult Jobs; Risky Business: Insurance & Bonds for Contractors; Staying on Top of Scheduling and Productivity Impacts; Effective Notice: Improve Your Negotiating Position and Avoid Litigation; Operational Management: Tips from the Pros; and Goal Setting: How to Effectively Manage Yourself and Those You Influence. This is an excellent educational program that fills quickly, so don't delay registering your senior project managers. Go to http://www.mcaa.org/education/mcaa/ipm/ipm-advanced for program information and a downloadable registration form. Please contact Beth Miller at bmiller@mcaa.org with registration questions.


Grow Your Business by Investing in Your Dispatchers with MSCA Training

As your company's primary representative with the client, service dispatchers serve as the nerve center for service scheduling, resource allocation, priority-setting, and customer satisfaction - all elements of great customer service. Therefore, it is important to invest in these members of your team. MSCA's Dispatcher Professional Development Training Program, which will be held October 27-28, 2014 (BWI Airport Marriott, Baltimore, MD), will help new and experienced dispatchers understand their true role in the company and advance their careers as they significantly enhance their ability to contribute to your company's success. This is the last dispatcher training program offered this year, and class size is limited, so register today at http://www.mcaa.org/education/msca/dispatcher. Contact Sobeida Orantes at saorantes@mcaa.org with registration questions.


Registered Yet for the Next Green Building Webinar?

If your next project has sustainability requirements and you want to know the options for its certification, then you should participate in MCAA's next Green Building Webinar. Although LEED has been the industry standard for green building rating systems for more than 10 years, other certification programs are available to measure and test a building's sustainability. Courtney France of France Sustainable Solutions will explain the various programs in sustainable building metrics and the rating systems and certifications offered by each system. The webinar takes place on August 28, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. This webinar is free to MCAA and MSCA members as a benefit of membership. Please register at https://mcaa.webex.com


Your Management Innovation Deserves Reognition!

Apply for the E. Robert Kent Award for Management Innovation

The management idea that solved a problem in the office or in the field helped your company climb to the top of its market and it deserves recognition. One of MCAA's most distinguished awards, the E. Robert Kent Award for Management Innovation, shines a light on a great idea and the company that created it. And, through the publicity generated by the award, that idea becomes part of our industry's culture; it may inspire and help other companies that are struggling with the same management problem that your idea solved. Nominate your idea for the E. Robert Kent Award to get the recognition you and your company deserve and pay forward your success. Details on how to enter the competition and descriptions of previous award recipients' winning entries are available in the brochure in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.


MCAA's 2014-2015 Tool & Equipment Guide is Now Available

Get comprehensive cost recovery information for mechanical construction, service and plumbing tools and equipment at your fingertips so you have time to focus on your business with the latest version of this guide. The rental rates are based on ownership and operating costs for contractor-owned equipment and are derived from formulas and data developed by the experts at EquipmentWatch and from analytic methods used in the construction industry. The guide includes both the traditional PDF version and an Excel spreadsheet in one convenient "ZIP" file and is free to MCAA/MSCA members as another benefit of membership! To download your copy, go to www.mcaa.org/store.


Make Cyber Security a Company Priority

Whether you missed it or want to share it with more people in your organization, MCAA has you covered! Thanks to our moderator, Steve Dawson of Harrell-Fish, Inc. and our panelists, Jim Wenninger of WennSoft and Paul Gouge of CNA, for helping our members understand this important and timely topic.


Read the Comprehensive Inventory of Construction Industry Multiemployer Pension Plans

Key findings will aid stakeholders in ensuring plans' futures

MCAA, in conjunction with Horizon Actuarial Services, LLC, has just released a new edition of its comprehensive inventory and analysis of construction industry multiemployer pension plans. The report summarizes and analyzes key trends in plan demographics, cash flows, investments, funding, costs, and expenses from 2002-2011. The result is a valuable tool that will assist the union sector of the construction industry in better understanding how multiemployer pension plans have evolved, and where they may be headed, to aid them in ensuring the plans' futures. With the release of this publication, MCAA is taking yet another step toward securing a stable future for the multiemployer defined benefit pension plans our workforce relies upon. That's why, at this time of crisis, MCAA is making this inventory available to the entire industry at no cost.


MCAA and the UA Urge Congress to Support Solutions Not Bailouts Multiemployer Pension Plan
Reform Proposal

MCAA and the UA sent a letter to Senate and House of Representatives leaders requesting their support of the multiemployer pension plan proposal developed by the Retirement Security Review Commission of the National Coordination Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP), Solutions Not Bailouts (SNB). In the letters, MCAA/UA emphasize that SNB would give multiemployer pension plans the new tools they need to ensure the long-term viability of reliable retirement benefits for participants and their families and at the same time improve the sustainability of these plans in the markets for sponsoring employers. The letters also assert that adopting the suggestions in SNB would not require changes to plans or to benefits. Rather, it would provide multiemployer defined benefit plans with additional tools to be used in strictly limited circumstances to meet the needs of individual plans. The SNB incudes three categories of proposals: (1) those proposals that will preserve and strengthen the current system; (2) innovative proposals for alternative plan design structures; and (3) measures designed to help deeply troubled plans. MCAA President Michael R. Cables noted in announcing the joint MCAA/UA statement of support, "The system is in growing jeopardy, as is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation safety net insurance program." He warned, "Our industry and employees and pensioners cannot tolerate further Congressional delay or inaction this year." MCAA members are strongly urged to contact their House and Senate representatives while they are back home in their districts and urge their support of SNB.

MCAA Members: Support the PAC That Speaks for Your Business! Click Here to Contribute Online to the MCAA-PAC


MCERF Thanks Its Contributors

The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF)'s list of contributors is long. Without the generous support of our donors we would not be able to support such worthwhile endeavors as: MCAA's Funding Educational Excellence (FEE) program which provides support for students and student chapter activities such as student convention registrations, internships, chapter grants, the Educator of the Year Award, and faculty training conferences. Another landmark education resource MCERF has developed and maintains is the OPUS (Online Piping Usage and Specification) website. This tool is a go-to resource for students, faculty, and contractors alike. Take a look and see for yourself.

Resource Spotlight

The MCAA 2014-2015 Tool and Equipment Rental Guide
Get What You Have Been Waiting For!

Management Methods Manual
Management Methods Manual
Adds Subguard/Subcontractor Default Insurance Bulletin

If you don't see your name among the list of MCERF Supporters, contact Dennis Langley at dlangley@mcaa.org to discuss options for becoming a contributors. A tax-deductible contribution, in any amount, goes a long way to support the Foundation's many industry education efforts.