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As We Embrace the Arrival of 2021, MCAA Thanks You For All We’ve Accomplished, Together, in 2020. Take a Look Back at the Highlights!

As we, the MCAA family, look back on 2020 we see a year that has forced us all to change, to adapt and to overcome some of the biggest challenges to face our industry in decades. MCAA with its volunteer leadership, led by President Brian Helm and the rest of the Executive Committee, the MCAA Board of Directors, our contractor members, our manufacturer/supplier members and partners, local affiliates, volunteers who sit on our committees and Foundation and the national staff have taken the COVID-19 challenge head on. Sharing vision, talent and expertise the MCAA family has come together during 2020 to help each other like never before. Together we:

  • Delivered ideas and innovation at the annual MCAA Technology Conference with help from our Technology committee, our title sponsor, Trimble, and our event sponsors: Autodesk, DEWALT and Rhumbix.
  • Partnered with Dodge Data & Analytics to produce the Prefabrication and Modular Construction SmartMarket Report.
  • Hosted a record number of attendees at the 17th MCAA’s Safety Directors’ Conference thanks to the Safety & Health committee, as well as our conference sponsors, CNA and MILWAUKEE TOOL.
  • Launched and led five virtual AEC best practices sessions with the guidance and leadership from the Association Executives Council.
  • Connected with industry improvement fund trustees and local association executives at the Industry Improvement Funds Virtual Seminar thanks to the Industry Improvement Funds Committee.
  • Partnered with the MCA of Northwest Ohio to produce the Field Leaders Conference in Toledo. Special thanks to presenters Greg Fuller, Mark Rogers, Chris Haslinger, John Koontz, Kevin Dougherty and Mark Breslin.
  • Wrapped up classes 75 and 76 of the Institute for Project Management (IPM) with 113 graduates and our 16th Advanced IPM Class (AIPM) with help from the PMEC committee.
  • Added five new courses to the NEI seminars list with our new instructors Greg Fuller and Mark Rogers.
  • Organized, with the guidance from the MSCA Board of Managers, the ongoing Best from MSCA series where MSCA members share novel ideas and innovations.
  • Presented the MSCA’s Sales Reboot virtual program, Strategies for Navigating Change and Elevating Performance in the New Economy with presenter Seth Mattison to over 450 attendees.
  • Transformed the MSCA Dispatchers Professional Development Training Program to a virtual course thanks to the name sponsor, MILWAUKEE TOOL.
  • Held the PCA Virtual Education Series on Plumbing Service hosted by JPG Plumbing & Mechanical Service, Inc. which included seven hour-long module and panel discussions with a total of 281 live attendees. Special thanks to the Plumbing Contractors of America Board of Directors, JPG Plumbing & Mechanical and Bradford White for their contributions.
  • Paired 25 seasoned professionals in the mechanical industry with 25 females new to or looking to join the industry in the ongoing WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program with help from the Women in the Mechanical Industry Steering Committee.
  • Introduced the new Preparatory Institute for Project Management (PIPM) as a 12-week online curriculum and congratulated 192 graduates in the first year due to the recommendation and guidance from the Project Managers Education Committee.
  • Hosted the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program with 333 registered attendees and 17 webinars because of the planning and recommendations from the Career Development Committee.
  • Received 19 submissions for the MCAA Annual Student Chapter Competition which was generously provided by West Chester Mechanical Contractors in Aston, PA.
  • Offered 604 registered members a virtual tour of Modern Companies’ fabrication operations, which uses MSUITE’s FabPro in the MCAA Virtual Fab Mini
  • Launched the Sponsor Spotlight series of interviews as a way for our contractor members to learn more about the Manufacturer/Supplier Council (M/SC) Governing Board including their products, relationships with MCAA and what being a member of the M/SC Governing Board means to them. Thanks to our M/SC Governing Board and the MCAA Executive Committee for their participation and time.

In addition to our education programs, MCAA was dedicated to providing more than 500 business resources, COVID-19-related and not, free as a benefit of membership, including:

Thank you to all 55 individuals who donated to the MCAA PAC, including the time our Government Affairs Committee worked tirelessly meeting with countless Congressional and Senate office’s as well as our sister associations and our labor partners at the UA to push our agenda forward. We will continue to be your voice in the nation’s capital! If you would like to donate yourself, please visit the MCAA website.

Thank you for the 52 donations to the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF) so we can continue to provide funding to students, faculty and MCAA student chapters. Your donations also mean that JRGF can develop innovative resources to help you work smarter and more efficiently. If you would like to see the full list of those who supported the Foundation from January 1, 2020 – December 21, 2020, or donate yourself, visit the JRGF website.

At our core, MCAA’s mission is to help the industry advance and adapt to change. 2020 has challenged us to do just that. With the constant changes and unknowns this year has brought, MCAA recommits to the core mission – we are committed to supporting you and your business as we grow the industry and overcome challenges together. As we reflect on this past year, we hope that you – our members, our family, find our resources and achievements valuable. We look forward to a new year full of more challenges and opportunities to help you!

Find the Latest from MORSCO and BuildingAdvice, Inc. in MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show

MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show connects our contractor members with the members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

Participating companies highlight and link to new products, product lines, services, solutions or web pages of particular interest. Here are just a few of the recent additions:

MORSCO
MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, HVAC, and PVF, with showrooms across the country. Since our inception in November 2011, we’ve grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions and store openings. MORSCO is a private company sponsored by Advent International and led by a team of industry veterans.

BuildingAdvice, Inc.
SavingsTracker is a reporting service that allows for contractors to track energy savings and Energy Star scores from actions performed within the building, demonstrating a commitment to lowering operating costs.

Need Something Else?

Find many more smart solutions in MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show!

Visit the Virtual Trade Show

Speaking of Smart Solutions

Visit the Smart Solutions Case Studies area of our website to learn how other mechanical contractors found their win-win with cost-saving and productivity-enhancing applications from members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

This section of our website also includes tips and ideas to help your company save money and enhance your productivity. Don’t miss it!

VISIT SMART SOLUTIONS

Find the Latest from Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co.® and Jonas Construction Software in MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show

MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show connects our contractor members with the members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

Participating companies highlight and link to new products, product lines, services, solutions or web pages of particular interest. Here are just a few of the recent additions:

Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co.® a Member of Morris Group International
Water hammer arresters control the destructive forces, pounding noises and vibration which develop in a piping system when a column of non-compressible liquid flowing through a pipe line is stopped abruptly. Smith’s piston type water hammer can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. They are made from lead free copper and rated for 60 PSI.

Jonas Construction Software
JONAS ENTERPRISE CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE – A fully integrated and automated construction management software solution for everyday life.

Need Something Else?

Find many more smart solutions in MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show!

Visit the Virtual Trade Show

Speaking of Smart Solutions

Visit the Smart Solutions Case Studies area of our website to learn how other mechanical contractors found their win-win with cost-saving and productivity-enhancing applications from members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

This section of our website also includes tips and ideas to help your company save money and enhance your productivity. Don’t miss it!

VISIT SMART SOLUTIONS

Find the Latest from Jomar Valve and BELIMO Americas in MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show

MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show connects our contractor members with the members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

Participating companies highlight and link to new products, product lines, services, solutions or web pages of particular interest. Here are just a few of the recent additions:

Jomar Valve JP-100SSG

Jomar Valve
Jomar carries a ½”-2” lead free, press ball valve with stainless steel trim. The JP-100SSG is Italian made with dezincification resistant brass body. Buy American Act approved, NSF 372 Certified and has BIM/CAD files ready to download.

BELIMO Americas
Belimo Energy Valve utilizes advanced analytic technology to leverage captured system data to improve coil and system performance for increased energy savings. Energy savings you can see. #SmallDevicesBigImpact

Need Something Else?

Find many more smart solutions in MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show!

Visit the Virtual Trade Show

Speaking of Smart Solutions

Visit the Smart Solutions Case Studies area of our website to learn how other mechanical contractors found their win-win with cost-saving and productivity-enhancing applications from members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

This section of our website also includes tips and ideas to help your company save money and enhance your productivity. Don’t miss it!

VISIT SMART SOLUTIONS

John W. Danforth Company Contributes to MCERF

MCERF LogoThe John W. Danforth Company (Tonawanda, NY) has donated $50,000 to the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) for a memorial scholarship established to honor the Reilly Family.

The Reilly Family Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in $5,000 annual increments to a worthy student for the next 10 years.

The MCERF Board of Trustees is very grateful for the generous gift in support of future industry professionals. Find out more about the MCERF program, its activities and the support it continues to provide to advance the industry through education and research.

Learn More

Mechanical Inc. Contributes to MCERF

The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) recently receives a $5,000 contribution from Mechanical Inc. (Freeport, IL), raising its total contributions to $12,500.

The MCERF Board of Trustees is very grateful for the support which enables the Foundation to continue its education and research activities that help our industry grow and thrive. For more information about MCERF, please click on the link below. And, while you’re considering a donation, please think about designating up to 50% to the MCERF Scholarship Fund to encourage and help our industry’s future professionals fund their education.

Learn more and donate

Missed the January 14 Construction Apps Webinar?

No worries! You can view it by clicking on the link below.

You will want to learn from Ron McKinney (Atlanta, GA) about how mobile technology and apps have changed the five major construction workflows—plan management; daily reporting; progress photos; time entry; and safety documentation. This webinar is free as a MCAA/MSCA membership benefit.

View the Webinar

Labor Department Releases New Guidance Affecting Misclassification of Employees

Labor Department Wage and Hour Administrator Dr. David Weil released a new Administrator’s Interpretation 2016-1: Joint Employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).

This interpretive guidance, with less significance than a regulation, has primary significance to the construction industry as a way to stem rampant misclassification of employees as independent contractors, an unfair competitive advantage that some non-signatory firms have over signatory employers. This guidance also affects only wage-and-hour compliance and is separate from the controversy surrounding the new National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) joint employer ruling that is roiling unorganized firms in the context of union organizing efforts. In either case, the NLRB or Labor Department’s single employer policies have very limited application to union-signatory Section 8(f) contractors or prime contractors in the ordinary course of construction industry construction prime contract and subcontract commercial contract performance. Following is an example from the DoL Guidance derived from the air conditioning service industry:

A mechanic is employed by Airy AC & Heating Company. The Company has a short-term contract to test and, if necessary, replace the HVAC systems at Condor Condos. The Company hired and pays the mechanic and directs the work, including setting the mechanic’s hours and timeline for completion of the project. For the duration of the project, the mechanic works at the Condos and checks in with the property manager there every morning, but the Company supervises his work. The Company provides the mechanic’s benefits, including workers’ compensation insurance. The Company also provides the mechanic with all the tools and materials needed to complete the project. The mechanic brings this equipment to the project site. These facts are not indicative of joint employment of the mechanic by the Condos.

Click on the link below for the entire DoL release. Within that material is an example of a DoL enforcement action against a drywall firm for misclassification in that industry. Some comments indicate that construction prime and subcontract commercial contracts can be revised to address or defend against adverse application of these rules in the commercial contracting business. An initial analysis of those comments shows that regulators (see example above) are focused on the workforce realities of worker conduct and supervision, and boilerplate contract or subcontract terms will not be an effective defense against an adverse determination finding on a factual application of the single employer rules in either a union election process or a wage-and-hour misclassification context.

DoL Release

Latest MCA of Chicago Pledge Pushes MCERF Contributions to $500,000

The MCA of Chicago has recently completed its $375,000 pledge to the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) with a final $10,000 contribution. But the association’s generosity isn’t stopping there. Recently, the MCA Board of Directors decided to renew its pledge for another ten years, beginning in 2017…in the amount of $125,000, raising its total contributions to $500,000!

MCA of Chicago’s Steve Lamb noted, “MCA of Chicago is firmly committed to the guiding concepts of the Foundation, and we are pleased to be the first local affiliate to attain the half-million-dollar mark in helping to pursue these goals. We hope that in doing so, we encourage other affiliate organizations to participate financially in this most worthwhile enterprise.”

The MCERF Board of Trustees is very grateful for the association’s commitment to and support of the Foundation, which will ensure the continuation of its education and research programs that help our industry grow and thrive.

Read On

UA and MCAA Submit Joint Comments on New Apprenticeship Regulations

UA General President Bill Hite and MCAA President Steve Dawson submitted joint UA/MCAA comments on the Department of Labor’s new broad non-discrimination and affirmative action requirements for federal and state registered joint apprenticeship and training programs.

Marking yet another positive and constructive advance in joint UA/MCAA public policy advocacy during the Hite Administration, the joint comments advise the Department of Labor (DoL):

“The UA and the MCAA share the Department’s commitment to ensuring that apprenticeship and training and job sites where UA apprentices and journeypersons’ work are free from discrimination. The UA/MCAA further believe that all applicants for admission to the UA/MCAA apprenticeship program should be treated fairly and evaluated on their ability, skill, and potential to successfully complete an apprenticeship program, and not on their race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, or disability.”

The comments then present a detailed analysis of the many potentially severe unintended consequences that the proposed rules’ assumptions may present for the sustainability of the registered apprenticeship training model; for instance, the broad assumption that any program that doesn’t perfectly match the racial, ethnic, and sexual identity of the Census data for the corresponding recruitment area is then suspected of tolerating discrimination or other barriers to the entry of “underutilized” populations of potential recruits.

The comments rebut that assumption with a number of factual statements and a test case showing that an applicant’s interest in the employment opportunity, the nature of the work and the skills, training and certifications required are the primary influences on whether individuals in a particular Census category choose to seek entry into apprenticeship programs.

The comments also contest the underestimated paperwork costs and the fiduciary questions trustees may face if the compliance costs outweigh the benefits to the program in particular areas.

The UA/MCAA comments ask the DoL to suspend the rulemaking or withdraw the proposed rules and engage in further fact-finding to avoid the potentially severe unintended consequences that seem to have been overlooked in the initial proposal.

Comments

MCA of Houston Contributes to MCERF

The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) recently received a $5,000 contribution from the MCA of Houston, raising its total contributions to $102,000.

The MCERF Board of Trustees greatly appreciates the support which enables the Foundation to continue its education and research programs that help our industry grow and thrive. While you consider your donations for great causes this year, be sure to include MCERF on your list. Click on the link below to find out why.

Find Out More About MCERF

MCAA Student Chapter Summit Makes BuiltWorlds’ Top 10 Videos

VRMCAA’s 2015 Student Chapter Summit, which brought together more than 200 future industry professionals, faculty advisors, MCAA contractor members and local association executives in Cleveland, OH last October, made BuiltWorlds’ top 10 videos of the year. BuiltWorlds, a Chicago-based organization that promotes companies that develop technologies for the construction industry, organized an exhibit of vendors that displayed a variety of technologies that contractors are …or will…use on the jobsite and in the office. MCAA student chapter members were filmed testing the new technologies and discussing their features and applications with the vendors.

View the Video

MCAA Takes Action on Paid Sick Leave Executive Order

MCAA filed comments on the Administration’s Paid Sick Leave Executive Order (EO) 13706, which also is under an expedited path for final publication for mid-2016 and implementation in 2017. The EO would require direct federal prime contractors and subcontractors to provide paid sick leave (one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked) on a covered federal contract or subcontract of $2,000 or more. The minimum annual amount of leave is 56 hours, which can be carried over on an annual basis and reinstated after breaks in service of less than a year.

MCAA filed comments on its own behalf and on behalf of the Construction Employers of America after the draft proposed regulations were sent to the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Information and Regulatory Analysis (OIRA) for pre-clearance before the expected early release of a regulatory proposal in February 2016.

MCAA’s comments raised a number of questions about the statutory authority for the EO and the specific implementation issues under the federal Acquisition Regulations. MCAA also requested an in-person discussion on the comments at OIRA in the review process. OIRA is expected to grant that request and provide a hearing with MCAA and coalition representatives in late January. MCAA is assembling a team of select federal contractors, prime and subcontractors that perform covered federal new construction and service contracts to discuss the EO issues with OIRA in late January.

Read the Comments

MCAA Seeks Delay on Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination Regs

As the last year of the Obama Administration begins, regulatory activity is intensifying to get long-delayed initiatives off the regulatory docket and into regulations before the end of the legislative year to avoid Congressional suspension and review of midnight regulations. One issue concerns new and much more comprehensive affirmative action and non-discrimination regulations proposed for registered apprenticeship programs.

MCAA filed comments in late December seeking an extension of the comment period, slated to close January 5, until March 6, 2016 or later. The delay would allow more comprehensive and constructive analyses of sweeping new rules that set goals for disabled apprenticeship applicants and written affirmative action plans, comprised of specific labor market workforce availability analyses for minority and female candidates, and utilization analyses and specific goals and timetables for affirmative action goal compliance.

The proposed regulations also add age and gender identity/sexual preference as categories for non-discrimination safeguards in program administration. Penalties for non-compliance range up to program de-registration.

MCAA is working with the UA and the International Training Fund and an outside consultant on program compliance guidance. The Department of Labor granted the extension, with the comment period now due to expire on January 20, 2016.