Mid-Michigan MCA Contributes to MCERF

The Mid-Michigan Mechanical Contractors Association, Mason, MI, has contributed an additional $2,500 to MCERF, raising their total contribution to the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) to $8,800.  Becky Brimley, CAE, Executive Director of the association, says that everyone at the Mid-Michigan MCA supports MCERF’s educational and research efforts, especially its efforts to recruit and retain great young people for the mechanical contracting industry.

President of MCERF, Mark Rogers, thanked the leadership and members of the Mid-Michigan MCA for their support of the Foundation.  He added that, “The Mid-Michigan MCA is in some ways a model for others.  While they are not a big association, they made it a priority to support the Foundation.  I personally appreciate that spirit.”

For more information on MCERF, contact Dennis Langley (dlangley@mcaa.org).

Interested in “Smart Solutions”?

Check out the very latest Smart Solutions which spotlights mechanical contractors who found their win-win. By partnering with members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council, these companies found innovative ways to meet their contractor clients’ needs by improving productivity, cutting costs and saving time on the job.

This section of our website also features tips and ideas on other ways you and your company can save money and enhance your productivity.


New Industry-Specific Benchmarking Publication Available for Free to Members

MCAA is proud to announce a new partnership with the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) to make benchmarking data relevant to mechanical contractors available to all MCAA members.

Our 2016 Benchmarking Data for Mechanical Contractors (based on 2015 results) is designed to provide members with data for comparing their business performance against industry averages for the mechanical contracting industry and features:

  • 20 key financial ratios; and
  • Data segmented by region, revenue, form of business and best in class.

The report is available free of charge as a benefit of membership in MCAA.

You can either download a copy now, or members attending the 2017 MCAA Annual Convention in San Diego can stop by our Business Lounge to pick up a free printed copy. Or you can do both!

Download Benchmarking Report

And details on how you can participate in the 2017 survey will be provided in the coming months, so stay tuned.

The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars are March 16, 2017

Make sure your service techs have the up-to-date safety training they need to protect themselves from arc flash and electrical shock hazards while working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less. The session covers all applicable OSHA requirements, NFPA 70E provisions, best practices, and real-world accident information.

Take advantage of the MCAA/MSCA member discounted webinar prices. The next two webinars are being held on March 16, 2017.

Register for this date

If you can’t make it in March, the webinar will be taught again twice on April 20, 2017.

Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

MSCA Sales Masters News Update! Don’t Miss Out – Program Starts April 2, 2017

News Update – for a Limited Time ONLY, the Sales Masters Program is waiving the prerequisite of attendance at the Sales Leadership Symposium so take advantage of this waiver and enroll now. Week One is April 2-6, 2017 in Oak Brook, IL and Week Two is November 5-10, 2017 in Houston, TX. Limited spaces available and no prerequisite, so sign up today!

An MSCA original – Sales Masters is the only service sales training program available that is mechanical service industry specific.

The curriculum, designed by in-the-field experts in partnership with sales specialists from the University of Houston Sales Excellence Institute, is for the intermediate to advance level service sales employee. The tools and insights learned in Sales Masters are certain to take your sales professionals to the next level and allow them to become the go-to resource for their teams and customers.


ALI Course 17 Is Sold Out!

MCAA’s 2017 offering of its Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI) is now sold out.  Starting in 2014, every ALI has sold out before March for a class that starts the following September.  The 2017 class will be held at the Babson Executive Education Center, Wellesley, MA on the weeks of September 10-14 and November 5-10.

ALI 17 will be capped at 36 attendees as the rise in demand has also pushed the size of the classes ever upward…ALI 16 saw a record 39 graduates.  To insure that each graduate of each class gets the very best professional leadership experience they can receive, ALI Chair Jody Ralston (CEO of High Purity Systems, Manassas,VA) says, “We will balance the demand for the ALI with the end goals and we will cap the class size at 36. We believe this allows us to maximize the number of MCAA members through each course while maintaining ideal group sizes for various exercises and team competitions.”

A waiting list will be started to accommodate persons who may still wish to attend pending any program cancellations.  To get on the list or to learn more about the ALI, contact Dennis Langley.

MCAA Safety Excellence Certificates of Commendation

Is your company eligible for an MCAA Safety Excellence Certificate of Commendation for its performance in 2016? Each winter MCAA members can submit a report to MCAA to obtain a safety and health benchmarking report and apply for a Safety Excellence Certificate of Commendation. The concise user-friendly report form requests jobsite craft labor work hours and work-related injury-illness incidence information from the previous year. If your company earned a Lost Workday Cases Incidence Rate of zero, or one that is 25% or more below the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average, it qualifies for a certificate. To participate in the program this year, please complete the Annual Report Form for 2016 and submit it to MCAA by March 22, 2017.

Learn a Thing or Two at the MCAA 2016-2017 Student Chapter Competition Finals

You may think you know all there is to know about renovating a wastewater treatment plant, but then again maybe not. Check out the ideas and approaches presented by the finalists in MCAA’s 2016-2017 Student Chapter Competition on March 7, at MCAA 2017 in San Diego, CA.

The top four scoring teams who won the honor of presenting their proposals during MCAA’s 2017 convention are: the Rocky Mountain Chapter of MCAA at Colorado State University; the MCAA Student Chapter at the the Milwaukee School of Engineering; the University of Missouri-Columbia Student Chapter of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America; and the Student Chapter for Mechanical/Electrical Specialty Contracting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This year’s project, which was provided by the J.F. Ahern Company (Fond du Lac, WI), involves an overhaul of the wastewater treatment facility that serves the city of Chippewa Falls, WI. The winning team will act as a general contractor and assist and coordinate the completion of the design on the improvements of the plant. The team will also strategically plan and execute a very detailed construction effort using all the trades necessary to complete the project on time, within budget and without shutting down the plant.

You will also hear some interesting ideas from the competing teams about how to protect residents from lead exposure while the city replaces its aging water pipes.  This particular challenge—an extra credit project—was intended to incite the students’ awareness of and enlist their problem-solving skills about issues our industry is facing with aging infrastructures in many areas of the U.S.

The competition results will be announced during the Awards of Excellence Breakfast on March 8. The winning team will win $10,000, the second-place team will receive $5,000 and the other two finalists will receive $2,500 each.

Make sure you add this always-exciting event to your list of “must attends” during MCAA 2017. The Competition will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from 1:30 – 3:00 in the Grand Ballroom.

Looking for Cost-Effective Pipe Fabricator Options?

If you’re looking for a fabricator that will make consistent repeatable pipe cuts for a fraction of the cost of commercial cutters, check out the award-winning innovation created by Air Masters Corporation of Fenton, MO and described in a recently-released MCAA Management Methods Bulletin.

The idea for the fabricator was sown when Air Masters started looking around for fabrication equipment that would reduce shop time, enhance the services it offers to its customers and increase its competitiveness in the marketplace. However, Air Masters discovered that pipe fabricators that would meet its needs could cost as much as $250,000, a substantial investment for a small company.

Air Masters invented a solution to this challenge—the CNC Pipe Fabricator. It was created with already existing components and custom-designed software. The fabricator was designed for 2 ½” to 12” pipe, mounts on the end of any pipe roller bed and can make straight, inside bevel, outside bevel, saddle cuts or hole selected. Its total cost came to less than $30,000. And, in recognition of its innovation, Air Masters was presented with the E. Robert Kent Award for Management Innovation.

So, if future plans for your company include a pipe fabrication operation, the CNC Pipe Fabricator may be a good option.  Find out more about this impressive innovation.


Safety Regulation Compliance Deadlines for 2017

Several of OSHA’s recently released safety and health regulations have provisions that become enforceable sometime this year.  The three that apply to the mechanical industry are silica, recordkeeping, and crane operator certification. Each of these regulations is currently under scrutiny by the new administration and various employer groups. It is conceivable that one or more of the compliance deadlines could be extended or rescinded. However, MCAA recommends that you get your company into compliance with all rules that apply to it prior to the established enforcement deadlines. MCAA will let you know immediately if substantive changes are made to any of the regulations. The compliance deadlines are shown below along with notes describing the current status of each regulation.

Respirable Crystalline Silica 

June 23, 2017 – By June 23 affected employers must be in compliance with OSHA’s new rule on respirable crystalline silica. Employers can comply by either following Table 1 of the rule, or by implementing the alternative exposure control methods that are established by the rule. (Note: This rule is under litigation by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and other groups. The groups that are in opposition to the rule believe that OSHA did not meet its burden of prove with regard to the rule being technologically and economically feasible. It is unknown whether the litigation will be resolved prior to the June 23 enforcement date). 

Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses  

 July 1, 2017  – By July 1 small employers (20 to 249 employees), and large employers (250 or more employees) must electronically submit their OSHA 300A summary information from 2016 to OSHA. The agency will provide a secure website address for submitting the information. MCAA will provide you with that address as soon as it becomes available.  (Note: This regulation is under litigation by several employer groups contesting the anti-retaliation provisions, and the requirement for employers to disclose confidential business information. It is unknown whether the litigation will be resolved prior to the July 1 enforcement date). 

Cranes & Derricks in Construction (Operator Certification)

November 10, 2017 – By November 17 employers with affected crane operators will have to be in compliance with OSHA’s crane operator certification requirements. However, the agency is currently in the process of updating the crane operator certification requirement in its Cranes and Derricks in Construction rule. The agency expects to issue a final rule in time for the November 17 crane operator certification compliance date. (Note: It is unknown whether OSHA will be able to issue a final rule on crane operator certification requirements prior to the November 17 compliance deadline.)



Have You Visited Our Virtual Trade Show?

MCAA’s Virtual Trade Show connects our contractor members with the members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council, because who doesn’t need the best strategic supply chain to enhance your productivity and profitability! We know you already love the exhibits at the MCAA Convention, MSCA’s Educational Conference, the Safety Directors’ Conference and our Technology Conference. Now in addition you can catch the latest products and other offerings all year long!

Visit the Virtual Trade Show

Hired an Intern? Get a Grant!

If you’ve hired a college student as an intern or a co-op, apply for a $1,000 Student Internship Grant from the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF). Hire another intern and apply for another grant. You can apply for up to two grants through the end of this year.

Student interns or co-ops can greatly benefit your business. They will be eager to put their knowledge and skills to work on an actual project.  They have a fresh perspective on projects and problems, technology capabilities and a desire to learn more about our industry. With the added bonus of the grant, this initiative is a win-win.

If you would like to hire a student intern or a co-op for this spring and summer but haven’t found the right candidate, try MCAAGreatFutures.org.  Almost 240 well-qualified students from colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada–all members of MCAA student chapters–have posted their resumes and are eager to talk with you about internships or full-time employment opportunities.  Check it out today!



Watch Highlights from the 2017 Safety Directors Conference

MCAA’s 2017 Safety Directors’ Conference provided world class, industry-specific safety and health education and outstanding networking opportunities for 215 participants. Attendees included occupational safety and health professionals from member firms and local affiliates, UA local instructors, MCA local executives, and others.

Topic experts from around the country presented fifteen educational sessions throughout the three-day conference. Keynote presenter Dr. John Medina, author of the best-selling book Brain Rules, wowed the attendees with his presentation on The Learning Brain as they discovered how to make their own training and educational sessions much more effective. MCAA’s 15th annual Safety Directors’ Conference will be presented in January 2018 in San Diego.


Click the image to watch the video

Mark Your Calendars for the 2017 UA/MCAA Labor Relations Conference

After a long hiatus the UA/MCAA Labor Relations Conference is returning this year!

It will be at The Mirage in Las Vegas, November 14-15. The conference will begin with a reception the evening of Tuesday, November 14. The conference program will be all day on Wednesday, November 15. That evening MCA local associations and UA local union attendees are encouraged to hold joint dinners. MCAA participants should, therefore, not plan on departing before the morning of November 16.

The theme of this year’s Labor Relations Conference will be “Highlighting Best Practices.” It will be a very positive and forward-looking event. There will be substantial UA attendance as the UA is holding a Business Managers Meeting in conjunction with the Labor Relations Conference. It will be great, therefore, to have robust attendance from MCA affiliated associations. To encourage maximum attendance there will be NO registration fee.

We will provide you with further information on the conference after the MCAA convention. In the meantime, please mark your calendars and plan for your association to be well represented at this important MCAA/UA event!

For more information, contact John McNerney.

2017 National Issues Conference Opens for Registration

The 2017 Construction Employer’s of America National Issues Conference is now open for registration. This year’s conference will be held May 2 – 4 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown in Washington, D.C. and promises to be one of the best and most comprehensive held to date.

Tuesday’s program will focus on apprenticeship regulations, the Pension & Affordable Care Act and prepping attendees for their visits to Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, conference attendees will convene at Hogan Lovells for the morning program comprised of current industry legislative issues and an in-depth discussion on labor management relations policies. The afternoon will be spent on Capitol Hill where groups representing various parts of the country will meet with their Senators and Representatives to discuss hot button issues affecting the construction industry. Thursday’s program highlights will include an economic update and a discussion on tax reform followed by more facetime with members of Congress.

Register today to secure your attendance to help make a difference in our industry. For more information, contact John McNerney.

CPMCA Contributes to MCERF

The California Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association (CPMCA), Benicia, CA, has contributed an additional $7,500 to MCERF, which raises their cpmcatotal contribution to the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) to $262,500.  Charles (“Chip”) Martin, Executive Director of the CPMCA, says that he and the entire membership of CPMCA  support MCERF’s efforts to underwrite education for our industry and to help recruit and retain great young people for the industry.

President of MCERF, Mark Rogers, thanked the leadership and members of the CPMCA for their years of support of the Foundation.

For more information on MCERF, contact Dennis Langley (dlangley@mcaa.org).

Thinking of Hiring an Intern? Stop Thinking. Start Hiring.

Looking for your next great employee to groom and help you push your company to the next level? Well there’s an app…no, wait…a bulletin for that! It’s is entitled “How to Find, Hire, and Manage Student Interns” which is Bulletin No. HR 1 Revised in MCAA’s Management Methods Manual. That’s right…you already own it as a free MCAA member benefit! But, wait, there’s more…

MCAA sweetens the deal through its GreatFutures website (www.mcaagreatfutures.org) where you can find resumes from and interact with literally hundreds of great students from MCAA’s 50+ student chapters. Let me guess…you still want more?

OK, then, let’s put a cherry on the top of  your recruitment sundae. The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) will even pay you $1,000 each for hiring up to two of these awesome interns.

So, let’s review:

  • a free step-by-step, how-to bulletin on How to Find, Hire, and Manage Student Interns
  • a free website with MCAA student chapter interns, photos, and resumes from the brightest young people who want to enter our industry, and…
  • free money to hire up to two of them

Like the title says…if you’re thinking of hiring an intern, stop thinking…start hiring!

For more information about MCAA’s Career Development activities, contact Ann Mattheis.



MSCA Sales Basecamp Provides New Service Sales Professionals the Skills Needed to Succeed

If you have recently added new staff to your sales team or have members of your sales team that need a skills tune-up, register them now for the upcoming MSCA Sales Basecamp course, May 1-2 to be held in Philadelphia, PA. This popular 2 – day program will provide the skills needed to build long-term customer relationships, efficiently and effectively prospect for results, understand the MSCA Sales Cycle, prepare for that first critical meeting, and handle objections professionally during the proposal presentation.

For additional details and to download a brochure, click below.

Details & Brochure