Spots Remain for This Year’s Field Leaders Conference!

MCAA’s newest training opportunity is our highly-rated Field Leaders Conference. Don’t miss this chance to give your project supervisors the chance to learn some new skills that could make the difference on your jobs!

The conference will be held September 28-30 in Los Angeles, CA. Participants will acquire skills needed to be business and results-oriented managers focused on growing your company’s profits and brand.

Your employees will learn how to communicate and plan more effectively and be proactive jobsite leaders. Only a few spots remain so learn more and then register your field leaders!

Last Chance for the Early-Bird Rate for MSCA 2016

Join MSCA for its 31st Educational Conference (October 24-27 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, AZ. It’s not too late to lock in the Early-Bird member rate if you register by July 31.

This year’s theme – CONNECT – is designed to provide many opportunities for you to discover the connections and insights that will help you drive your business forward. This highly anticipated industry event of the year is one that you don’t want to miss, so register today from the conference website.

MCAA-Backed Small Business Subcontracting Protections Added to SBA and FAR Regulations

The latest regulatory notice affecting the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) provides 11 changes to the small business subcontracting plan procedures required of prime contractors on covered prime contracts ($1.5 million or more), the most significant of which is the subcontractor listing and payment protections.

The prime contractor must make demonstrable good faith efforts to use the same small business subcontractors they relied on in preparing and presenting their bid, proposal and small business utilization plan to the contracting agency for approval.

If the prime contractor fails to utilize the relied-upon small business subcontractors, the prime must provide a written explanation to the contracting agency within 30 days of contract completion. Failure to use the named subs can be the basis for future adverse prime contract performance evaluations and responsibility determinations.

The regulations also prohibit prime contractors from attempting to bar small business subcontractors from discussing subcontract plan compliance or prime contract payment problems with the contracting agency directly.

The regulations also require that prime contractors notify the contracting officer in writing if they pay a small business subcontractor a reduced amount or if payment is held more than 90 days after the prime has been paid.

And, any record of payment violations is to be recorded in the prime contractors’ past performance evaluation in the Federal Awardee Past Performance information System (FAPPIS).

MCAA testified in support of these provisions on May 23, 2013 before the House Small Business Committee. Read the testimony here.

Access the new regulations.

Welcome to Our New Family of Websites!

If you’re seeing this page, then you know that the old mcaa.org has been replaced by a bright, shiny new family of websites to better serve our members. The sites you can see now are the publicly available sites. If you’re a member, you’ll receive an email soon with new login information that will allow you to login to access our Resource Center with hundreds of resources available to download free as a benefit of membership. You’ll also be able to access our new Virtual Trade Show with direct links to the latest product information from our Manufacturer/Supplier Council members. We appreciate your patience as we transition to this new site!

Comments, questions? Let us know!

Plumbing Podcast #6 Focuses on BIM

PCA Chairman and MCAA Board of Directors member Armand Kilijian joined the Plumbing Podcast to discuss the importance of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to plumbing contractors.

The podcast covers plumbing contractors’ increasing use of BIM on job sites, strategies for starting and optimizing a BIM department within a company and how to leverage the data from the BIM model through fabrication, project coordination and total stations.

Listen to the Podcast.

MCAA Leaders Learn to Strengthen Their Leadership Effectiveness as Plans Form for the Coming Year

MCAA’s Board of Directors met July 15-16 to consider the association’s program and financial priorities for the coming year. Dr. Scott Taylor of Babson College started off the meeting with a session aimed at helping MCAA’s leaders maintain and build on their leadership effectiveness despite the press of professional and personal obligations that can prove overwhelming and distracting.

Board members and past presidents also reviewed reports on MCAA’s finances, its advocacy efforts to win Phase 2 of multiemployer pension reform, the activities of its committees and subsidiaries, plans for upcoming conferences, webinars and podcasts and plans for MCAA 2017. Board members also learned about a new initiative to enhance the WebLEM. Members also previewed MCAA’s newly redesigned website. The Board of Directors will next meet in conjunction with MCAA’s 2017 convention in San Diego, CA.

MCA of New York Contributes to MCERF

The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) received a $2,500 contribution from the MCA of New York, which raised it’s total contributions to $135,000.

The MCERF Board of Trustees is very grateful for the generous contribution which will help the Foundation continue its support of education and research programs that keep our industry growing, thriving and advancing.  Find out more about MCERF programs and activities and then consider making a donation.

Visit MCERF.org for more information.

West Michigan MCA Contributes to MCERF

The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) received a $1,000 contribution from the West Michigan MCA.

The MCERF Board of Trustees is very grateful for the generous contribution which will help the Foundation continue its support of education and research programs that keep our industry growing, thriving and advancing.  Find out more about MCERF programs and activities and then consider making a donation.

Visit MCERF.org for more information.

Find Your Next New Hire at GreatFutures 2016

If you’re planning to grow your company’s professional staff in the next year, consider beginning your search at MCAA’s 2016 Student Chapter and Mechanical Contractor Summit (Denver, CO, October 13-15).

Top students in mechanical engineering, construction management, architectural engineering and other related disciplines will be attending and ready to meet you and discuss their career plans. This is the best time and place to scout for interns and full-time professionals before they start nailing down their employment commitments.

The conference program is excellent too – an exhibit of new construction technologies presented by BuiltWorlds, sessions on Robotic Total Stations by David Hyland of Trimble, how to present the best “you” to potential employers by John Finch of Milwaukee Tool, transitioning from college to career, the 2015 Student Chapter of the Year presentation, the announcement of the 2016-2017 Student Chapter Competition and the annual mini competition.

The tour is a first – the mechanical systems that support the Breckenridge Brewery, the producer of a popular local craft beer.

Download the brochure for more information and to register.

Enhance Your Service Dispatcher’s Expertise

As the first point of contact for your customers, service dispatchers are vital to your business. To ensure these crucial team members are well-prepared to effectively fill their role, register them for the MSCA Dispatcher Professional Development Training Program, September 12-13, 2016, in Seattle, WA.

New and experienced dispatchers will gain valuable insights and understanding about their importance to your business and its current and future success. This is the last dispatcher training available this year, so don’t delay.

Download the brochure and register now.

National Defense Authorization Bills Propose to Bar Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

The Administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673 is under attack in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) measures in both the House and Senate. Both measures would bar the Defense Department from implementing requirements that federal prime contractors and subcontracts (with prime contracts or subcontracts of $500,000 or more) on Department of Defense (DOD) projects certify their legal compliance with several federal and state labor and employment laws as a precondition of contract award. 

House and Senate Democrats have written letters urging House and Senate conferees on the NDAA measure to strike the defunding riders that will likely attract a Presidential veto. MCAA has taken the lead in supporting a streamlined implementation of the EO.

On May 24, MCAA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Bill Albanese met with regulators from the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget, Department of Labor and the FAR Council to urge that the certification review be streamlined. He proposed that final agency determinations and other compliance records of covered primes and subs be evaluated by the contracting agency in the pre-award determination process. He also proposed that enforcement of any conciliation arrangements to remedy compliance issues be worked out with the agency in mid-contract term and be left to the contracting agency’s procurement discretion.

MCAA’s overall position is that the evaluation of prospective awardees’ legal compliance is a sound, proven and accepted procurement practice in other public and private sector markets.

In addition, federal procedures should be streamlined to avoid detrimental project outcomes associated with drawn out certification processes at lower contract tiers and mid-project disruptions by mandatory sanctions for conciliation agreement violations.

MCAA’s view is that the EO is sound procurement policy and most defensible when it aids and cedes primacy to the contracting agency’s proprietary procurement discretion and is implemented in a way that aims to promote successful project completions.

MCAA is sending a letter to House and Senate conferees on the NDAA, supporting implementation of EO 13673 with streamlined procedures.

FitzGerald Contractors Contributes to MCERF

The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) received a $5,000 contribution from FitzGerald Contractors (Shreveport, LA), a payment on its pledge of $100,000.

The MCERF Board of Trustees is very grateful for the generous contribution which will help the Foundation continue its support of education and research programs that keep our industry growing, thriving and advancing.  Find out more about MCERF programs and activities and then consider making a donation.

Visit MCERF.org for more information.

Rethink Your Leadership at MSCA 2016

Our leadership can get stuck from time to time and, oftentimes, we don’t even notice as it’s happening. So, it’s imperative that we continually take time to reflect on and rethink leadership.

On October 24, Steve Thomas – MSCA’s highest-rated conference speaker to-date – will host the One-Day Bonus Program, Rethink Leadership. With his established history of working with MSCA member companies, Steve understands the unique needs and challenges of the HVACR and plumbing service industry.

Program topics will include the benefits of connection; how to build connection; hindrances to connection; how connection affects company culture; and the one thing that all effective teams have.

New this year, attendees’ spouses and partners may join participants in the session for a unique conversation on the connections within a marriage/relationship and family, and how that plays a significant role in leaders being the best version of themselves.

Be sure to register today for MSCA 2016 on the conference website at the link below to lock in the early-bird member rate.

 

OSHA Raises Civil Penalties for Violations

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has raised civil penalties for violations of its rules. OSHA raised the penalties to account for the rate of inflation, which has increased since penalties were last raised in 1990.

The new Interim Final Rule, which was published in the Federal Register on July 1, will take effect on August 1, 2016 for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015.

The differences in the penalties are shown below:

Type of Violation         Previous Penalty Amount            New Penalty Amount


Willful or Repeat                     $5,000 to $70,000                           $8,908 to $124,709

Serious                                                           $7,000                                     $12,471

Other-Than-Serious                          Up to $7,000                               Up to $12,471

Failure to Correct                              Up to $7,000                               Up to $12,471

Violation of Posting                          Up to $7,000                                Up to $12,471

 

Donate to Convoy of Hope by August 1 to Double Your Contribution!

MSCA has partnered with Convoy of Hope since 2010 to deliver supplies to families in need who live in cities where it holds its annual educational conference. This partnership has generated more than $314,000 in donated food, goods, labor, and equipment that have benefited individuals and families nationwide.

We need your help again to reach our monetary donation goal to fund two initiatives during MSCA 2016. In addition to the tangible goods donations, MSCA will match every dollar donated through August 1, 2016, at 100%. So don’t delay, and your dollars will have twice the reach.

Click here to download our brochure to find out how you can get involved with these worthwhile causes.

Another Small Step Forward for Pension Reform

Despite the summer doldrums and the distraction of the Presidential election, pension reform in Congress took another small step forward.  The Senate Finance Committee  plans in late September to mark up the Miners Protection Act of 2015 (S. 1714)  that would provide funding from the Surface Mine Reclamation trust fund to stave off the pending insolvency of both the national Mineworker health and pension plans this year.

This bit of pension reform legislation is important to address the potential huge  claims the Mineworker pension plan would make on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp’s dwindling multiemployer plan insurance funds. Proponents of the Mineworker plan remedies have said that no other pension reform issues would move if the unless the Mineworker measure is first resolved.

 

New Regulations on Affirmative Action Plans for Apprenticeship Programs Closer to Implementation

On July 6th, the Labor Department sent new proposed final regulations to the Office of Management and Budget for final consideration before the release of the final regulations.

The new regulations would require registered apprenticeship programs to develop detailed annual written affirmative action plans for enrollment of women and minorities in comparable percentages to their representation in the workforce in the JATCs recruiting area.

The new requirements will take effect in January 2017.

House Bill Would Ease Administrative Burdens on Trade Association PACs

Trade association political action committees (PACs) may get some administrative headache relief if the House-passed Financial Services spending proposal survives the grueling compromise process with the Senate, and if other highly controversial riders don’t attract a near-certain Administration veto.

The House Financial Services agency spending measure (HR 5485), which passed the House on July 7, contains an amendment that would remove the burdensome prior approval solicitation provisions that the Federal Election Commission imposes on trade association federal PACs like MCAA PAC. The amendment was proposed by Nevada Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV).

The House spending measure also would eliminate the SEC “conflict minerals” reporting requirements. There are other controversial riders on the bill pertaining to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practices and administration, as well as a block on Administration spending to implement EO13673, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces regulations. As proposed, the measure will face a veto in the event the conference measure coming out of Senate contains any of those controversial policy riders.

BuiltWorlds Recaps Highlights of MCAA Construction Technology Conference

Disruptive technology, robotics, drones, 3D printing, cloud computing and storage, BIM and much more were the hot topics at the MCAA Construction Technology Conference in June in Indianapolis. BuiltWorlds, MCAA’s technology partner that presented the exhibit of new construction devices and products at the conference, captured all the speakers and their presentations in a detailed article that not only described the technologies but also how contractors are using them in operations, such as fabrication shops, and projects to improve productivity, efficiency and profits. Read the article.

Gain Insights from Peer Groups at MSCA 2016

Because roundtables are always an MSCA favorite, the MSCA 2016 Educational Conference (October 24-27, Scottsdale, AZ) will provide attendees with two peer-to-peer roundtable discussions. Session 1 will focus on “Getting to the Next Level,” and include discussions on issues, opportunities and resources specific to company size. Attendees will leave better informed and equipped to successfully grow their businesses.

This roundtable includes a 30-minute debriefing session for members to connect through ideas and learnings. Session 2 will comprise more than 10 different topics that have been of key interest to attendees this year. The topics will include “Unique Sales Ideas/Sales Tips and Tactics,” “Where Have All the Baby Boomers Gone?,” and “Mobile Field Technologies.” Check out our conference website then register today for MSCA 2016 and lock in the early-bird member rate.