Congratulations for making the decision to arrive at this page. In so doing, you have acted on curiosity or instinct that makes you and your team decidedly different than most of the companies in today's residential concrete industry.
In coming here, your first question might be, so why should I join the CFA? The answer to that can be extensive. However, the short answer is that the CFA has an established and experienced network of professional companies that serve each other's needs and set forth development to meet and resolve the many risks and opportunities of the second largest market for Portland cement in the country.
Membership in the CFA becomes what you need it to be and at all times we offer ways of expanding your perspective and understanding of those needs through many other opportunities. While most business decisions involve some form of expense, a capitalized risk, the CFA will be an investment in your future. In fact, there are companies in membership now that find it a legacy to leave behind and a motivation for building a strong future.
The more detailed answer involves explaining the core of who we are for your company. Beginning with your decision to become a member, here are some of the primary features of CFA membership that you will begin to experience.
Connecting companies to experienced Association peers in progressive relationships that establish value, develop inspiration and produce results early on in a new member's tenure.
The heart of this Association is connecting you to peers in non-competitive relationships. You will receive an invitation from a hand-selected member to visit them at their location and spend a day or so talking about their business and yours. This is an electric meeting that jumpstarts the most valuable part of membership and yet perhaps the most intangible. This connectivity fosters an increasing sense of community in the CFA as your mentor introduces you to others that have influenced them. You set up the schedule with them and then the electricity happens. You are able to visit their complete operations, some of their project sites and really dig in to understand each other's company. Your mentor will end up getting as much and learning as much from the visit as you do. Many of these result in a reciprocal visit at a later date.
For the last forty years this has happened naturally as companies are introduced to one another at regional and national meetings hosted by the CFA. In today's business environment, regular travel to educational and networking meetings are much more difficult. The mentor introduction meeting establishes a quick understanding for that benefit before it is associated with the cost of participation.
We encourage you to define how far you are willing to travel and then we select a company that is likely to be the best fit for your interests and confirm that invitation with the potential mentor.
Among the most consistent efforts in this Association to provide benefit to the membership is education. A diverse combination of seminars, resources, webinars, self-study presentations and teleconferences deliver one of the principal benefits of this Association.
National events such as the CFA Annual Summer Convention, the largest annual gathering of cast-in-place contractors in the U.S., and the World of Concrete, the largest annual concrete construction show, deliver a CFA focus of poignant education impacting both business and business environment. Certification is a major component of the national events along with top speakers and topics relevant to the theme of the annual event.
The Annual Summer Convention (Sandusky, Ohio 2014) has been held across North America from Oregon to Florida and Vermont. Most recently it has visited New Mexico, Michigan, Virginia and Missouri. This event features the technologies from the many specialized equipment and product manufacturers supporting the Association as well as substantial networking efforts to compliment the education delivered.
Regional events offered throughout the year impact a more concentrated part of the membership. At these events, the local market is often addressed from a perspective of technical performance, code awareness and state-of-the-art industry practices.
Digital learning is a major component of the convenience the CFA has brought to this industry. Periodic free webinars for members connects those interested through a wide array of topics and backgrounds. Most webinars are also recorded and offered as self-study presentations for the future. We also live record many of our Annual Convention presentations and then pair the audio with the slide presentations to offer after the event both as an idea archive for your attendance as well as to benefit those unable to attend a particular Convention…and of course offer to new members.
Our education covers the gamut of interests from codes and standards, technical solutions, marketing, bidding, selling, legal, safety and a whole host of other topics. Our speakers are members, staff, dedicated professionals and any other criteria that fits the delivery need we have. What they all have in common is excellence in their presentation styles and topics.
As a new member, you are offered your selection of two self-study presentations from our library ($300 value) and then you may obtain additional presentations offered exclusive to members at a rate based on the number desired. We do not sell our education to the general industry as we want only leaders in markets having access to what the CFA works hard to generate. Leaders are members. A list of current presentations offered includes:
- CFA Cold Weather Research for Residential Foundation Walls: Jim Baty, CFA Technical Director
- "Obamascare" - The Affordable Health Care Act: David Whitlock, Miller & Martin PLLC
- Win More Bids: Doug Herbert, Herbert Construction
- Isokinetic Employee Evaluation: Jim Wildman, Cost Reduction Technologies
- Concrete Home Profile - Lake Hiawasee Residence: Mike Hancock, Basement Contractors
- CFA Alternate Fall Protection Plan Development – the right OSHA solution: Jim Baty, CFA Technical Director
- CSA - Understanding Post 2010 Compliance: Matt Wrobel, Foley Services
Since 2007, the CFA has offered a new element to residential concrete construction in the form of a Residential Foundation Certification Program. The program is a combination of individual certifications (Level I) demonstrating technical knowledge and command of the industry resources that shape the concrete wall industry as well as company certifications (Level II) that third-party evaluate safety and business aspects of quality companies.
Certification is one of the best ways that professionals can revolutionize the way that competition must behave and in addition greatly enhance the way the industry is viewed by builders, customers and industry influencers.
It is a fact that your business environment is dramatically different than it was before. Crew sizes and labor handcuff employers and force longer work hours to achieve the same results. Volume of work has increased steadily since the middle of 2013 and all market forecasting suggests dramatic growth in the residential sector over the next five years. Therefore, your ability to communicate ideas or needs and to gain advice from an organizational structure like the CFA is imperative to the efficiency of your time.
Social media has provided several great vehicles for us to engage your interests and stimulate your ideas. We host both a public LinkedIn group (Concrete Foundations) and two private ones (CFA Members, Insurance Captive for CFA Members). Here you will experience a broad range of discussions as well as being able to initiate your own in settings that are convenient and historical at the same time. We also host a facebook network group, CFAConcretePros where we maintain pertinent announcements and information that can be used to promote your company or engage your market as well as this Association.
Finally, for those that haven’t entered the social media arena or for those that want yet another chance to communicate with others, we offer a technical service known as the CFA Email Hotline. Participants can send a question to email@example.com and the message is distributed privately to all participants. Responses are logged and returned privately to the entire group in an increasing discussion format.
Among the largest risks for managing your business is insurance. The commercial insurance market is a minefield of interwoven interests and risk profiles with zero relationships. In recent years, the commercial market has begun to harden (become a sellers market) and insurance companies now have the upper hand for determining what they will insure, how they will insure and at what rate they will insure.
Beginning in 2007, the CFA has worked diligently through this hardening market to create a protected-risk, self-insurance captive for member organizations. This captive serves to insulate participating companies from the fluctuations and control of the general commercial market. It places ownership of your insurance needs in your hands, participating with a finite number of companies having like interests, profiles and risks.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
If the mission of the CFA is to be the voice and recognized authority…one of the ways that this is accomplished is by working diligently on industry regulations that impact your business. No more effective effort has been undertaken than the work completed on Alternate Fall Protection for OSHA Residential Construction regulations.
CFA maintains a four-step program for its members to be prepared for OSHA inspections for fall protection on projects. Depending on the expertise of the company and the guidance needed, they can access these four-steps in an increasing measure.
Step 1: Request and obtain a copy of the CFA’s draft Alternate Fall Protection Plan. This 1926.502(k) compliant plan advises the company on what an AFPP should look like and the rationale behind each decision that must be made in order to achieve compliance with employer regulations for protecting the workforce from falls.
Step 2: Request and obtain a copy of the self-study webinar that discusses the history of fall protection regulation and the current requirements that employers must meet. This presentation also steps through the components of the AFPP to explain the development that has gone into the provisions of this AFPP draft companies may choose to implement or augment for their own implementation.
Step 3: Contribute to the CFA’s Education & Research Fund to obtain a copy of the AFPP Kit for CFA Members. This kit includes current plans implemented in different parts of the country by active CFA members as well as much of the research that has gone into demonstrating greater risk and/or hazard for the many active fall protection methods that OSHA expects an employer to implement or consider before choosing the AFPP approach.
Step 4: Interact with the CFA’s Fall Protection Task Force to determine the effectiveness of implementation of your plan and to prepare for any involvement with OSHA.
This significant regulatory effort is the most vivid example of industry authority the CFA has put forward but not the only one. CFA is currently involved in a coalition working against more strict air-borne silica regulation, is monitoring and maintaining education for crane and derrick certification regulation as well as employer other industry regulations and requirements for your business affairs.
As technology improves and awareness increases, one aspect of the industry that is often overlooked is the capability of an organization to conduct important research for its members and the industry. The CFA has delivered instrumental and ground-breaking research for the industry over the past decade that has impacted both the business environment and the quality of the industry.
The landscape of performance and quality requirements for the industry served by the CFA is shaped by several key national codes. CFA maintains membership and leadership on committees affecting evolution of critical concrete codes and standards such as the International Residential Code and ACI 332 – Code Requirements for Residential Concrete.
In addition to the development of these critical documents, CFA has developed its own regulations in the CFA Standard and has published cutting edge guidelines for far less conservative design methods for concrete foundations.
These are the ever-expanding main highlights of a CFA membership for your company. Each CFA member identifies with a different range of needs and benefits and we look forward to assisting your company in finding traction with our programs, opportunities, networking and more to fit your specific interests. Consider this additional listing of many more tangible benefits and opportunities enjoyed by members throughout the CFA:
Interactive Website – the representation of our voice and authority
- Searchable Company Directories
- Historical Media Archives
- Concrete Facts Magazine – CFA’s product
- National and International Media
- Industry News and Announcements
- Project Recognition Awards
- Members-Only Files
- MSDS Sheets
- OSHA Standards
- Events and Meetings
Concrete Homes Council – our dedicated structure to the future of resilient housing
- Directory of Experts
- Concrete Home Profiles
- RCF Above Grade Homes Manual
- Concrete Homes Promotion DVD
Public Relations – Our impact to your company’s presence
- Industry Publication Features for Companies and Projects
- News Releases for Certification and Awards
- Association Awards
- Projects of the Year
- Contractor of the Year
- Bob Sawyer Award
- Lifetime Achievement