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MOVING UP, MOVING FORWARD

NEW MEMBERS | NEW BENEFITS | STRONG FOUNDATIONS

This is an exciting time for the Concrete Foundations Association. Many of you are part of that energy and excitement and many of you are benefitting from it. At no time in the last decade has membership been growing as fast as it is right now and this is a result of old acquaintances returning as well as new relationships being made.

If you are part of our receiving list of notifications, you’ve no doubt seen the recent stream of announcements that provide evidence to a part of this energy. These announcements not only proclaim the energy of new involvement, they are opportunities for networking. Each company that is identified through this effort is a networking partner potential for you.

As a contractor, these companies can be someone you consider pulling along side of and mentoring, introducing them to your company and CFA membership through your communication. We’ve heard time and time again that the best and most dramatic influence on your own company is starting the conversation with another and learning as much (or more) from them as you perhaps intended to provide. Therefore, we continue to produce these announcements as a way of spurring each of you into this conversation and letting you take it where it leads.

As companies begin to investigate the decision to join the CFA, one of the first questions is often “what do we get for joining,” or in essence, “what’s in it for me?” This is a very important question.

Never before has our industry endured such hardships as the recession you are climbing out of. Never before have finances been stretched so far or scrutiny on spending been so great. This has honed the skills of company management at maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency for every dollar spent so as to garner every possible dollar earned. The equation is not simple, nor is it easy. This is where the CFA has been specifically focused of recent months. We’re pleased to be introducing to the market and to each of your organizations that join or renew, a new start to membership in our Member Resources Welcome Kit.

The Welcome Kit, while containing just a start of the concepts and programs that make the CFA such a strong network and opportunity for you, does provide tangible and immediate information you can implement as a difference maker. While extensive in its diverse application to your business, we do believe that strategically and over time, this information will challenge you and your company to think of process and procedure, program and performance as you begin to consider how this professional association can and should impact your business. It is for this reason that you’ve been encouraged to join.

The Welcome Kit is broken into major sections to relate to your business modules. Some of these sections represent major programming the CFA has developed or is in the process of developing. Other sections represent key information and relevant resources specific to your business and industry. Each kit currently contains:

• CFA Certification Program
• CFA Fall Protection Program
• CFA Technical Notes
• CFA Management Moves Business Tools
• CFA Convenient Networking Engagement
• Insurance Captive for CFA Members
Concrete Facts Magazine

Found throughout these pieces of information are the broadest range of member benefits that have ever been issued from the CFA to the membership and are a direct result of the countless hours of service already volunteered by leaders from companies like yours. They are a collection of assets that cannot be overlooked in the value of participation and membership in an organization such as this.

The Welcome Kit has also been upgraded to help you make a more professional statement of your membership to customers and visitors entering your office. The new and strong CFA branding is presented in a modern and attractive way for you to set on a counter or hang on the wall. We encourage you to place the CFA among the leading icons you hold up to the industry, as it becomes a centerpiece of support and growth for your company. The display of this membership acknowledgement can and should coincide with establishing the CFA brand as part of your digital presence.

Through new members and new information, the CFA recognizes the growth and energy that is presently in the marketplace. More than ever before, companies want and need the partnership that comes from a solid and strong organization; one that offers solutions, resources, information and opportunities, as they are needed. It is therefore important to recognize that such firmness and strength comes only from legacy and consistency. The Concrete Foundations Association begins the celebration this summer of 40 years in existence. Consider what the past forty years means to you…where were you then, or were you then? I was just learning to run and broadening my vocabulary attending preschool. Leaders in your industry were taking time away from their businesses, for your business. They were thinking of you today as they gave of themselves then. From the minutes of the 2nd formation meeting on February 10, 1975 in Chicago, Illinois:

THE MEANINGFUL ASPECT OF THE CONVERSATION FOR REASONS FOR A POURED WALL ASSOCIATION TURNED OUT TO BE NOT SO MUCH AS THE REASONS FOR AN ASSOCIATION BUT THAT WHEN WE ARE ORGANIZED WE DO WHAT WE SAY WE ARE GOING TO DO! ALL IN ATTENDANCE AGREED ON THIS POINT SO THAT WE MAKE FUTURE MEETINGS PURPOSEFUL FOR THE MEMBERSHIP!

This statement in those minutes is written just as it was in the minutes, bold and all caps, while the rest was normal text. The founding members of this Association held firmly to one belief. The only reason an association, this Association, should exist was to provide for the needs of you, the industry and specifically the membership.

Twenty-one reasons were listed in those minutes, referred to in the quote above, as specific and individual industry needs or influences. Listing them below, see how many of them describe today’s CFA and what has been accomplished over the 40 years of purposed and diligent existence. An Association can:

1. prepare, print and distribute literature to all its members which points out the advantages of poured concrete walls over masonry block

2. contact testing laboratories for the purposes of securing actual test information comparing poured concrete walls with block as to strength, dampness, insulation, etc.

3. set up standards of performance regarding the quality of the work of its members…all with the idea of upgrading the industry

4. assist its membership in the exchange of ideas thru conversation at its meetings, newsletters, etc.

5. assist members in defining and/or changing local building codes

6. seek federal assistance in supporting apprenticeship training programs

7. send out periodic newsletter with such information as new ideas, interesting jobs, laws affecting the industry, new literature and products, OSHA information, union practices, etc.

8. prepare, publish and circulate its own magazine

9. investigate the availability and cost of hospitalization and pension programs

10. set up training programs for inexperienced field people…possibly having such people work for a time with experienced, efficient member operations

11. prepare training kits with manuals, slides, etc.

12. prepare training kits for office staff so as to acquaint them with what goes on in the field…all with the idea of making the entire company a more knowledgeable and closer coordinated work force

13. pursue the concept of collective buying power and its benefits

14. provide its members with aids and suggestions as to how to evaluate costs and investment in terms of profits

15. provide, thru its membership, an exchange of credit information on builders coming into a work area from the outside

16. provide and develop motivation ideas for the employees of a members’ company

17. provide its members with legal aid and assistance

18. approach other organizations such as OSHA, FHA, NRMCA, NAHB as a spokesman with power on matters pro and con affecting the poured wall contractor’s interests

19. help create a market by promoting “POURED CONCRETE WALLS MAKE THE BEST BASEMENTS!” with ads, mats available to members for local advertising, car/truck bumper stickers, etc.

20. prepare and distribute educational data to technical schools, universities, architects, etc. providing that poured walls are an economic factor and under what conditions are superior to masonry construction

21. produce a traveling exhibit for the purpose of promoting poured concrete walls at national and/or state level home builders, ready-mix, concrete shows, etc.

While there is certainly evidence of concepts and focal points that were plausible only forty years ago, there is tremendous evidence of the road map this generated list created for the Association that you have and own today.

So who were the pioneers that laid this path and established leadership that would persevere, even excel today? That question should be expanded to ask, who are the companies that have held strong the support for this industry and this Association since its inception. Together, they are the strong foundation for who the Concrete Foundation Association is and with great satisfaction, we are able to continue encouraging companies to join and benefit today.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us