Thank you for your interest in joining the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA). In coming here, your first question might be, so why should I join the CFA? The answer to that can be extensive, but 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. 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.
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 jump-starts 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 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.
CFA Convention (Nashville, TN 2017) has been held across North America from Oregon to Florida and Vermont to New Mexico. Most recently it has visited Ohio, 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.
Since 2007, CFA has offered a new element to residential concrete construction in the form of a Residential Foundation Certification Program. The program has grown to a combination of both individual certification offered through the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and company certification offered through the CFA to provide third-party evaluation of safety and business aspects of quality foundation 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and the message is distributed privately to all participants. Responses are logged and returned privately to the entire group in an increasing discussion format.
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.
…and much more!