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July 20, 2018

We’re Going to Playa del Carmen in 2018 – Who’s Coming With?!

Following next year’s Annual Winter Conference, we will be heading to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for our ‘Out-of-Country Excursion!’  The trip is scheduled for March 1 – 6, 2018 at the luxurious adults-only Paradisus Playa del Carmen – La Perla, an all-inclusive beach resort where all MBI guests will be receiving the Royal Service!  

The 5-night, 6-day conference trip combines business with pleasure, and has long been one of the Association’s most popular activities.  Nearly 100 people went on the last trip to Punta Cana in 2015 and we already have over 50 members and guests signed up for Playa del Carmen!

Curious how Playa del Carmen was chosen as the 2018 destination?  Contrary to popular belief, there is not a MBI staff ‘vacation bucket list’ that we choose from.  We actually don’t have much say in the decision process at all.  The MBI Convention & Travel Committee is tasked with choosing the location for the out-of-country conference extension that takes place every 3 years.

Save on Workers' Compensation Premiums with Midwest Builders' Casualty

Workers’ compensation insurance is required for all Iowa employers. Without it, some businesses would suffer because the costs of medical care have risen and are continuing to do so. Insurance companies pay close attention to these rising medical costs. When the costs they pay out exceeds what they charge in premiums, they find ways to maintain their profits. One way they do this is by raising the premiums for every customer. Another way is to raise the premiums on the other types of insurance that employers buy in order to offset the costs of keeping their workers’ compensation premiums stagnant. The only way an employer can avoid the increased premiums is to: 1) reduce or eliminate the number of claims, and 2) get competitive bids on its workers’ compensation insurance. This is easy to achieve by having an effective safety program, and by having Midwest Builders Casualty submit a quote at your next insurance renewal.

In 2013, MBI partnered with Midwest Builders’ Casualty Group (MWBC) to provide our members with access to their specialized workers’ compensation insurance program.  MWBC has focused on providing workers’ comp coverage to the commercial construction industry throughout the Midwest for over thirty years.  Their success has come from providing the highest level of service and knowledge because of their focused market.  They understand the construction industry and have built their program on fostering long-term partnerships by maintaining both competitive and stable pricing, while not overreacting when claims occur.  MWBC is also a dividend paying program that utilizes the most generous loss ratio for dividend qualification purposes in the industry.  

Recruitment Tip: Why use social media?

One of the most discussed topics today is social media and it is for a good reason! Nearly all job candidates today are on at least one or more social media platforms. As an employer, you need take a multi-channel approach to reach and engage as many candidates as you can. Optimizing your social media presence is essential for your job search and can be quick and easy to manage.

More Work to Come

With all of the ways the industry attempts to forecast future work, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is probably the most relied upon barometer. It is a measurement of design service billings, and historically has been very accurate in predicting the amount of nonresidential construction work that will take place 9-24 months down the road.

Construction Employment Increases by 5,000 in April to Highest Level in Nine Years; But Labor Shortages Likely Limited Number of New Jobs Being Added

Construction employment increased by 5,000 jobs in April to the highest level in more than nine years amid strong demand for new construction services, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned, however, that a shortage of available qualified workers likely limited the number of new jobs added last month.

433 WORKSAFE Projects and Counting!

Master Builders of Iowa and Iowa OSHA Consultation enrolled the 400th construction project designated as a WORKSAFE job site in March! WORKSAFE was launched in the fall of 2012 and is a unique public-private partnership between the Iowa OSHA and MBI. The WORKSAFE program was developed jointly to encourage contractors to identify hazardous conditions before construction begins and conduct job site surveys to monitor safety goal implementation to ultimately prevent job site injuries.

MBI is a Certified CM-Lean Testing Center

MBI has taken the steps needed to become an approved CM-Lean exam testing center.  The AGC Certificate of Management-Lean Construction (CM-Lean) is an assessment-based certificate credential that denotes knowledge and understanding of concepts related to lean adoption, practice and process transformation outlined in AGC’s Lean Construction Education Program (LCEP).  Successful candidates will carry the CM-Lean designation.

2017 Legislative Summary

The focus of the public affairs program of the Master Builders of Iowa is derived from our Mission Statement, which reads:

 “The essential resource for improving member performance and promoting a business environment favorable to the construction industry.”

With our Mission Statement as a guide, MBI’s lobbying efforts maintained a constant presence at the Iowa Capitol each and every day during the 2017 Legislative Session.  MBI’s lobbyists saw nearly 1,000 different pieces of legislation being introduced and took time to review every bill to see what sort of impact, if any, each would have on the commercial construction industry in Iowa.  MBI also participated in multiple committee and subcommittee meetings, often adding the “construction industry’s perspective” to the debate. 

MBI’s Labor Philosophy

Very few subjects in the business world, construction is no exception, evoke such passion as labor issues.  Constant conflict surrounds labor pursuits regardless of your choice to be union or non-union in some, or all, of your labor relationships.  There is conflict for union contractors during wage and contract negotiations with their labor counterparts.  The collective bargaining process is rarely easy, and more often very stressful, for both sides of the table.

Legislature Adjourns for the Year

Legislative Focus
April 24, 2017
Volume XVI, Edition 15

I have always said it is good for the Legislature to adjourn during the daylight hours.  However, I should have probably stipulated that a daylight adjournment should not be preceded by an all-night session.

The 2017 Legislative Session came to a close at 7:17 a.m. Saturday morning.  This was after House and Senate leaders worked through the night to find resolution on water quality, medical marijuana and final budget bills. 

Construction Week – October 2-6, 2017

Ask any contractor what keeps them up at night and 9 times out of 10 they will answer with something related to their ability to attract the next generation workforce. The shortage of workers in the skilled trades is high, and will continue to grow in the years to come. The mission of Construction Week is to promote awareness of the construction industry as a safe, exciting and rewarding career option.  This effort has been kicked off with Governor Branstad proclaiming the first week of October as Construction Week in Iowa, which will be celebrated October 2 – 6, 2017.

Help Us Promote the Construction Industry - Follow the Build Iowa Campaign on Social Media!

As many of you are aware, we launched a new website – www.BuildIowa.org – in August to bring more awareness to the great opportunities available within Iowa’s construction industry.  The site contains career options and path details on various construction-related occupations, which many people outside of our industry are not aware of.

Lee Hollatz Receives the First Master Builder Achievement Award

For those of you that have not heard the news yet, we were able to present the first Master Builder Achievement Award during the Annual Winter Conference!  We are pleased to announce Lee Hollatz, Project Manager/Safety Director of The Hansen Company, Inc., Johnston, Iowa as a Master Builder Achievement Award recipient!  Lee was presented with the award during the Masters Award Luncheon on February 28, 2017 in front of a sold out crowd of industry professionals.

It’s Official – Governor Branstad has Proclaimed the First Week of October as Construction Week in Iowa!

On April 12th, Governor Branstad proclaimed October 2 – 6, 2017 as Construction Week in Iowa.  Construction Week is a time to celebrate the built environment and showcase those who create it, increase public dialogue about the shortage of construction workers and bring construction to life for students, educators and parents.

To view the Construction Week 2017 proclamation video, CLICK HERE.  Be sure to SHARE the video on social media to begin spreading the word about #ConstructionWeek17!

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