BUILDING TODAY

 for a better tomorrow.

News and Updates

  • 03 Sep 2019 10:47 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    The second edition of Building Pennsylvania – the official magazine of PBA – will be published in January. We hope you had a chance to read the issue that came out this summer. If you missed it, you can view it online here.

    We are currently building our editorial content and we are looking for your input. This issue will lean heavily toward workforce development. Please submit your ideas for articles that you would like to read and that you feel would be valuable for the PBA membership. Send your ideas for consideration to Rick Cochran at rcochran@pabuilders.org no later than October 4.

  • 26 Aug 2019 3:23 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today is issuing a Request for Proposals for new construction or the rehabilitation of mixed-use projects seeking financial support. Funding will be provided through the Community Revitalization Fund Program. Mixed-use projects combine residential and retail/commercial space in the same building and often serve as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. The deadline for proposal submission is 2 p.m. on Oct. 18.

    This funding program was created as part of the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2017/18 budget, and PHFA was designated by the General Assembly to administer it. This year’s approved state budget authorized PHFA to sell $3 million of state tax credits and use the proceeds to make awards for the development of mixed-use properties in commercial/retail corridors in Pennsylvania that are undergoing revitalization.

    Examples of projects eligible for funding include:

    • The rehabilitation of older or under-utilized buildings for immediate re-use to support other community development goals;
    • Preparing commercial build-out and business lease space;
    • The design of, and structural and legal conversion of, existing buildings; and
    • The provision of additional units of housing by combining uses in a single, newly constructed or renovated building.

    “We’re looking to fund projects that not only will bring a direct benefit to communities but that also have the potential to attract additional investment to areas seeking redevelopment,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “Our goal is to use this funding in a way that achieves the maximum benefit for communities and stimulates revitalization beyond each individual project receiving financial support.”

    Eligible applicants for this funding include units of local government (counties, cities, boroughs, etc.); redevelopment authorities; for-profit firms; non-profit groups; and economic development organizations. Applications from third-class cities will be given higher priority in this year’s proposal evaluations.
    Information about the Community Revitalization Fund RFP is posted on the PHFA website at: https://www.phfa.org/mhp/developers/loans.aspx. Interested organizations can learn more by contacting Bryce Maretzki at PHFA at (717) 780-1867 or by email at bmaretzki@phfa.org.

    A webinar about the RFP is planned for Sept. 17. More details are available on the PHFA website at the web address given above.

  • 26 Aug 2019 3:21 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    The home show committee of the Central Susquehanna Builders Association donated $700 toward programs benefiting the Endorsed Trade Program.

    Member Dean Hilliard received a split mini HVAC system and offered it as a prize raffle item for the March 2019 CSBA Home Show. Dean offered his installation services as well.

    Students from the Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School sold tickets to attendees during the show and all proceeds were earmarked for the Endorsed Trade Program.

    Steve Brown, CSBA 2nd Vice President, presented the check to PAB President Maria Coutts at the PBA Summer Board Meeting. The Central Susquehanna BA has requested that the funds be used to provide materials and recognition for students involved in workforce development programs.

    PBA and the Workforce Development Committee would like to thank the members of the Central Susquehanna Builders Association for their dedication to the future of our workforce.

  • 20 Aug 2019 1:48 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    So did you just pull into the driveway after dropping your youngest off at college? Or maybe you spent the summer helping the last holdout move into their own place. The bottom line is that now you fit into the special club called the “empty nesters”. Yes, the first couple of weeks may be filled with a few tears and lots of memories, but then the fun starts – THE PLACE IS FINALLY ALL YOURS!

    All the home shows on television seem to focus on couples who are looking for special areas in their homes for their particular interests. Most real parents have probably yelled at the screen wondering who ever had time for their own interests. Well now is your time, so we’ve come up with a few ideas of what you can do with Junior’s room. Sure you might want to include a sofa bed or air mattress in the house for him – but don’t make it look too permanent!

    Library – Are you a book lover but currently the only place you have to store them is as a make-shift bedside table? Think of the possibilities of having bookshelves installed in a dedicated room. Add a big comfortable chair, a side table, and maybe even a sound system and you have the makings of your own library to enjoy.

    Meditation Room – Now that there is actually some quiet in the house, a meditation room might be a good idea. Make it clutter-free with soothing colors and maybe some big pillows or comfortable blankets because after all, naps count as meditating too, right?

    A Closet to Die For – For years you have been shoving your clothes into what seems like a smaller and smaller space. Suddenly there are empty closets in other rooms (well, once you convince the previous occupant to clear them out). You could look beyond the closets and make the entire room a walk-in closet. Install a closet system, add a dresser or two and finally be able to keep your things organized and neat.

    Exercise Room – How many treadmills currently do double duty as a clothes hanger? Past space limitations have resulting in exercise gear relegated to the corner of the master bedroom. Clear out that new empty room and you’ve got all kinds of room to do your workouts. Install a wall mounted television and add some floor mats and you will soon be on the path for a healthier you.

    Man Cave/Indoor She Shed – Yes, we have all seen the commercial where Sheryl’s She-Shed is in flames. But why not leave the shed for what it was meant for – storing the mower. An empty room can easily be taken over and used for displaying sports memorabilia, doing crafts, listening to music, or even being transformed into a luxury bath for your own in-home spa.

    Home Office – Let’s get that laptop and stack of bills off the kitchen counter. That room is screaming to be your own home office. You might want to even start a new business based on your hobbies (now that you have time for them!). Enjoy the opportunity to be able to shut the door on distractions.

    OK – maybe you want to look beyond the empty room.

    As empty nesters you can make all kinds of changes to your home. Remember it’s your space and you can do whatever you want. Other ideas include investing in some finer furniture – you know, maybe you can finally get a white sofa now that no one is sprawled on it eating pizza.

    This may be the time to redo your floors or even freshen up the outside areas. Paint the walls the colors you’ve always wanted to or even remodel the place for resale in the future.

    No matter what you decide, it’s important to realize that life goes on and you’ve reached a new chapter. Make the most of it and take some time – and space – for yourself.

    You’ve earned it.

  • 19 Aug 2019 11:36 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    With the start of the new school year, the York Builders Association is expanding their WorkforceNOW initiative with some new and exciting marketing pieces. WorkforceNOW was designed specifically to address the shortage of skilled labor in the industry.

    The YBA is developing a series of blogs and videos to help the program gain traction and promote awareness of the variety of career paths available in the local market.

    The first ever Construction Career Days event took place in April, with a second one planned for the upcoming school year. The event was a partnership with several local high schools and building industry companies where students and employers got the opportunity to connect.

    We all have a responsibility to empower and encourage the future workforce. Check out some of the promotional ideas that are making a difference in York County – and see how you can use them for inspiration in your local area.

    WorkforceNOW Launch

    Construction Career Days Video

    WorkforceNOW Blog – Damon’s Story

  • 09 Aug 2019 10:04 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    NAHB’s Building Systems Housing Summit is returning to Pennsylvania October 6-8. The Summit, the industry’s premier conference dedicated to off-site construction, is an excellent opportunity to network with leaders in modular, panelized, log, and other innovative residential building systems.

    Through focused education sessions, led by industry experts, attendees can immediately put key takeaways into practice to strategically build their businesses. The Summit is a fantastic way to forge valuable connections to find solutions to your biggest challenges and position your business for continued growth.  

    Lock in your savings now and join us in Pittsburgh in October. Register by 5:00 p.m. ET, Friday, August 16 to save $85 on your Summit registration.

    More Information

  • 06 Aug 2019 10:27 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    PBA recently launched a major new fundraising program. The Keystone Club (formerly Committee of 75) is designed to raise personal contributions from members. These funds are used to target Pennsylvania’s leaders on issues vital to the home building industry.

    Keystone Club members include those who have contributed $500 or more to PaCAH (Pennsylvania Committee for Affordable Housing). Checks should be made payable to “PaCAH” and include a Keystone Club note on the memo line. Members of the Keystone Club who pledge each year, will receive a pin and entry into that year’s PaCAH admission.

    As of the PBA Summer Board Meeting, the following individuals were designated as “Founding Members” of the Keystone Club.

    Kevin Coutts (Wayne/Pike)

    Maria Coutts (Wayne/Pike)

    Dean Hilliard (Central Susquehanna)

    Cindy Cepko (Wayne/Pike)

    Jill Allan (BAMP)

    Jim Rumbaugh (BAMP)

    Several more have pledged their commitment and will be joining the Club.

    If you wish to be included as a “Founding Member” of the Keystone Club, please contact Jill Pento at jpento@pabuilders.org or 717- 730-4380, ext. 3028 on or before September 1.

  • 05 Aug 2019 11:59 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Protecting your family. That’s the goal of homeowners everywhere. But with the variety of security systems on the market today, what is the right choice for you?

    Technology makes today’s choices in security systems seem like something George Jetson might install in his space-aged home. But the reality is that now you can actually control your home from the palm of your hand even if you are across the country. We’ve come a long way from leaving a light on and hoping the dog will bark.

    Home security systems vary from those that notify local authorities when a window or door in your home has been breached to those that can alert you and a monitoring service of someone at your door through video on your smartphone. They can even notify you of an unseen danger that could be lurking in your home.

    At the very basic level is a self-monitoring system where the homeowner is responsible to notify emergency personnel of a security breach. However for peace of mind, you might want to consider a more advanced system. The advantages of these more advanced options include safety, convenience, and even more cash in your pocket.

    Protecting Loved Ones – This is the most significant reason to invest in a security system. The comfort of knowing your family is safe is paramount.

    Protecting Your Home and Valuables – Did you know that 60 percent of home invaders are deterred when they know your home is protected by a security system? Even those that try are likely to be scared off by the sound of an alarm.

    Discovering Underlying Dangers – A number of security systems can detect hazards that may be invading your home – smoke, carbon monoxide, fire – even when you are not at home.

    Convenience – Imagine you are out later than you had planned. With a modern security system you can easily turn on lights in your home (and maybe even the television for noise) and adjust the thermostat through your smartphone to give yourself an additional sense of security.

    Discounts – Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who install security systems in their homes. So you can keep your family and valuable safe and still save money while doing it!

    Consider your particular needs. Look at where you live, consider past experiences, and think about your lifestyle. Which security system is right for you? Be sure to talk to a qualified professional and check out the selection of products on the market.

    A security system provides that extra comfort for you – and most importantly – for your family.

  • 30 Jul 2019 11:18 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Safety and PBA go hand-in-hand. Builder Services Inc. (BSI) works closely with McConkey Insurance and Benefits to offer members competitively-priced Workers' Compensation coverage.

    Read about some great ideas for keeping your worksite safe and contact Erica Grimm (info@pbaworkcomp.com or 717-505-3144) for more information on how you can benefit from this program.


  • 30 Jul 2019 9:20 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)


    PBA members from across the state gathered in State College this past weekend for the Summer Board Meeting. Members from more than two dozen local associations met to review progress, set agendas for future projects, and nominate officers for 2020. The event also provided members with the opportunity to network with others in the home building industry.

    Prior to the actual Board Meeting, attendees participated in a variety of committee meetings including the PA Housing Research Center, Non-Dues Task Force, Membership, Communications, Workers Compensation, Workforce Training and Development, Professional Women in Building (PWB), and the Board of Directors meeting for Builders Services, Inc. (BSI).

    The Governmental Affairs Committee Meeting, chaired by Jim Rumbaugh of The Meritage Group (Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh), drew the largest number of attendees. PBA members were updated on the success of Act 53 which takes builders and developers off the hook for major tax liabilities attributable to Contributions in Aid of Construction (or “CIAC.”) Act 53 provides significant savings for developers, homebuilders, and homebuyers. This victory is a major milestone in the work that the Governmental Affairs Committee is doing on behalf of the building industry in Pennsylvania. The committee also provided details on other issues facing the industry as well as upcoming initiatives. 

    Governmental Affairs leadership also announced the establishment of the Keystone Club recognizing donors to the Pennsylvania Committee for Affordable Housing (PaCAH). Donations of $500 or more grant entry into the Club. Act now to be recognized as a founding members. For more information on how you can be a part of the Keystone Club, please contact Jill Pento at jpento@pabuilders.org

    Elizabeth Hensil, of Finish Line Strategies, addressed lunchtime guests about the importance of a grassroots campaign in advance of a planned Legislative Day at the Capital set for September 23.

    Those attendees wanting to learn more about how social media can benefit their businesses, took part in a seminar titled Getting Savvy With Social Media led by Deb Kozlovac of Alliance Business Technologies. 

     

    After a day of back-to-back meetings, a large number of members and guests took part in a special fundraising event for PaCAH at the nearby home of Betsy Dupuis. The theme of the evening was a summer picnic complete with delicious grilled delicacies, wine flights, a corn hole competition, and even a very popular dunk tank featuring Vice President Jon Sukonik, Past President Andrew Kaye, GA Committee Chair Jim Rumbaugh, and BA of Metro Pittsburgh Executive Officer Jim Eichenlaub. 

    President Maria Coutts convened Saturday morning’s Board Meeting where directors from across the state conducted the business of PBA. 

    Immediate Past President Kert Sloan announced the nominations for officers for 2020. Jon Sukonik of HBA of Bucks & Montgomery Counties was chosen as the nominee for President along with Cindy Cepko, Wayne-Pike BIA, as Vice President; Cathy Sloan, HBA of Berks County, as Secretary; Shawn Prohaska, HBA of NEPA, as Associate Vice President. The Treasurer nominee will be announced in the fall. Additional nominees included NAHB Area Three Vice President, Andrew Kaye, HBA of Bucks & Montgomery Counties; Builder State Director to NAHB, Kevin Coutts, Wayne-Pike BIA; Associate State Director to NAHB, Amy Martino, BA of Metropolitan Pittsburgh; and NAHB State Representative, Kert Sloan, HBA of Berks County.

    Special guest Alicia Huey, candidate for the 2020 NAHB Third Vice Chair addressed the board and asked for their support at the national level. Huey, from Birmingham, Alabama, has played a large role in the home building industry over the years at the local, state, and national levels. Secretary Cindy Cepko followed up with a resolution on behalf of PBA which pledges Pennsylvania’s endorsement on behalf of Alicia Huey’s campaign.

    President Coutts rounded out the Board Meeting with an overview of the progress of the PBA Strategic Plan initiatives and opened the floor to new business and discussion.

    Members left the summer gathering with a renewed sense of direction and encouragement from the  work that is being completed to further support the  industry.   

    All PBA members are encouraged to attend the Fall PBA Board Meeting set for October 31-November 2 at the Harrisburg Hilton located in Harrisburg. Please watch for more details in the coming months.


     



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