PBA Successfully Gains Party Status to Fight Residential Sprinkler Mandates and Forced Energy Efficiency Code Adoption
This information was emailed to our members on January 18. If you are not receiving member emails, please let us know!
On January 6, 2016, the Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA) successfully convinced Commonwealth Court to include PBA as a party in the Clean Air Council (CAC) lawsuit. This important first step recognizes PBA as the voice and defender of the residential housing industry, and guarantees Builder interests will be protected against a “sue and settle” action.
Read the full Court Order here.
On October 9, 2015, the CAC filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Act 1 of 2011 (Residential Sprinkler Repeal). If the CAC prevails on its claims it could force the adoption of updated building codes that will drive affordable new residential construction out of Pennsylvania. The CAC also seek to change the way in which Pennsylvania adopts residential construction codes so as to disadvantage builders. Finally, the CAC wants the court to reject the prior ICC code provisions approved by the Department of Labor and Industry’s UCC Review and Advisory Council.
Help Keep PBA in the Fight!
As a recognized party to the CAC lawsuit, PBA will start the process of filing various documents to defend Act 1 and sensible building codes.
While PBA members can celebrate an early victory, we have a long road ahead of us. This battle will likely span six to nine months and proceed to a full-blown trial. Pennsylvania home builders are the only advocates that consumers can trust to safeguard the integrity and cost effectiveness of the construction code while ensuring safe and affordable housing.
PBA has long been the voice of the residential housing industry and is again prepared to fight this battle, but we need your support now. Litigation is expensive and our adversaries have shown a willingness to spend. If we are to stay in the fight, we need the backing to finance our efforts.
Contribute to the Builders Legal Defense Fund today.
Make checks payable to:
Sarah MillerManager of Public Policy
Pennsylvania Builders Association
717.730.4380, ext. 3013
For more news and updates from PBA's Government Affairs team, go to www.pabuilders.org/government-affairs
The Keystone Technical Institute announced last week that its trade programs for Electrical Lighting & Installation and Electrical Residential & Commercial have been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Builders Association, the voice of the home building industry in Pennsylvania. The Electrical program occupies a dedicated 4,000 square foot facility 1.5 miles from their main building on Linglestown Road in Harrisburg, PA.
“Keystone Technical Institute is committed to providing career training programs that benefit both our students and employers. Students benefit by gaining the trade specific and soft skills employers are looking for in their employees, and employers gain a resource to find qualified electricians,” according to David W. Snyder, Keystone Technical Institute President. Snyder also states “the endorsement by the PBA adds to our recognitions for our electrical training programs”.
The endorsement of a trade program involves a comprehensive review and evaluation by professionals working in the construction industry, using criteria established by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The program is also recognized by the Department of Education and endorsed by the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators. Endorsement certifies that trade programs will properly prepare students for a career in the industry with foundational knowledge in the various building trades.
PBA works with schools around the state to certify their various home building courses, verifying that they meet NAHB educational guidelines. Students who complete PBA-certified programs can take tests that demonstrate their skills in their program’s core competencies. The students’ certification provides reassurance to future employers that they are well-prepared for work with a residential construction company or subcontractor. PBA members are also provided exclusive access to the contact information of these students to directly discuss employment opportunities.
“PBA is committed to a viable, high-quality construction industry and the workforce to support it. Through our Endorsed Trade Program, we can create a stronger future workforce and provide students with recognized certification and other benefits, like building a network of ties in the community through connections with PBA members, locals and local student chapters,” according to Peter Gallagher, 2015 PBA President.
Further information about the program can be found at pbaendorsedtrade.org.
and Other Event Highlights from PBA Board Meeting
We had many exciting events take place last weekend at the 2015 PBA Fall BoardMeeting, including a brand new event, educational presentations, and lots of money raised for both PaCAH and BUILD PAC. Read on for more information!
EOC Training & Development Day Thank you to all of our presenters who engaged with our Executive Officers and leadership during the EOC Training & Development Day! It was a fun day full of learning many new ways to make our associations better.
PHRC Roof Moisture Management Seminar
On Friday afternoon, PHRC presented a great seminar on Roof Moisture Management to a group of members. If you missed it, you can watch the full seminar here!
Water Street Rescue Mission
The Associates’ Council collected donations for the Water Street Rescue Mission throughout the weekend. Thank you to Mark Stanley, Mary Pucciarella, Eugene Minnick, and Deb Kearse for your leadership and commitment to a greater cause. They managed to raise over $1,000! Thank you to everyone who donated to such a great cause.
BUILD PAC Cocktail Reception
Thank you to Rep. Scott Petri for attending and speaking to our members at our annual BUILD PAC event. We also had one new platinum member and two new gold keys bring the event total to over $10,000 raised. Congratulations!
Meet The Builder Event
We had a great turnout at the first Meet the Builder event on Friday evening – with 9 vendors and over 40 members, it was a recipe for success! You can check out the event photos here. Thank you to our vendors who came out to speak with our members about their products and services:
Thank you to all of the local associations who presented PaCAH checks on the board floor. The total presented was $28,500! Thank you to all of our locals for working hard to reach your PaCAH goals. If you’d like to donate to PaCAH or buy a shirt, you can shop here.
JRG Advisors, EK McConkey, BDX, and Bonded Builders all had tables set up throughout the weekend to speak and interact with our members. We appreciate you sharing your time with us and our members!
Don’t forget to sign up for 2016 Committee Appointments! A list of PBA Committees and GA Task Forces/Subcommittees available for sign-up can be found here.
All nominations for the 2015 Builders Gala Awards are being accepted until January 15, 2016. If you know of a member (or local association if applicable) who would fit the description for Builder of the Year, Associate of the Year, Builder and Shaker, Best Community Service Project, or Best Local Publication, be sure to nominate them for a 2015 award!
PBA 2016 Winter Board Meeting
The next Board of Directors Meeting will be held March 18-19, 2016 at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford Springs, PA. We look forward to seeing you next year!
*photo: PBA member Joe Martin at the Meet the Builder event.
In ASAE's (American Society of Association Executives) Inroads newsletter last week, the top story was a valuable update regarding the Department of Labor's new overtime rule. Because of the high-volume of our members that this issue may effect, as well as NAHB's efforts to voice their concerns, we are re-posting this article for you below.
House Committee Examines DOL Overtime Rule
"The House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Regulations held a hearing last week to examine the consequences of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule.
Under current DOL regulations – last updated in 2004 – employers are required to pay all employees time-and-a-half for any hours they work in excess of 40 hours per week if they make less than $23,660 per year, regardless of the employee’s job responsibilities. The proposed rule would more than double that salary threshold so that any employee earning a salary of less than $50,440 per year would become eligible for overtime pay. In addition, the minimum salary would automatically increase each year to match the 40th percentile of the average salary earned by full-time employees in the United States.
More than 250,000 organizations, including ASAE, submitted comments on the proposed rule to DOL this summer. ASAE believes the new rule would adversely affect many nonprofit organizations and other employers with limited revenues and could harm many affected employees as well. To contain payroll costs from increased overtime obligations, employers would have to either lay off employees or exclude reclassified employees from telework and career growth opportunities outside of core business hours.
ASAE also noted in its comments that the $50,440 salary threshold amounts to a “one-size-fits-all” measuring stick and that the minimum salary level for exempt employees should instead be keyed to government data on regional cost-of-living differences. That point was reiterated in the hearing last week.
“This rule does not recognize the geographic diversity of the American economy,” said Subcommittee Chairman Cresent Hardy (R-NV). “It will particularly hurt rural businesses that are still recovering from the Great Recession.”
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also testified at the hearing, with NAHB Vice Chairman Ed Brady saying that DOL’s proposal to double the salary threshold for overtime eligibility is unlikely to result in more take-home pay for workers.
“Rather, it will force business owners to restructure their workforce to compensate by scaling back on pay and benefits, as well as taking other steps such as cutting workers’ hours to avoid the overtime requirements,” Brady said. “NAHB strongly opposes the overtime proposal in its current form.”
- ASAE Inroads Newsletter, October 15, 2015
The PBA Board Meeting is a multi-day event that takes place three times each calendar year at multiple locations across the state. During these gatherings, PBA's committee meetings are held (see a full list of committees here) along with seminars or training for members. Our partners from member benefits programs also attend to connect with members and answer questions. There are social events for members to attend, as well, whether it's a cocktail reception in the summer/fall or the Winter Installation & Awards Banquet.
These events are not just for board members or leadership; any member may attend! Unless otherwise noted on the schedule of events, committee meetings are open to all membership and we encourage you to attend them to let your voice be heard. It's your chance to get involved at the state level, learn about issues concerning the industry, and make valuable connections with other members. So, how do you sign up?
The Board Meeting registration link can be found in multiple places.
- It will be advertised in TradeSecrets, our weekly membership eNewsletter. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to keep an eye out for it in coming weeks! If you're not getting TradeSecrets, you can subscribe here.
- It is also located on the PBA Events Calendar, which you can find here.
The registration page will give you all the information you need, including:
- Registration link to RSVP for committee meetings
- Full schedule of events- Room release date and reservation information
- Dates and Location
- Any other event information
If you still can't find what you're looking for, contact PBA Staff.
Schedule of Events
Board Meetings take place over the span of 3 days - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
You can download the full schedule of events here.
Consult your PBA Member Guide or our FAQ's document for more information. If you still can't find your answers, please don't hesitate to contact PBA Staff. We hope to see you there!
Introducing our newest resource, the Member Benefits Quiz!
Do you know what your membership does for you? Test your knowledge with this short, 10-question quiz on some of the different benefits you can get with your membership. Each answer, whether right or wrong, will provide you with more information and links to resources that can help you save time and money. It's a fun, easy way to get to know all of the discounts, benefits, and knowledge your PBA membership can give you access to.
Click here to take the quiz!
During the slow and steady recovery of the home construction economy, another issue has come to light: labor shortage. While new-home sales continue to climb upward, the employment rates aren’t quite keeping pace. Some say the solution is to focus on recruiting new workers, rather than trying to entice those who left to come back. As mentioned in this Wall Street Journal article, many groups in the industry are advocating for an increase in federal funding for secondary-level career and technical education to allow more immigration into the construction field.
PBA members have a huge leg-up on this labor shortage – they already have access to hundreds of students across the state, who have graduated from a PBA Endorsed Trade Program. These students, after passing their final exams and the National Occupation Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) assessment, receive an endorsement through PBA. This endorsement is a symbol that provides future employers with assurance that these students have completed their training and have received the instruction they need to begin a successful career in the construction industry.
There are many ways to help both new and future graduates break into the construction industry. By donating to the PA Foundation for Housing, you can help make a difference in a future student’s technical education. The primary focus of the Foundation is to foster the development of a strong future workforce for the home building industry in PA through the PBA Endorsed Trade Program and other educational opportunities, such as scholarships and support programs for students who truly want to learn a trade or build a profession in residential construction. Together, we can build tomorrow’s industry leaders.
For more information on PBA’s Endorsed Trade Program, click here.
For more information on the construction labor shortage, check out this Wall Street Journal article.
For more information on the PA Foundation for Housing, click here.
Thank you to our Associate Members! September is Associate Appreciation Month, and we want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. PBA owes all of its success to every single one of the members. With Associates making up over half of that membership, they play a big role in every aspect and function of the federation.
All month long, we’ll be posting articles, pictures, and other information about our “Best Associate Members”, as nominated by our local associations. Be sure to keep an eye on the Associate Members page to see else who makes the list! We’ll also be sharing these articles on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so please share these outstanding associates with your fans and followers. Use the #PBAAssociates2015 hashtag to be included in the conversation.
Some of our featured Associate members so far include:
If you agree that our Associate members are awesome, or you know another member who deserves some recognition, nominate them for the 2015 Associate of the Year award. This award represents the professionalism, ethical practices, and distinguished service a member practices with his or her local, state, and national associations. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Installation & Awards Banquet on March 18 at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, PA. You won’t want to miss it!
As we work towards continuing to grow our membership, the PBA voice becomes stronger throughout the community. Builders and associates alike, please take the pledge to do business with another member. Make our association stronger and more cohesive. These strong member bonds will only result in many victories for PBA and its members in the future.
Thank you, to every single one of our members, for your constant efforts in making PBA better.
The Builders Gala Awards is an annual celebration of outstanding achievements by our members and local associations. There are so many members who are involved with the association in so many ways, and recognizing our outstanding members is important to PBA. There are six awards that members or local associations (if applicable) can be nominated for:
Distinguished Achievement Award
This award is given to individuals who have made significant, long-term contributions to the association and the industry as a whole.
Builder of the Year
Awarded to a builder member every year, this award represents the professionalism, ethics, and distinguished service this member embodies.
Associate of the Year
Associate members make up over half of our membership numbers, and those who above and beyond to serve their local associations, participate on numerous committees, and constantly advocate for their industry are those who are truly deserving of this award.
Builder and Shaker
This award is designated to recognize those members under 40 years old who are ambitious, hard-working, and positioned to become, or already have, a leader in the industry.
Best Local Publication
This award is granted to the local association whose newsletter (digital or print) reflects an outstanding best practice for local communications.
Best Community Service Project
It is part of PBA’s strategy to establish goodwill and credibility with the consumer audience through community service. Nominees for this award can either be a PBA member or a local association.
Any PBA member can nominate a member or local association for the awards listed above. Simply go to www.buildersgala.weebly.com and submit a nomination form! Paper forms are also available for print if you’d prefer to send the nomination via postal mail. All rules and requirements for nomination are listed on the awards’ home pages. Please be sure to read these before submitting a nomination.
The winners of each award will be announced and presented with their award at the 2016 Installation and Awards Banquet on March 18 at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, PA.
Visit the Builders Gala Awards website for more information.
If you still can’t find your answers, please don’t hesitate to contact PBA Staff.
*Photo: 2014 Builder of the Year Mark McNaughton is presented with his award by 2013 Builder of the Year recipient Warren Peter
The Williamsport Area High School (WAHS) Construction Trades Program has been endorsed by PBA for only 4 short years. A first place win in the Residential Construction Management (RCM) Competition among other successes will show that in such a small span of time, the program has grown to be one of the most successful in the country. WAHS is one of the few institutions in PA to integrate Vocational and Technical programs into a conventional secondary school, with 48 total students enrolled in the 3 levels of the Construction Trades program.
To find out a little bit more about the program and how they’ve achieved such success, PBA interviewed Construction Trades Instructor Randy Williamson (RW) and Head WAHS Principal Brandon Pardoe (BP) to get their take on the past, present, and future of the Construction Trades program. Here’s what they had to say:
What makes the program at WAHS unique?
BP: We are a comprehensive high school located in central PA. A student may pursue a Career/Technical Education (CTE) program of study and still be able to take college preparatory courses and dual enrollment courses in a traditional high school setting.
RW: The reality is that today, academic skills are extremely important in the working world. The IRC, IBC, and NEC codebooks are written on a collegiate reading level, which is proof that literacy and numeracy are huge parts to being successful.
How do you motivate your students to excel in this program and the industry?RW: I think the initial step is building a relationship with your students. Leading by example is also important – I am still very active in the trade over the summertime. Students appreciate when you are a true professional in the field that you’re teaching in.
What motivated the WAHS staff to get the Construction Trades Program endorsed through PBA? RW: Every contractor in the state knows the PBA name and what it stands for, and I wanted our program to be part of that. Career and Technical Education teaches technical skills that are in high demand across the country and having this industry certification communicates to potential employers that these students have the necessary skillsets to successfully enter the workforce or college.
What are the advantages to having your program endorsed by PBA?
RW: We have built a great relationship with our local builders association, West Branch Susquehanna BA (WBSBA). They have been a huge asset to the program, as most of the members of my Occupational Advisory Committee are members of WBSBA. Twenty-nine of my students participated in the local Home Show. WBSBA members will also stop in the shop to talk to students, see what we’re up to, and offer their expertise.
What made you want to take a team to the RCM Competition at IBS?
RW: I wanted my students to have the opportunity to experience the more-than-advanced skills that this competition affords. Participation in this competition brings to light the fact that these students are not only being prepared to enter a career, but also college for those with the desire and aptitude.
How did you feel when your team won the competition?
RW: It was awesome! I am so proud of our students and all of the work they did. The work that is involved in these projects is intense, especially for high school students.
What is your vision for the future of this program?
BP: We need to continue to expand our instructional experiences for our students to meet the employability needs for potential employers. We have made successful CTE programming adjustments to make sure students are aware of all available CTE programs.
Anything additional you’d like to mention about WAHS and the Construction Trades Program?
RW: By taking the program at WAHS, I believe we are preparing students for at least two general career pathways: 1) direct employment following high school, and 2) entering college a step ahead of the majority, whether it’s a 2-year Associate’s program or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management.
BP: Traditional CTE emphasis has been on industrial types of programming. Now we have uncovered a need for more programs to support students who have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
*Photo: WAHS team at the RCM competition with their first place trophy.
To learn more about the comprehensive education that Williamsport Area High School offers, visit their website.
To learn more about PBA’s Endorsed Trade Program, visit www.pbaendorsedtrade.org.
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