Concrete Products

JUN 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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www.concreteproducts.com June 2017 • 27 CHAIRMAN'S REPORT STEVE BERRY, NCMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS A late-2016 tailwind accompanied the NCMA- backed CMU Check-off Program, through which Congress would authorize concrete masonry producers to propose an indus- try-wide referendum on a check-off collection applied to unit sales. Major and independent producers underscore the potential for such a program to put concrete masonry back on a level playing field with competing building materials and methods by funding industry research, education and promotion. On the opening day of the 114th Con- gress lame duck session, the U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 985, the Con- crete Masonry Products, Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2015 by a 355–38 vote. The legislation authorizes the concrete masonry industry to take steps leading to a check-off program referendum. Representa- tives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) sponsored the bill and garnered an impressive co-sponsor list of 247 colleagues, balanced with near-equal numbers of Demo- crats and Republicans. The list is indicative of grassroots efforts on behalf of the concrete masonry industry, which has plants in every state and in most congressional districts. However, there was insufficient time last fall for the Senate to address the legislation. HR 985 passage served as an important procedural step in the 114 th to 115 th Congress transition, justifying early introduction of identical Concrete Masonry Products Research Education and Promotion Act of 2017 ver- sions in the Senate (as S374) and House of Representatives (as HR1046). The bills' respective sponsors are Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bill Foster (D-FL) and Represen- tatives Guthrie and Castor. Continued on page 28 NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION At-A-Gl A nce 2017 CHAIRMAN STEVE BERRY Oldcastle Architectural Products Group Palm Beach Gardens, Florida IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN PATRICK SAUTER King's Material Inc. Sioux City, Iowa VICE CHAIRMAN KENT WAIDE Ruby Concrete Co. Madisonville, Kentucky National Concrete Masonry Association represents the producers and suppliers of concrete block, manufactured stone veneer, segmental retaining walls and articulating block assemblies. Diversification of producer member offerings has led to the designation of association programs around Hardscape Products, Masonry and Manufactured Stone market segments. For nearly a century, NCMA has engaged in a range of technical, research, education, marketing, certification, communications, and government relations activities, offering a variety of technical services and design aids through publications, visual presen- tations, computer programs, and technical training. Nevertheless, the association tells members, "NCMA is not just a building and a pile of programs. The people who make up our organization are what make it special. We have the people, ideas, know-how and opportunity. We are an industry full of doers." The NCMA Education and Research Foun- dation supports the industry as a 501(c) 3 affiliate. It identifies and funds projects and investigations to support industry advance- ments and market development. NCMA's Research & Development Laboratory is ded- icated to scientific testing and research of concrete masonry and hardscape products and systems. It features a small-scale unit production line equal simulating commercial methodologies. Robert Thomas is staff president of NCMA, whose headquarters and R&D lab are located just east of Washington-Dulles International Airport at 13750 Sunrise Valley Drive, Hern- don, VA 20171; 703/713-1900; www.ncma.org. ECHELON MASONRY PHOTO: Oldcastle Architectural

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