If we take a moment to think about when we started in the construction industry, most of us will shake our heads at the thought of how much things have changed. Technology has transformed our lives in recent decades, and it’s unlikely that it’s changed anything more than the way we make a living.
Yet when I think back to the early days after I joined Fernandes Masonry to help my brothers, there are some things I learned that stand the test of time. I didn’t know much about either masonry or the construction industry back then, and a lot of seemingly little things could have turned into very big problems. I needed help, and it was ABC that helped me with challenges like certified payrolls and understanding the rules around what OSHA publications had to be posted in the shop.
My goal is to help member companies succeed just like earlier generations at ABC helped me. Sometimes it’s little tips for avoiding trouble by making sure all the I’s are dotted at T’s crossed, and other times it’s bigger things, such as how to help member companies attract and retain the talent that’s so important to all of us right now. My focus will be on providing fellow members with the 2023 version of the help that was so important for me.
To allow me to do that, I ask one thing of you: get involved. Come to events, join a committee, and tell us about the political or regulatory challenges you face. Take advantage of the discounts on insurance and benefit costs through our ABC Insurance Trust, Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Group and The Contractors Plan. Through our national parent organization, you can access discounts on everything from shipping to vehicle fleet management.
And don’t forget that the ABC’s fully accredited education partner, the Gould Construction Institute, is your school, and membership gets you discounts of up to 20 percent on all your education and training needs, including our new daytime electrical training program.
The pace of change just keeps accelerating, but if ABC is to continue as the voice of open shop contractors, we must continue to provide services that help all our companies succeed. Doing that is my top goal for 2023.
Vera Vadeboncoeur is the 2023 ABC MA chair and is controller at Fernandes Masonry, Inc., New Bedford, Mass.