Staying Informed on Changing Trends
By Kenneth L. Chiccotella, CCIFP, Chairman
According to www.dictionary.com, trend as a noun means “the general course or prevailing tendency.” Trend can also mean “style or vogue.” Since any thoughts on style or vogue are not exactly my areas of expertise, I will instead share a few observations on the general course or prevailing tendency of construction and CFMA.
From the increased durability of materials over time (e.g., from sticks, stones, and mud to plastics, metals, and glass) to a greater focus on the safety and health of the workforce (e.g., initiatives like stretch and flex programs and pre-task planning), every aspect of construction has seen changing trends.
More recently, there has been an increased focus on energy efficiency, green building, lean construction, and sustainability. And looking ahead, construction technology trends for 2016 and beyond include 3D BIM modeling, prefabrication and modular fabrication, improved jobsite technology, robotic automation, unmanned aircraft systems, and 3D printing.
All of these trends continue to challenge our industry to keep building faster, cheaper, and better.
In its 35 years of existence, CFMA has also seen many positive trends, as supported by the record number of members and chapters – currently more than 7,500 and 94, respectively.
Last year, thanks to partners, sponsors, and the financial stewardship of HQ staff, CFMA at Spring Creek – an annual retreat for chapter leaders – was free for all attendees for the first time ever.
I had the pleasure of attending both of these sold-out sessions. This year, Spring Creek was free again for chapter leaders and had full attendance as well. This is great news for the development of our chapter leaders!
Also, the Support, Training, and Resources (STAR) Program is in its third year and continues to be a success. In FYE 2016, chapters received more than $212,000 (an increase from $136,000 in FYE 2015) for chapter administrators, chapter marketing expenses, CFMA’s Speaker Program and CFMA education, chapter education expenses, and strategic planning.
CFMA has also led a focused initiative on suicide prevention and mental health promotion, which aligns with one of CFMA’s strategic goals to “increase association influence as a thought leader in the construction industry.”
Accordingly, CFMA has established the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) and invited other industry partners to join in the fight for suicide prevention and mental health promotion. These efforts toward a zero suicide industry continue to make significant progress.
The National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) was the first industry partner to join the Alliance, followed shortly by Arizona Rock Products Association (ARPA); Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC); Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP); The Carson J Spencer Foundation, Construction Industry CPAs and Consultants (CICPAC); International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI); Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA); National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA); National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC); National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA); Perspectives, Ltd; and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.
CFMA’s Executive Committee recently approved the formation of the CIASP Task Force to provide and disseminate information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction, as well as to:
- Advise on the obligations and benefits of Alliance membership
- Recruit Alliance members
- Collaborate with Alliance members and others, as appropriate, to further the overall initiative of the Alliance
- Spearhead the creation of unique content to be shared through all CFMA outreach efforts
- Assist in obtaining permission to reprint non-CFMA content to be shared through all CFMA outreach efforts
- Assist CFMA Chapters and others, as requested, with events in support of the Alliance
I would like to thank the Task Force members who have volunteered to work on this important initiative.
Keep Building It Forward
Though it might not be considered a trend yet, I’ve heard from many of you since CFMA’s 2016 Annual Conference, when I challenged attendees to commit to Building It Forward.
I thoroughly enjoy hearing the personal and professional initiatives you’ve committed to implementing to your boss, family, or a friend. You are all improving yourselves, your companies, and the industry. Please keep letting me know how you’re doing!
Copyright © 2016 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in CFMA Building Profits and is reprinted with permission. CFMA Building Profits is a member-only benefit; join CFMA to receive the magazine.
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