MIT Newsletter - August 2012

The Masonry Column

Message From The President - Michael Jenkins, Jenkins Masonry

It’s hard to believe that we are heading into the last quarter of the 2012 year. It seems as if the workload is starting to pick up in certain areas around the state. Hopefully this will lead to a even better 2013. It is no secret that the last 3 years have been hard for everybody, and the Masonry Institute of Tennessee is no exception. MIT has continued to promote the masonry industry even as we have continued to cut our budget. We have continued our seminar series across the state for our

architects. We have been able to keep supporting our high school masonry programs as well as the apprenticeship programs. Bob Melton, our Executive Director, along with a few others helped in getting the Licensed Masonry Contractor law passed in 2010/2011. This law has benefited contractors and suppliers alike. It has eliminated out of state contractors from coming into the state and taking work from the local contractors. It also gives the suppliers piece of mind in knowing who they are selling to and where their check will be coming from each month.

Last month, my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the state AIA awards Gala in Chattanooga with Bob and Jeri Melton. MIT was a headline sponsor at this event and we presented a lifetime achievement award at the banquet. I came away from the event almost speechless when I saw what a favorable impression and impact MIT has on the architectural community. I heard numerous comments about how much they get out of our seminars and that they always look forward to seeing who will win the Masonry awards each year at the Gala. I want to assure you that MIT is well known for what we do and who we are among the state's architects.

My family has been a part of local, state, and national masonry associations for over 30 years. The benefits are numerous to us on many levels. We know that the products which we install are being marketed to designers, new craftsman are being developed and trained to replace retiring masons, and the relationships that are developed through these associations can not be underestimated. If you are not currently a member of MIT, then please consider becoming one. If you are currently a member of MIT, then talk to your local suppliers, and others about potential membership. The more members that we have, the louder our voice can be in promoting masonry. Thanks for your support of our industry.



Interview: Charlie Curtiss on New Masonry Law

The Masonry Institute asked Representative Charlie Curtiss to answer a few questions about the new Tennessee law requiring masonry contractors to be listed on the outside of bid envelopes.

Why is this piece of legislation important to the masonry industry? Placing the masonry contractor’s name and license # on the outside of the bid envelope helps prevent the shopping of bids after the bid opening.

Some agencies opposed the bill. What, in your words, were their concerns with the legislation? This legislation also requires that a licensed masonry contractor perform work on masonry projects in which the material and labor cost exceed $100,00.00 dollars.

Do you feel that the Masonry Institute of Tennessee played a vital role in passing this bill into law? The Masonry Institute was helpful getting word out to the masonry contractors so they could contact their legislators

In your opinion, has this law helped or hindered the masonry industry? I feel the law has been beneficial to the masonry industry and it will get better as time goes on. The new law is also beneficial to the owners and architects because they know at the bid opening who is doing the masonry and it could be a determining factor if the owner or architect has a problem with the proposed masonry contractor.

What other construction related bills are you sponsoring this year, if any? It is too early to say what is going to be proposed this coming year, but we must be vigilant to insure the existing law is not weakened. We also had a rewrite of the worker’s compensation law concerning the construction industry and I feel that has also been beneficial to the construction industry as a whole, including the masonry contractors.

Charlie Curtiss is a great asset to the construction industry on capitol hill. To contact him, please email: