Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; CP staff
Producers voting in a Department of Commerce (DOC) referendum have approved formation of a Concrete Masonry Products Board, empowered to fund a Concrete Masonry Checkoff Program through collection of 1 cent per unit sold in the U.S. The referendum passed on the strength of two required majorities: 62 percent of voting producers who represent 53 percent of block machine cavities across eligible voter operations.
“The CMU Checkoff is a game-changer for our industry. We are taking control of our future and ensuring that block will be on top today, tomorrow and well into the future,” says CMU Checkoff Campaign Chairman Major Ogilvie, crediting the 1,000-plus stakeholders—from producers to suppliers to contractors—who worked to make the checkoff a reality. “I want to thank those who invested so much to get us here and those voting for giving this decision the thought and consideration it deserved.”
“The Program is about creating new demand for CMU block and ensuring each and every producer benefits from checkoff investments. What makes our checkoff special is the fact it’s a way for us to all move forward together, united as an industry … As we look to the future of the CMU Checkoff, I can’t stress enough how important it is that we are united in making this the strongest, most effective checkoff that benefits all producers,” he adds.
DOC announced referendum results on December 20 and confirmed the official Concrete Masonry Checkoff Program launch per the Concrete Products Research, Education and Promotion Act (the Act), signed into law in October 2018. CMU Checkoff is the first such program under DOC, which will function in a capacity similar to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose checkoff roster includes coalitions or industries advancing softwood lumber, milk, pork and other commodities.
The DOC Checkoff Implementation Team invites Concrete Masonry Products Board nominations and could have directors seated by mid 2022. The Board will comprise primarily concrete masonry producers and contractors who represent five regions spanning seven to 11 states. Nominations by email can be submitted to Checkoff Implementation Team Communications Lead Michael Thompson, [email protected]. Additional options for communicating with him and colleagues, plus more Program details, are posted at the Concrete Masonry Checkoff portal. Checkoff Implementation Team and Concrete Masonry Checkoff Campaign officials will proceed with Board formation and other preliminary action according to a DOC order abiding the Act.
While creating a strategic plan is one of the Board’s first responsibilities, concrete masonry producers across the country have identified six key focus areas for Checkoff fund disbursements: marketing; codes and standards; education and research; workforce recruitment; supporting design; and, educating design professionals.