Producers voting in a November-December Department of Commerce (DOC) referendum approved formation of a Concrete Masonry Products Board, empowered to fund a Concrete Masonry Checkoff Program through collection of 1 cent per block 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,” said 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 … 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 added.
DOC announced referendum results days before Christmas 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 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 in the Concrete Masonry Checkoff portal at www.commerce.gov.
NCMA, ICPI TO MERGE
The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and National Concrete Masonry Association members have approved a July 2022 unification of their organizations. ICPI members voted 81 percent and NCMA members 97 percent in favor of a plan that has been formally discussed for more than two years. The unified association, ICPI and NCMA officials note, “will accomplish more for members as a stronger, more influential single organization focused on the advancement and greater use of manufactured concrete products.”