As the U.S. and Arizona markets improve, commercial contractors remain optimistic about the pending rebound. In anticipation of that growth, the Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA) has retooled its strategic plan to focus on a more modern, streamlined approach to membership services.
Founded in 1994, by the merger of the Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors and the Associated Builders and Contractors, ABA has focused on management education, craft training and government relations since its inception. Last year, the ABA’s board of directors spent six months developing a more modern approached to services. While the core of services has not changed, the delivery system, approach and coordination of programs and events has undergone a radical transformation.
Recognizing the need for a more effective system of delivering educational programs the ABA is now using webinars for programs on a monthly basis. The webinar format allows presenters and attendees to be located anywhere and still able to participate in a program. Employees on remote job sites, offices in other towns and anybody not wanting to fight cross town traffic can now participate in events. Attendance at events is up and more members and different levels in firms are involved.
Craft training is on the rebound as specialty contractors rebuild their workforce. More emphasis is now being placed on recruitment and retention. An open house last fall at GateWay Community College exposed more than two dozen contractors to the classroom training efforts of ABA.
Individual visits with contractors are getting the word out on craft training. ABA has begun to coordinate workforce development efforts with its member firms. Individual ABA members are “adopting” neighborhood high schools and spending time there in the classroom, lecturing students or taking students on tours of nearby job sites.
In the government relations arena, ABA recently hired one of Arizona’s top lobbying firms to represent it with state and local government. Triadvocates is now representing ABA and the timing of its hiring turned out to be perfect. Triadvocates helped pass legislation in the 2014 session that will assure Arizona retains control of OSHA inspections and not lose that authority to the federal government.
With all the new activities and approach also comes a new look: The ABA’s website has been retooled and brought up to date. There is now more information in a more presentable format. The new website allows members to register and pay for events, download old webinars, research legal issues and follow trends. Follow the commercial construction industry by visiting http://azbuilders.org