It’s Good To Be From Oklahoma, But…

PBR.  No, that’s not a new Professional Builders group, that my friends, is Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Yesterday afternoon I flew home from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I had the privilege of enjoying a GoldKey party at the old Pabst brewery while watching a great Thursday evening NFL game, won by the hometown Green Bay Packers.  The weather was perfect while I walked around downtown Milwaukee visiting sites such as the Harley Davison Museum and a unique restaurant/bar called the Safe House while eating cheese and sampling the local brews. 

 

Yes, I had a great time at the 2011 NAHB Fall Board, but before you get too jealous and want to know how you can go next year, understand that I also sat thru 10-12 hours of meetings, including a five hour board meeting.

 

Friday included a two hour Presidents’ Council meeting where we discussed membership numbers, the Affiliate member category, retention rates and dues.  The most beneficial part of the meeting was the time we spent in buzz groups.  In my buzz group I had the opportunity to visit with presidents from Alabama and Wisconsin and Executive Officers from Alabama, Wisconsin and North Dakota.  This is where I confirmed that it is good to be from Oklahoma.  Yes, Alabama is #3 and Wisconsin is #8 but Oklahoma is #1 and OSU is not bad either.  Just kidding Cowboy fans!  Seriously, Oklahoma is doing and has done a great job of weathering this economy and because of this Oklahomans are being encouraged more than ever to get involved by serving on NAHB committees.  If you are interested or would like more information you can go to www.NAHB.org/2012committeeform.  Applications are due October 9th.

 

Saturday morning began with a two hour Area Caucus meeting.  Our area consists of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.  While at the summer NAHB Board in Washington, D.C. this was the most discouraging meeting I’d attended due to the grim reports given particularly by Nebraska and Missouri.  Saturday’s caucus meeting was only slightly better in this regard but mainly because their reports were cut short due to the overwhelming discussion of the new OSHA Fall Protection Guidelines which will begin being enforced this Friday, September 16th.  This is where the “but” in the above title comes in.  Oklahoma is doing well relative to most of the nation…but, because we are doing well we need to be prepared.  It was reported that OSHA has recently added at least 160 more inspectors nationwide.  NAHB is working daily on trying to at least get us some relief from OSHA.  Just when our task force felt like OSHA was being receptive another OSHA official walked in and shot down hours of meetings in a matter of minutes.  NAHB is not giving up, however, September 16th is here!  A descriptive quote that I heard regarding this issue was, “if you are not at the table, you might be on the menu”.  Don’t get caught on the menu.  If you or one of your subs receive a citation, please let our staff at COHBA know the details.  Tomorrow there is a webinar titled “How to Prepare for an OSHA Inspection”.  For information on this, go to www.NAHB.org/OSHAwebinar.  Keep in mind that these fines are around $7,000 per violation and OSHA’s response to our subs not being able to pay this kind of fine is…fine.  We can set you up on a payment plan.

 

Finally, I want to remind you that the 2012 International Builders’ Show will be February 8th- 11th in Orlando, Florida.  There will be over 1000 industry suppliers and over 200 educational sessions.  This will likely be the last time the show will be four days long.  The rest of September you can get a free Expo Pass for all four days of the show by registering at www.buildersshow.com/september. 

 

Have a great week! 

 

Jim Schuff

President