PBA members descended on Cranberry Township March 14-16 for the first meetings of 2024. Various committees met to report an plan new activities for the coming year. The meetings ended with the first of three Board of Directors meetings for the year. Below are some highlights from all the meetings.

PBA-PHRC Breakfast Meeting

The PBA-PHRC breakfast meeting on Friday, March 15, kicked off a full day of committee meetings and discussions. This meeting provided an opportunity for PBA members to speak with Brian Wolfgang, Rachel Fawcett, and Christopher Hine of the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC) regarding the ongoing initiatives of the PHRC team. Brian presented an overview of the remaining webinars in the 2023-24 PHRC webinar series. Chris provided a comprehensive overview of the 2024 PHRC Housing Conference being held on March 27-28, 2024. A new project for the PHRC was discussed as Rachel shared detailed related to weatherization training, funded through a contract with the Clean Energy Center at Penn College. Finally, some PHRC team news was shared as Brian Wolfgang announced his departure at the end of April. Future questions and inquiries were directed to the PHRC team: https://bit.ly/PHRCteam

Government Affairs Committee

The GA committee met on Friday morning to review legislation and other issues affecting the building industry. Several items that were discussed dealt with building code legislation and Labor and Industry’s Review and Advisory updates, municipal abuse legislation, and housing affordability legislation that is being introduced.  Due to a change in scheduling for the PWB luncheon, the GA Committee meeting was adjourned early, however members were able to speak to both staff and legal on any issues that were not covered.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee gathered to review projects covered since the Fall meeting. Membership numbers were reported on a statewide and national basis, copies of the notes from 2023 local association membership meetings were distributed, and reports of the effectiveness of the marketing campaign was given and a discussion was held on how to proceed. Those in attendance were informed of the increase in web traffic, social media growth, and newsletter usage. Special projects such as benefit promotions and work on the local HBA workforce tool kit were highlighted.

Workforce Education and Training Committee

The Workforce Committee revealed the Workforce Education Tool Kit available online for members and EO’s to utilize when preparing to talk to schools, parents, media etc.

The next level of focus will be on the consumer.  We incorporated a funding request from PBA to work with Group Two to develop a clear, concise message that all locals can use when talking about the future of the residential construction industry.  We seek to elevate the mindset of the consumer, mostly students and parents, that a career in the construction industry will be both fulfilling and successful.

Board of Directors Meeting

The 2024 PBA Board of Directors met on Saturday, March 16 for the first meeting of the year. President Tom McCosby presided over the gathering.

Following the required annual orientation, PBA Past President nominated 2023 President John Olson as a Life Director. Mr. Olson, having met the requirements as outlined in the PBA Bylaws, was unanimously elected by the Board.

Mark McNaughton, Government Affairs Vice Chair, reported on the activities of the committee as outlined above in the meeting reports. Mr. McNaughton also collected PaCAH checks from the locals and thanked them for their support.

The financial reports were presented by PBA Treasurer Don Olsommer, Jr. Highlights included the PBA outperformed the 2023 budget by $70,000 despite it being a difficult year for income. PBA used investment income to pay down its line of credit by more than $130,000 and “below the line,” PBA ran a profit of $273,461.

Under the Builder Services, Inc. financials, Treasurer Olsommer explained that BSI paid local associations more than $60,000 in 2023 (and the same amount to PBA.) BSI returned a special dividend of $400,000 to qualifying WC program insureds (members) in 2023.

Dean Hilliard, PBA Vice President and Membership Committee Chair, reviewed the membership numbers for 2023 and applauded six locals that demonstrated a growth over their 2022 numbers:

  • Pocono Builders Association – Increase of 14%
  • Carbon Builders Association – Increase of 14%
  • Home Builders Association of Northeastern PA – Increase of 11.5%
  • Wayne Pike Building Industry Association – Increase of 10.8%
  • Home Builders Association of Bucks & Montgomery Counties – Increase of 7%
  • Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh – Increase of 5.1%

Chair Hilliard also shared the results on the 2023 local membership meetings. A packet of meeting summaries was forwarded to all local Executive Officers and Local Presidents.

Finally, those in attendance were reminded of the year-long membership contest that is open to all members.

PBA Past President Cindy Cepko shared results of the PBA Marketing Campaign. The program has seen an increase in PBA website traffic by more than 2,200 percent through organic content, paid social media ads, Google paid search, and keyword searches. To date, 102 leads have come through because of the campaign and those leads have been passed on to the appropriate locals. Twenty-three locals have received at least one lead. PBA saw an increase of 31 new members.

Ms. Cepko was joined by Mr. Hilliard in putting forth a motion to make an additional $75,000 available to continue the program. In addition, another motion was made to make $25,000 available through the program that would be used to promote the importance of a career in the trades. Following a second and a discussion, both amounts were approved by the Board.

NAHB State Representative Andrew Kaye shared news from the national association and the recent International Builders Show. A lengthy report covering the NAHB membership, current economic climate, top builder issues, and the NAHB Strategic Plan was sent out to all local Executive Officers and Local Presidents to share with their members.

Mr. Kaye also appealed to the members to make contributions to BUILD-PAC a priority. Pennsylvania is falling short of the goal and with just a donation of $20 by each member, the state could more than exceed the goal. Kaye also noted that Pennsylvania is considered one of the largest battleground states for the upcoming elections and NAHB is making an investment in the state. Therefore, it is important for our members to do the same.

Executive Officers’ Council President Nicky Paterson of Wayne Pike BIA reported on the importance of supporting local EOs to attend events and programs sponsored by NAHB for training and networking. There are scholarships available to cut costs.

PBA CEO Dan Durden thanked members for attending the meetings and also reminded all members that they are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the congressional visits planned for June. It’s important for representatives to hear directly from their constituents.

During his President’s Report, Tom McCosby noted his plans to increase engagement at all levels including cutting back the Fall meetings to two days. He would also like to make the Regional Meetings more impactful with more action items. He mentioned the need to focus on how best to affect the legislation and codes we must work within.

President Tom McCosby announced a plan to for a Task Force made up of representatives from each region to discuss the possibility of realigning and reorganizing the PBA Regions.

PBA Past President John Olson reported on the progress and goals of the Strategic Plan. More information will be available at the summer meeting to report on how these goals will be met.

Mr. McCosby invited and encouraged all members to attend the Summer Meeting to be held at the Eden Resort in Lancaster on July 10-12 (Wednesday through Friday).