The first step in the development of a Concrete Masonry Check-off program lies within the industry. Industry leaders participate in a careful analysis of check-off programs, including the successes and challenges of other industries that have pursued and implemented them.
The National Concrete Masonry Association supported the exploration of the applicability of a check-off program with the help of a team of industry champions. Those champions included member and non-member producers of NCMA, both small and large producers of concrete masonry units, state and regional masonry promotion association executives, masonry contractors, and other industry professionals. The conclusion of this exploration was a recommendation that a broader campaign be conducted to educate the entire industry about the opportunity and enlist their support in implementing a Concrete Masonry Check-off. Industry Education:
This website is part of the campaign to educate the entire concrete masonry industry on the value and benefits of implementing a check-off program. A broad base of support is needed to enable the industry to move forward with implementation. Producers will be asked to indicate their support with a non-binding industry canvass in the near future to document that support. Legislative Process:
With sufficient industry support in place, Congress will be asked to pass industry proposed legislation to authorize the concrete masonry industry to implement a check-off program and assess itself to support industry research, education and promotion. Once passed by Congress and signed by the President, the program moves forward to the creation of an agency order.
A federal agency will be identified to promote and support the industry while providing oversight for the new program. The Department of Commerce is considered as an option to provide such oversight for a Concrete Masonry Check-off Program. Once the legislation is passed, industry leaders work closely with the designated agency to create a draft order. This document outlines the timing and rules for an industry vote to approve the check-off and the governing framework. This Order is published in the Federal Register for public comment. The Agency reviews the comments and decides whether to approve or adapt the Order. Industry Referendum:
Under the direction of the agency, a referendum is conducted to determine implementation of the program. Everyone within the industry required to pay assessments into the program is allowed to voice their support or opposition and to register a vote through this referendum. These ballots are counted and if a majority votes in support, the check-off program moves into an implementation phase. Implementation:
Industry leaders identify representatives to serve on a Board that oversees all operations of the industry check-off program. This list of board recommendations is forwarded to the Secretary of Commerce.
The Board has the responsibility of defining the program's focus and developing objectives that act as a foundation for the funded programs; conducting collections; managing resources; awarding and managing programs; and communicating with program participants. The designated agency has oversight to ensure that the programs adopted are compliant with the Act (the legislation) and the Order (the rules and framework).