December 29, 2017

The End

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne! 

My last blog post was back in September of this year and the time between then and now was spent physically healing from two surgeries that are sure to improve the quality of my life. I had been limited in my enjoyment of family functions, association involvement, and civic role but those health issues now will be left in 2017. I'm rebuilt, re-energized, and looking forward to a remarkable 2018 for family and business.
Association Maximization has always been a blog that was created to help develop thought, encourage the exchanging of ideas, bring about healthy disagreements, and to be shared. It did all of that and more. It also connected me to so many EOs, HBA staff, and members from all over our country. Since January 2011, Association Maximization has been read by hundreds of thousands of people and shared countless times and that is my greatest reward for taking the time to write articles.
A very few thought I was trying to sell something or that I was spamming them, and I'm talking members. I just smile knowing that for every one who felt that way countless others appreciated my effort. To those of you who who did thank you so much for your compliments and feedback. We are an NAHB family and we should all strive, each in our own way, to help as many members as possible. There is never a down side and the upside will always include a stronger, tighter knit Federation.

As we move into 2018 I look forward to new challenges and better ways to communicate what I have learned through the help of others smarter than I. I would encourage you to think about what you could do to help our Federation starting at the very grass roots; the local HBA. This is where state and national leaders are born and it's where, legislatively, we can work our federal and state legislators. In order for us to continue in our industry we need all of us to help, if just a little.

May your 2018 be Healthy, Successful, and Prosperous

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

September 29, 2017

Top 4 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Construction

As the home building industry celebrates Careers in Construction Month in October, we’re sharing the top four reasons to consider a rewarding career in residential construction.

Diversity of Skilled Trades to Consider

A home builder relies on a number of highly trained workers to get the job done right. This includes dozens of skilled artisans and professionals, including carpenters, architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians, painters and landscapers. Analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that 70 percent of builders typically use between 11 and 30 subcontractors to build a single-family home. Indeed, there are many different trades you can pursue depending on your personal interests.  

Job Opportunities Across the Country

As the housing market continues to strengthen, home builders across the country are seeking skilled workers, such as carpenters, framers and roofers, to help them build the American Dream. This means there is ample opportunity for motivated students seeking a rewarding career path.

In fact, the residential construction industry is one of the few sectors where demand for new workers is rising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) increased to 232,000 in July 2017.

Some of the most popular construction trades, including:

  • Electrical
  • Carpentry
  • Painting
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing

Jobs Satisfaction and Competitive Salaries

Residential construction workers consistently express high job satisfaction and salaries remain competitive with other industries. The top 25% in most construction trades professions earn at least $60,000 annually.

Rewarding Career without College Debt

At a time when countless college graduates are finding themselves underemployed and saddled with crushing student debt, it’s important to know that earning a college degree is not the only road to success. A vocational education is equally rewarding and can be obtained at a fraction of the cost.

The Home Builders Institute (HBI), a national leader in career training and the National Association of Home Builder's (NAHB) workforce development arm, offers educational programs in 44 states and the District of Columbia, reaching more than 13,000 students each year. These include more than 10,000 students in HBI’s pre-apprenticeship programs and 3,500 students in 130 NAHB Student Chapters.

HBI Job Corps programs are located in 74 centers across the nation and offer pre-apprenticeship training in 10 residential construction trades. The training programs are national in scope, but implemented locally using proven models that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the nation. Those who graduate from the program enjoy an 80 percent job placement rate.
NAHB is your connection to the educators, industry members, and state and local home builder associations who can help get you started on your career path. 

September 20, 2017

NAHB's Dues Hub Is Here

I have had the good fortune in serving the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in several capacities over the years and my most recent is as chairman of the Structured Dues Payment working group. This working group was formed in 2013 and acted as a spring board for my NAHB 2014 Membership Committee chairmanship.

I personally want to thank the Builders and Remodelers Association of Northern New Jersey (BRANNJ) as the pilot program local which was needed to work out all the kinks that will always occur when releasing new programs or initiatives. Kathleen Kurpiel, Executive Officer of BRANNJ, has spent hours upon hours of what free time she has as a solo staff member at her local, to ensure that others who come online will experience smooth sailing with the Dues Hub.
Dean Mon, NAHB’s 2017 Third Vice Chairman of the Board, is today's guest blogger and has oversight this year for this program. Dean is a New Jersey-based builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry. Dean is president of the D.R. Mon Group, Inc., which specializes in the development and construction of green urban living projects throughout New Jersey.  

by Dean Mon, NAHB 3rd Vice Chairman

The next generation HBA membership development tool was officially rolled out with great fanfare and to widespread interest at NAHB’s recent Association Management Conference in Denver. Almost 100 local associations have already signed up for demonstrations or to join the program, and many others have expressed an interest in the innovative new option. 

Dues Hub, the result of a joint initiative by the Executive Officers Council and the NAHB Membership Committee, is a potential game changer for membership.  Cutting edge programs and options once only available to larger associations are now available to any association to help make joining the federation faster and easier than ever before.

Dues Hub is a third-party online membership payment platform that provides payment flexibility for new and renewing members.
·         Locals can accept online applications, renewals and payments.
·         Members can pay dues monthly or quarterly for a small fee.
·         Electronic payments are stored (PCI Compliant) and automatically processed for installment plans and/or with an automatic renewal option.
·         Dues payments are allocated proportionately automatically among local, state and national.
·         Local, state and national pay merchant fees only on their portion of the dues payment.
·         Data  is synced automatically between Dues Hub and the local, state and national associations.
·         Payments are processed in real-time, and membership records are updated daily.

To learn more about the Dues Hub program or to schedule a demonstration for your HBA, visit

I’d like to thank the working group's chairman, Michael Kurpiel, all the volunteer members, and the volunteer  Executive Officers who committed countless hours of work to help us get this started. Without their thoughtful contributions and collaboration, Dues Hub would have never become a reality.