Midwest HVAC News
Constructing Progress in
the Windy City - MCA Chicago Celebrates 125 Years.
125 years of dedication to the mechanical contracting industry, more
than 350 guests attended a black-tie event at the elegant Art
Institute of Chicago on Saturday, June 1, 2013, honoring the
Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago (MCA Chicago).
The event treated MCA members and guests to an evening filled with
food and entertainment as they were surrounded by the exquisite
paintings of Monet, Renoir and Degas. Emcee, former Chicago Bear Tom
Waddle, amused the crowd with stories and humor and Jim Cornelison,
national anthem singer for the Chicago Blackhawks, thrilled everyone
with his amazing rendition of the national anthem. Entertainment
also included dinner music by The Stu Hirsch Orchestra followed by
laughter as Second City Communications improvised with the audience
for hilarious results.
The Mechanical Contractors Associations started it’s rich history in
1888 as the Master Steam Fitters when a group of steam fitting
contractors joined together to work with the union to eliminate
unfair wages, long working hours and unsafe conditions. Continually
improving upon their expertise, The Master Steam Fitters advanced to
become what is now known as the Mechanical Contractors Association
of Chicago (MCA Chicago).
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Today, 125 years later, the
association still strives to keep its members on the cutting
edge of technology while it maintains its relationship with its
union, Pipe Fitters Local 597. Working together they have never
had a strike – a truly unusual situation between a labor and
Speakers at the event, United Association General President
William Hite, Chicago Pipefitters Local 597 Business Manager Jim
Buchanan, MCA President Kevin Condon and MCA Executive Vice
President Stephen Lamb, all commented on the long and positive
relationship between the United Association and MCA Chicago.
“Our relationship with the union has helped us maintain steady
growth throughout economic declines and building slowdowns,”
said Executive VP of MCA Chicago, Stephen Lamb. “Anyone in the
construction industry knows that it is a near impossibility to
keep up with technological advances, keep your contactors
educated on latest practices and communicate with legislators at
the same time. But we have done it successfully.”
Lamb joined MCA in 1988 after many years as a construction
industry association executive. Lamb recognized the need for
ongoing education to keep his members current, so he founded the
Construction Education Institute®, a learning center within the
MCA headquarters in Burr Ridge. Members are offered more than 70
classes ranging in topics from Project Management to Computer
Skills and Active Listening. Before green was savvy, MCA Chicago
championed sustainable building initiatives to members and also
recognized the importance of computer technology in the
construction industry, therefore introducing members to Building
Information Modeling (BIM) concepts.
The MCA has had only four executives in its 125-year history –
each one as dedicated as the last to making the MCA an
association that will remain relevant through its ability to
persevere through change. Lamb has shown his dedication with an
attitude of respect for the long history of the organization and
a commitment to the future of its members.