June 2018c

62 63 “You have the benefit of when we lobby the government; you also have the benefit of the in-house training that we do – we have tech- nical staff in the office that help people get things that they are not able to do on their own. You also have the benefit of, every year, when we have our awards function, the money goes to the children of construction workers for scholarships at technical schools and univer- sities. And you don’t have to be a member for that to happen to you; we choose these people on their grades. Their parents only have to be working in construction.” Since the IMAJ staff consists of only five paid employees: a secretary/manager, three office workers, and one technical person, most of the work to meet the needs of the industry and the membership is carried out by a range of volunteer committees that deal with the day to day administration of the Association, plan and manage functions, produce publications and manuals, negotiate contracts, and repre- sent IMAJ on the Construction Industry Council, are continuing trying to make our industry rele- vant and be recognized as a driving force in the economy; that we are part of it; and that we contribute, I think, more than four percent of the GDP. So, we keep lobbying the government to get this kind of idea as an accepted norm.” IMAJ had 13 founding members; today, the Association has 79 in tiered categories, based on a company’s capacity to undertake work, and recently re-aligned to conform to the government’s National Contracts Commission that rates contractors. “We also have associate members,” Taylor adds. “We have electric con- tractors joining with us and people who supply us with materials.” Regarding membership, Taylor says that a new program, Member Benefits, is aimed at try- ing to lure those builders who, “for one reason or another are not joining.” He is alternately bemused and annoyed with people who have not become a part of the Association, but will come to it for help when they get in trouble. “So, we are trying to educate our contractors on what the benefits are,” he adds. “The first thing membership will do is you will have your networking capability increased dramatically,” he begins. “You will have the ben- efit of constant education; we put on a semi- nar, every year, for our members. You have the benefit of getting the published union rates, because every two years, we go to negotiations with the union and sign the contract which covers everything from safety to grievance pro- cedures.” INCORPORATED MASTERBUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF JAMAICA HUMPHREY TAYLOR President of the IMAJ