A Local Mindset


A Local Mindset

SBCA chapters deploy unique initiatives on the local level,
proving there is no one way to reach your market.


“The event we put on for the building officials each year is definitely popular. They get their continuing education credits (CEUs) and, at the same time, we have a great opportunity to educate the marketplace through a truss demonstration, network with the building officials and have a good time,” said Kelly LaBlance, technical manager of Builders FirstSource in Plant City, Florida and secretary of the West Florida Truss Manufacturers Association (WFTA).  

The WFTA helps plan the annual meeting, which combines a free educational session for government building officials, inspectors and plans examiners followed by truss testing and lunch. To end the day’s activities on a festive note, door prizes are awarded to those who correctly predict the truss performance.   

“I’ve been involved in this event for more than ten years, early on as a participant and the past few years as a board member. The focus on the educational session is to provide a course that is current, relevant and interesting for the building officials,” said LaBlance. Going on its 31st year, the 2016 meeting is scheduled for November 4, and the educational session will cover stucco application and how it affects design criteria.


The Georgia chapter takes a different angle, aiming to train members and hone a specific skillset. “The educational workshop our chapter held was a great experience for my drivers,” said Adam Finkenhoefer, production manager of Truss Systems in Oxford, Georgia. On November 14, 2015 the Georgia chapter hosted inspectors from the Georgia Department of Public Safety, who presented to truck drivers and managers. The focus of the discussion was on pre- and post-trip inspections.

The Georgia plant hosted the well-attended event held on a Saturday morning. It provided a rare opportunity for “attendees to learn, firsthand and in great detail, what an inspection officer would look for during a roadside cargo and equipment inspection,” explained Finkenhoefer.

Attendees were also introduced to the possible red flags that may prompt greater attention during an inspection, and drivers engaged the inspectors in a robust question and answer session.  

“We looked more closely at driver fatigue and improvements in handling it. After the presentation, we reviewed some of our current programs and were able to make recommendations for enhancements,” explained Finkenhoefer. “It was definitely very beneficial and future presentations from the Department of Public Safety on protective equipment and manufacturing safety are of interest.” 

About the Author: Lena Giakoumopoulos joined the SBCA membership development team in 2014 and also focuses on workforce development and other management committee initiatives. She holds a masters degree in global marketing and has experience writing for newsletters, manuals, brochures and websites.

SBCA chapters are platforms for sharing information important to the structural building components industry and its market. Email chapters@sbcindustry.com for information on your local chapter.