Weekly Update
Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn,
and most fools do.
But it takes character and self-control
to be understanding and forgiving.
    - Dale Carnegie  
ARPEC news
Shown above, 5th year apprentice Marbyn Ponce in the Trane CVHE chiller class taught by Raul Gonzalez of DebonAir Mechanical
 ARPEC apprentice takes home 1st place at
UA Florida State Pipetrades Apprenticeship Competition 
The three ARPEC apprentices who won the Sam Hamilton Apprenticeship Competition last month recently traveled to Jacksonville for the UA Florida State Pipetrades Apprenticeship Competition along with LU725 Business Manager Kenny Scott, Business Agent Jim Taylor, and Training Director Phil Rodin. The competition, which took place on Saturday, April 29, included challenging competition from UA apprentices from across the state. Local 725 apprentices Kevin Bashansci placed 5th in welding, Edmund Hunt took home 4th place in pipefitting, and Josue Labrador won first place in the HVAC/service division, as well as an award for first place in excellence in his copper piping project. Josue will go on to represent ARPEC at the UA District Competition on June 4.  Local Union 725 President Mickey Mueller stated that "Local Union 725 is very proud of these young men for their skill, talent and dedication. We're equally proud of their ARPEC instructors, as well as the Journeymen who work with apprentices in the field as they strive to become excellent skilled craftsmen."  We wish Josue the best of luck as he travels to New Orleans for the District competition and we congratulate Kevin and Edmund on a job well done!     
ARPEC extends Journeymen Continuing Education offerings 
ARPEC has experienced record attendance at this spring's Journeymen Continuing Education classes, according to Training Director Phil Rodin. Many of the classes offered this spring were filled to full capacity and are now being offered again. The JATC reminds all Journeymen of the CBA's continuing education requirement of 7 hours per year, which must be reported by June 30th to receive the July 16 wage & benefit increase. For a complete list of classes, please contact the training center.
ARPEC takes in record number of applicants
Training Director Phil Rodin reports that a record number of applicants, totaling nearly 200, were received by ARPEC prior to the April 28 application deadline for the fall program. Applicants are currently undergoing a comprehensive panel of testing, which will include a trade-specific math class.  Please visit www.arpec.org   for more info. On behalf of the JATC, we appreciate everyone's role in finding the qualified candidates who will carry on this industry in the coming decades. 

Register now for the ARPEC Graduation Ceremony 
ARPEC's 2017 Graduation will be held Saturday July 8th. Click here to sign up to attend. Due to Federal Laws, ARPEC is limited in the expenditures it can make toward holding a graduation ceremony. For that reason, sponsorships are needed and greatly appreciated, since they enable the training center to make the event nicer. Click here to learn more! 
Preferred Vendor of the Week
 Gino Cane
Job Site Solutions Market Manager- South Florida
 P. 262.599.2493

Fringe Benefit Trust Fund News
MCASF Board member and ACRA LU725 Pension, Defined Contribution and Health & Welfare trustee Mark Kerney (Hill York) shown above meeting with staff of Florida Senator Marco Rubio 
 MCASF Represented at National Issues Conference in DC  
MCAA local chapter representatives from across the country attended the 2017 Quality Construction Alliance National Issues Conference in DC this week, which joins forces of MCAA and Construction Employers of America in focusing on key legislative issues and regulatory changes. Among the topics on this year's program were increased regulations and governance that applies to apprenticeship, as well an update on the issues that impact other multi-employer trust funds, including pension and health care funds.

The conference culminated with House Republicans narrowly approving a sweeping health care bill aimed at fulfilling President Trump's campaign promise to replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) with the a new act, the American Health Care Act (ACA). It's too early to determine the effect that the new plan will have upon multi-employer health care plans, should the bill pass in the Senate. Health care plans, including the ACRA LU725 Health & Welfare Trust, continue to experience volatility, including burdensome requirements and fees, which were imposed by the ACA, as well as soaring prescription drug costs, which are projected to rise more than 11% this year alone.
ACRA Local Union 725 Pension Fund deemed
"green" after last year's critical status
In the fund's annual funding notice, mailed April 28, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the ACRA Local 725 Pension fund notified participants and contributing contractors that the fund has returned to "green zone" status. This is excellent news for the members of Local Union 725 and their families, particularly considering that just one year ago, the plan was deemed to be in critical status. The significance of being in critical status was that the Board of Trustees was required to take specific action by adopting a Rehabilitation Plan. While the decisions made by the Board were difficult, the Pension Plan is now on more solid financial ground. Please click here to download the letter, which includes full details.

Special event
Hurry, early bird pricing ends May 15!

Is your drug & alcohol testing policy compliant with OSHA's new rules?  

OSHA's new drug testing and anti-retaliation rule, which alters the circumstances when drug testing can be conducted and reemphasizes the protections for employees to report injury and illnesses without fear of retaliation, is now in effect.  This webinar will explore the new rule, thevarious real-life workplace scenarios that may be impacted by the new rule, and how employers can comply with OSHA's new regulation. Practical tips on making changes to comply with the new rule will be a focus of the webinar.
Presented by Fisher & Phillips
NOTE: NEW DATE! June 2 10:00 - 11:15 
10:00 - 11:15 
 Click here to register

LU725 news
Are you using the latest referral form?
Local Union 725 staff asks that MCASF contractor members take a moment to update their records with the latest referral form, available to download by clicking here.
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