If you watch the nightly news it would be easy to worry. Considering the events of 2020, our businesses and our members have been extremely fortunate. Our companies were not shut down. In fact, business has remained strong. There is a lot of uncertainty in our country right now; however, evidence remains that our industry will remain strong in Florida.

One thing you hear concern about is the cost of housing. Yes, housing prices are up, but there are three factors that typically drive the decision to purchase a house. They are the price of the house, the mortgage payment amount, and household income. Mortgage rates today are as good as they get. The federal reserve has indicated rates will remain low until at least 2022. The National Association of Realtors tracks housing affordability. A score of 100 means a typical person can afford a typical house in the United States. The most current score for April 2020 shows 180 for the southern states. The typical person can afford 180% of an average house. Great news for our industry.

Housing inventory remains low. Data from just last week shows less than 2 months inventory for Tampa. This is great news, as we are all looking for more housing starts to pour more concrete and sell more block.

What about population growth? Over the last decade or so people have been fleeing New York and Illinois for mostly Florida. A Forbes article from last week stated that in 2018, 100 people a day were leaving metropolitan New York. Currently that number is 270. Considering everything going on, why wouldn’t they? Our state has better leadership, less coronavirus, more affordable housing, better weather, and considerably less taxes. 

Despite all the unprecedented things that 2020 has brought us, our FICAP membership is great. As a matter of fact, we’re growing. Welcome DZ Block and DZ Concrete and Shumaker Industries. We appreciate your support!

We are excited to open our association up again and start meeting, but we want to be careful. In this issue we have a survey . Please take the time to help us determine how and when to move forward. We are also looking for a great way to start back up. Possibly with a fun event outdoors. If you have any ideas feel free to forward them to Michele or myself.

Also, don’t forget the PC Raffle tickets are selling strong. We do have some left and they are available for purchase on the website. Everyone is going to wish they had tickets when we start announcing a big winner every week.

I look forward to seeing you all soon at the next FICAP event.

Mark Smith
President, FICAP
Owner, Bell Concrete Products
Welcome New Members!
Writing the column for this edition of In The Mix opened my eyes to how much I thrive on interacting with each of you. My creativity seems dependent upon you and our conversations. I can't wait for our next face to face event!

I struggle with the negative haze the media promotes, as I'm sure many of you do too. We know it's not as bad as they share, just interact, safely of course, with the people in your community. A friend from Arizona shared the following through Facebook yesterday, and it really hit home.
Sometimes I just want to stop. Talk of Covid, protests, looting, brutality. I lose my way. Become convinced that this "new normal" is real life. But then I meet an 87 year old who talks of living through Polio, diphtheria, Vietnam, protests and yet is still enchanted with life. He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. "No", he said slowly looking me straight in the eyes, "I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines. "Husband loves wife today." "Family drops everything to come to Grandmas bedside." He patted my hand, "Old man, makes new friend". His words collide with my worries, freeing them from their tether I had been holding tight. They float away. I am left with a renewed spirit. My headline now reads "Woman overwhelmed by the spirit of kindness and the reminder that our capacity to love is never ending."

We are anxiously awaiting the first time we can meet again. In the mean time, please take a few minutes to answer our brief survey and know that your responses carry a lot of weight and will help us with the big decision of when to meet again.

Also, at the bottom of this survey are the links to download our membership app. If you haven't already done so, please download the app and start interacting directly with other FICAP members today from the convenience of your phone, tablet or iPad.

I can't close my article without mentioning the retirement of Gary Clements. I know we can call or email him and keep in touch, but he will be sooo messed. He was an amazing President and is a great champion of our industry and our association. I will miss working with you my friend.
Thank you for your support! If there's anything we can do to help you, please let us know.

Michele White
Director, FICAP
PC Raffle Tickets on Sale

We are so very close and would love to say "We Did It" and sold all 1000 tickets, but we're not there yet. These tickets make great gifts and are amazing motivational items for employees. Each weekly drawing is another reminder of how much you care. For additional information, please visit our website .

FEMA Study Reveals Value of Tougher Building Codes

In California and Florida alone, such codes have prevented
$ 1 billion a year in structural damage.
FDOT Releases Plan to Enhance Existing Corridors and Environmental
Features within Proposed M-CORES Projects
Construction work on the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project is making great strides toward its end goal of a better I-4. Read More
Construction on the Florida Department of Transportation’s I-4 Beyond the Ultimate is beginning. Read More
Please help us plan future events by completing this brief survey.
The latest from the Florida Scorecard. See housing starts, income migration, visitors, etc. Read More

ECOncrete requires less energy to make and promotes healthy marine life. Read More

Orange County moving forward with $ 700 million convention center expansion. Read More

Report questions 90-minute discharge window in ASTM C94 Read More

Cities Warn of Infrastructure Spending Cuts

New-Home Sales Surge in May

Building Materials Prices Increase Slightly in May

SBA Rolls Out Dedicated Tool for Small Businesses

Millennials, Boomers Plan to Move Sooner Due to COVID
New Home Sales and Permits Rising

Builder Confidence Surges in June

How Gen Z and Millennials Are Changing Home Building Forever

NRMCA Update - HR Help & Guidance

On Thursday, June 18, OSHA issued  guidance  to assist employers reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the evolving coronavirus pandemic. The guidance supplements the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ previously developed  Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19  and the White House’s  Guidelines for Opening up America Again . The guidelines provide general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, June 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clarified that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits mandatory antibody testing before allowing employees to return to the worksite. This might impact your HR Department/company’s plans as you ascertain how to screen for COVID19. Please click here for EEOC’s updated technical assistance Q & A.   What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
On Monday, June 15, OSHA published the “Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work” poster in 14 additional languages, over and above previously published English and Spanish posters.  The 14 are French Creole, Arabic, Hmong, Somali, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Chinese Simplified, Kunama, Thai, Chinese Traditional, Polish, Vietnamese, and Russian.  Click here  to download one/all of the 16 posters. The additional translations are the latest efforts by OSHA to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic.
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