Framers Benefit from Huber Engineered Woods' Growing Support
Originally published by: National Framers Council — February 13, 2018
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For Huber Engineered Woods (HEW), the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum sponsorship categories the NFC offer simply weren’t enough. Wasn’t there a way, HEW asked, to do more to support networking, training and industry safety efforts? For the NFC, the answer was easy—yes!
The NFC is proud to recognize Huber Engineered Woods as its first Title Sponsor, a level of support that gives NFC members and sponsors the chance to connect in person on jobsites and at regional meetings; online via training videos and webinars; and even outside the organization as both the NFC and its sponsors work to increase membership and build support for the organization throughout the industry.
Mark Oberlender, the national multifamily light commercial technical manager at HEW, says stepping up support of the NFC simply made sense as part of HEW’s focus on education and networking. The opportunities and duties at the Title sponsorship level “create some synergy between HEW and our contacts and the NFC and their contacts. Together, we can grow the overall awareness, not just of our products, but also safety and all the core principles of HEW that NFC shares: ethical behavior, respect for others, safety (of course!), environmental impact and sustainability.”
Building awareness is exactly what Mark does on a day-to-day basis as he visits HEW customers out in the field. “We have a mobile van that we can take to jobsites,” he explains, as well as to offices of architects, builders and general contractors. The van is stocked with everything Mark needs to show people what HEW offers and how best to use it. “We can share our PowerPoint slides, we have a little quiz they can do, we have videos that take our products from step one to the very end, we have jobsite posters and contractor checklists that we give out—it’s all designed around improving the installed quality of our products.”
With his focus on building relationships and sharing best practices, Mark was intrigued right away when a longtime industry associate George Hull—retired president of Hull Associates in Grand Prairie, Texas and an NFC founder and past president—invited him to an NFC meeting. “I had started to see the NFC name popping up in the industry,” Mark says. “Being safety-oriented is a big part of our culture at HEW,” he notes, so he took an interest in the FrameSAFE materials he saw and was impressed by the number of NFC hard hat stickers he noticed at jobsites.
“I’ve been in the construction industry for 25 years,” Mark says, “Never before have I come across a formal organization for framers.” That’s a problem, he says, because workers in this industry need the protection that comes with standardized procedures and shared practices.
“There are so many safety hazards on the jobsite that haven’t been addressed by the folks that can make a difference,” Mark observed. He is excited about the opportunity that HEW’s Title sponsorship creates—the chance to reach more framers and to get to know new people in the industry.
Mark says the NFC is heading in the right direction and efforts to boost collaboration among like-minded folks will increase education across the board. “The efforts will raise the educational piece of installation, not just of our products, but of all the pieces framers are involved in installing.” Most critically, he says, better organization in the framing industry has the potential to mean greater safety for framers. “The increase in safety would be number one. The outpouring of framers taking an interest in NFC makes it a good group to be involved with.”