ROCKVILLE, MD—On July 20, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) at its summer Board of Directors meeting approved a $1 million contribution to the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF). The Foundation is MCAA’s 501(c)3 non-profit institution, which underwrites a growing number of university-level education programs designed to attract high-potential college graduates to the mechanical contracting, service, and related manufacturer-supplier industries. This September, MCERF will commence a program of generous scholarships and a push for academic excellence among MCAA’s 45+ student chapters across the U.S. and Canada to ensure both the supply and quality of talented professionals entering the mechanical contracting industry. According to MCAA President Mac Lynch (William F. Lynch Company, Inc., Worcester, MA), “The high quality education and betterment of our members is MCAA’s highest priority. While MCAA can and does develop and run a number of highly effective member education programs, the development and funding of large-scale industry programs such as the MCERF scholarship and internship programs is beyond the scope of the association. And when it comes to research programs for our industry, an independent body that can work fluidly across and through external organizations is essential…and the Foundation perfectly fills this requirement for our industry.” MCERF President Robert T. Armistead (Armistead Mechanical, Inc., Waldwick, NJ) commented that “…in an era when fundraising difficulties for non-profits lead to down-scoping their missions and retreating from bold action, this generous contribution from MCAA will allow MCERF to move forward with a range of initiatives that will directly benefit the health and profitability of the mechanical contracting industry.” He specifically mentioned scholarships for “excellent students at excellent student chapters,” but Armistead also indicated that current fruitful activities of the Foundation will also be enhanced, such as internship grants paid directly to employers to place summer interns and a number of student chapter and faculty-direct grants and education programs that better prepare students to work in the industry and faculty to teach those students. Also, he indicated that a number of online products of the Foundation will also benefit. For more information about the programs and initiatives of the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation, contact Dennis Langley ([email protected]).