Two years ago, the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Chapter of ASAC met over lunch in the atrium behind Amelie’s French Pastries in the NoDa Arts District. After going over the budget of the Charlotte Chapter and the budget of the ASAC, it became apparent that both organizations were in a death spiral of high costs and declining membership. There was no money coming to the local chapter from dues and the legislative budget for the ASAC was only $500 to provide coverage for two states. The Board realized that the only way to save the organization was to withdraw from ASA and ASA-Carolinas and go it alone. The Board unanimously voted to call a special meeting of membership to vote on withdrawing and re-naming the organization North Carolina Subcontractors Alliance. At the special meeting, with 16 of 18 members present, and hearing both sides of the argument, the vote to withdraw was 15-1.
One year ago, realizing that a national presence was important to some prospective members and that our finances had stabilized, we voted to join the National Subcontractors Alliance (NSA). Unlike the ASA which has a high overhead large central office in Washington DC, the NSA has only 2 paid employees located in a member company’s office in Akron, OH. The NSA is a federation of local subcontractor’s associations, all of which are former ASA chapters. The local organizations are members of NSA, so the dues paid to NCSA stay at the local chapter to meet the needs of subcontractors at the state and local level.
To meet the needs at the national level without a big Washington presence, the NSA is partnered with eight other trade associations in Associated Specialty Contractors (ASC) which is called upon to handle lobbying and other needs in Washington. http://assoc-spec-con.org/
Since NSA members are the local chapters, there has been a question as to whether a company can claim national affiliation with the NSA. That was answered at the Board of Directors at the Spring Conference in March. By unanimous vote, members of all organizations that are affiliated with NSA may display the NSA logo on letterheads, vehicles, hard hats and other advertising materials and may claim NSA affiliation on pre-qualification forms and other questionnaires asking for national affiliations.
And, one last perk. Membership in NSCA allows member companies to participate in a large number of discount programs, including freight companies like Yellow Freight and UPS, office products at Office Max and a 20% discount on all Lenovo computers products (except 12% on ThinkPads). For a small company, these discounts alone will go a long way toward covering the cost of membership. Also, since NSA is a charter member of the consortium that developed Consensus Docs, there is a 20% discount to NSA members for document purchases from Consensus Docs.
So, while NCSA works for you at the state and local level, the NSA and the ASC have our backs covered on national issues. What could be better?