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RE: Public Relations

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I’ve done more than you have. NCSEA is doing nothing to educate the public on residential or light-framing and I know this as a former member of your advocacy committee. Your members with the exception of Bill Polhemus have little experience in light-framing and care less if this area of the market is covered. Yet light-framing represents more than 95% of all buildings constructed in the United States.


I do a great deal in my area by attempting first to educate clients that walk through my door and next to speak to students and adults by volunteering for services in my community that bring me to the homeowner in a group setting. There is little I can do to change the thoughts of larger tract developments, but then again I live to my personal principles and refuse tract housing.


As a former member of the Building Horizons program (five years on the board of directors) I participated in the training of high school students who are not going on to college but who will be picking up hammers and tools to build homes. Albeit they are guided by the large developer who tells them just how to build (by design) but we are assured that these students will be producing better quality products in the field than minimum wage untrained labor from across the border. With that said, let me add that my experience with illegal workers is that they work their butt’s off and they are paid very little for it. The problem is that in tract development, they learn on the job and they are not as concerned with the quality of their skill as those specifically trained. But, as a representative from Sunrise Corporation once told me, this is a “Free-enterprise” system and Sunrise has the right to maximize as much profit from the job as possible even though the code or laws in do not require disclosure.


There are many things that local engineers can do – but the one thing that won’t work is for people like you to point a finger at vocal engineers like me. I can easily back up my service to both the community and the profession. I think you should stop asking what I have done and start to do something constructive as a representative of NCSEA to educate the public on the largest market in the building profession that costs both the insurance company and the homeowner the most in out-of-pocket repairs. If YOU led the drive to educate the public through the use of advertising dollars to run public service commercials as many industries do, you might associate engineers with more than high-rise structures or the infrastructure. The public may decide that they want to choose the level of performance of the home they buy.




-----Original Message-----
From: Caldwell, Stan [mailto:scaldwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 2:04 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Public Relations


Dennis Wish wrote:


I don’t see NCSEA doing much to educate the public who, at least in my area loaded with “snowbirds” from the Midwest and East Coast who believe an engineer is a necessary evil whose only purpose is to secure a building permit. 




What have you personally done to educate the public in your area?  The NCSEA Advocacy Committee is actively pursuing a wide array of public relations activities including:  a media management manual, a spokesperson protocol, a media contact database, high school posters, high school PowerPoint presentations, high school competitions, a branding campaign, etc. 


Membership on the NCSEA Advocacy Committee is open to all members of all state SEAs.  All that is required is a commitment to actively participate.  There are currently 15 members working within four subcommittees.  If anyone is interested in joining, they should contact me privately for further information.


Best regards,


Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE, F.AEI

Chair, NCSEA Advocacy Committee


Vice President 

Halff Associates, Inc.

8616 Northwest Plaza Drive

Dallas, Texas  75225

Phone:  (214) 346-6280

Fax:  (214) 739-0095