In an age of austerity, members of the metalworking industry are familiar with the need to be cost-efficient and work smarter. Todd Daniel, Executive Director of NOMMA (National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association), believes companies seeking strategic intelligence can find what they’re looking for with the educational and networking benefits that come from joining the trade organization.
“A little advice that saves someone from losing money on a job can pay for membership,” he says. “NOMMA members benefit from sharing their experiences with the school of hard knocks, which isn’t a fun school to attend.”
Connecting, educating and advocacy have always been the core mission of NOMMA, which was founded in 1958. But the organization recently updated how it connects with and fosters the metalworking community. A pillar of its efforts has always been the ListServ, a tool that lets anyone from the owner of a two-man operation to the president of a 100-person firm connect and query colleagues about strategic, regulatory and fabrication issues. It’s a key part of the group’s educational mandate, also advanced by Fabricator Magazine and the organization’s online video library, which covers topics from garden gates and railing to finishes and curved stairs.
“You don’t only have to be highly intelligent and skilled to be a small business person in this industry, you have to be skilled in your craft,” he says. “Our ListServ goes a long way to making people feel connected and supported.”
New educational and outreach activities build upon this knowledge base by exploring new technologies and trends while seeking to broaden the group’s appeal to younger members. A new marketing task force seeks to educate architects, affinity programs will bring group buying power to bear on services like health care and communications, and advocacy efforts will focus on building code hearings. In addition, telephone roundtables, such as a recent design discussion led by Paul Difrancesco of Lightning Forge in Murray, Utah, will cover new topics in the trade. Other areas of interest NOMMA plans to delve into include 3D-printing and new camera measuring technology.
It’s a strategy that helps NOMMA’s over 500 members feel connected, and naturally, leads to connections that turn into valuable relationships.
“In addition to the information, the networking is intrinsic,” says Daniel. “I have seen our members do work for each other. They’re partnering, subcontracting, and installing jobs for one another in different states. That’s really the power of the NOMMA network.”
Are you or someone you know interested in NOMMA? Do you currently work in the metal industry and are seeking opportunities to network and educate yourself on the trade? Be sure to share this post with others using the share tools below. You can also comment on your experience in the box below if you are already a member or looking to become one so that others can get an idea of the NOMMA experience.