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Check out our latest updates & findings below.

Have news to share? We’d love to hear it! Send your company hires, news, events and press releases to ah@mbex.org.

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Member News & Events

7 Books for Construction Professionals

posted on 11.01.2021

Construction is a constantly evolving field. In order to be the best, one must remain competitive and stay on top of the latest trends. You need a solid understanding of construction fundamentals to leadership to project management.

Now, no one is going to disagree that the best way to learn construction of any kind is to get out in the field. But, a little reference material never hurt.

In honor of National Author’s Day, we’ve scoped out a handful of titles and recommend them to those starting a construction career or wanting to advance their skillsets.


Construction Management Jumpstart: The Best First Step Toward a Career in Construction Management by Barbara J. Jackson
- If you are just getting started in construction management, this is a must-have. Not only will you learn the fundamentals of the industry but this well-organized guide provides a step by step walk-through of all stages of project management including project costs, administering contracts, monitoring performances and safety and more. Think of this as your A-Z guide for project management from estimating, scheduling, to new technology and safety.

Markup & Profit: A Contractor’s Guide by Michael C. Stone
- Described as a great book with clear and practical advice, this one is a must read.

Code Check Complete: An Illustrated Guide to the Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical Codes by Redwood Kardon, Douglas Hansen, & Paddy Morrissey
- More practical than the others on this list, but a solid reference book nonetheless.

Contractor’s Survival Guide by Jason Reid
- This book focuses on solid principles for any business, but with a construction angle.

Construction Business Management: What Every Construction Contractor, Builder & Subcontractor Needs to Know by Nick Ganaway
- With over 25 years as successful commercial contractor under his belt, Ganaway offers real-world advice from marketing to hiring, and even how to get paid.

Construction Leadership Success: The Construction Foreman’s Definitive Guide for Running Safe, Efficient, and Profitable Projects by Jason C. McCarty 
- McCarty shares great advice for managing teams and projects with an eye for the construction industry.

A Builder’s Guide to Accounting by Michael Thomsett
- This one helps to build a solid understanding of accounting – good even if you’re using accounting software.


And, we have a few recommendations for the kids, too:


Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beatty
- A New York Times best seller, this story follows a little girl who sees inspiration everywhere.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherry Dusky Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
- Called “a standout picture book, especially for those who like wheels with their dreams.”

Architecture According to Pigeons by Stella Gurney
- This one is for slightly older kids, but it gives an overview of famous structures.

Who Made This Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa and Junji Koyose
- What if we built cakes the way we build buildings? This is what would happen. It’s a Horn Book Fanfare Award-winner, too.

Member News & Events

Members Approve SCBX + MBEX Merger

posted on 10.29.2021

Members of both the St. Cloud Builders Exchange (SCBX) and the Minnesota Builders Exchange (MBEX) held and completed a vote to approve the merger of the two organizations, and the vote passed near unanimously.

This decision paves the way for an effective merger date of November 1, 2021. On November 1, active members of SCBX will become MBEX members for a complimentary trial period of 60 days. Terms of the merger call for MBEX to continue operating two physical plan rooms located in Minneapolis and Duluth, expanding social events to include the St. Cloud area, access to the MBEX Online Plan Room, and two special-term MBEX Board seats offered to former SCBX Board members.

St. Cloud members will be receiving further information, such as Plan Room log-in and membership benefits information, directly from MBEX very soon. 

If there are questions about the merger, the merging process, membership or its benefits, please reach out to one of the following individuals:

- Tom Getzke, MBEX Executive Director: tg@mbex.org | 612-381-2625
- Ashlee Hartwig, MBEX Membership & Communications Manager: ah@mbex.org | 612-381-2631
- Lisa Berezni, SCBX President: lisa@negenarchitects.com | 320-250-3304
- Brian Kalla, SCBX Vice President: brian@stcloudacoustics.com | 320-363-8585
- Steve Sauer, SCBX Board Member: steves@ericksonelectricmn.com | 320-290-3943

The approval of this merger marks the third time MBEX has expanded membership and services to the regional commercial construction industry. In 2013, the Builders Exchange of St. Paul merged with the Minneapolis Builders Exchange to form MBEX. The Duluth Builders Exchange then merged with MBEX in 2019.

To learn more about the merger and its terms, please click here.

Labor & Workforce

Encouraging Young Girls in Construction

posted on 10.11.2021

It’s 2021, and women only make up about 10% of construction industry workers. Although a minority in the industry, women are making strides to break down barriers and become more of an influence in the industry.

In honor of today being International Day of the Girl, we wondered how young girls can be encouraged to explore a possible career in construction. For many, they probably don’t realize a career in construction is possible.

As a construction trade association, we know there is a plethora of opportunities in this industry! There are the trades: plumbers, plasterers, electricians, iron workers, painters, masons, flooring installers…the list is a long one. However, projects also need architectural designers, structural engineers, project managers, safety managers, and fore(wo)men.

Encouraging young girls to play and build is an easy way to expose them early on. Here are a few different, hands-on activities get them started. Plus, they’re fun for adults, too!

1) Building Shapes - Construct shapes with just two household items, such as toothpicks and marshmallows. Kids will learn to manipulate elements to assemble larger structures – a key skill in construction play.

2) Matching - Play a matching card game where kids match the movements of common construction equipment to each other (for example, a cement mixer would match with the movement ‘Spin’). It’s great for growing interest in construction machines like bulldozers and excavators.

3) Create a Neighborhood - Using cardboard, paper, color pencils/crayons/markers, scissors, paint and paintbrushes and other creative tools you can find around the house, have your kiddos create their own neighborhood complete with roadways, houses, stop signs, and more. Creating their own neighborhood helps kids make connections with real-world construction projects. Bonus points if you add in dump trucks, bulldozers, and other construction equipment to build out the scene.

4) Build with LEGO - Put their imagination to the test with LEGO building cards. Write down objects on pieces of paper, mix them up in a hat, pick one and prompt them to “build” it. It can be things like a robot, a car, or a hammer. Those creative-thinking skills will be put in motion!

5) Bridge Building - Using spaghetti as the main building material, kids will recreate bridge designs, learning about important architectural elements like trusses. We’re not stopping at building; we also have to test it to see how it holds up against different weights and forces. Download this guide from Big Rentz for different bridge structures to try.

Activities like these can help young girls and boys grow their imaginations while learning possible jobs they can do when they grow up, including construction, architects, and engineers. After all, they’ll be the ones building the world around us one day.

Construction Technology

So, What is Hyperloop?

posted on 08.23.2021

Welcome to our newest News column: So, What Is It? Things are constantly popping up and change with how fast technology moves in this day and age, so when we come across something new or sparks our interest, we’ll take a dive into learning more and sharing our findings with you. These will not be long, in-depth posts (we totally get it; you’re busy people!). Think of them more as a highlights brief on the topic. We hope this will be the first of many posts like this, and we hope even more you’ll be back to check out what we discover next!

So, what is Hyperloop, or rather Hyperloop Transportation?

Hyperloop is a new form of super speed ground-level transportation in which people could travel in a hovering pod inside a vacuum tube at speeds as high as 760 mph (that's just shy of the speed of sound). These pods could be built either above or below ground. The idea behind this new mode of transportation is to make travel between cities faster, easier, and more eco-friendly, as some hyperloop concepts would use magnetic levitation similar to bullet trains.

It's currently being developed by a number of companies, including Elon Musk's Boring Company and Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop. Virgin Hyperloop One made history as the first company to successfully test hyperloop technology. It includes magnetic levitation, much like the technology used in advanved high-speed rail projects in Japan and Germany.

HyperloopTT, a U.S-based start-up company that's been developing hyperloop travel since 2013, says it plans to apply for federal funding for the development of "the world's most advanced hyperloop project" in the Great Lakes if the law is passed. Other companies throwing their hat into the hyperloop ring are Hardt Hyperloop in the Netherlands and TransPod, a Canadian company.

For a further explaination behind the concept of hyperloop, check out this video. It's on the longer side (12 minutes), but if you're intrigued, it's worth the watch.


We discovered hyperloop technology in this Changing America article. Had you previously heard of hyperloop? What do you think --- is hyperloop the transportation mode of the future?

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