AWCI's Centennial: The 2010s
AWCI conventions and trade shows in recent years have been bustling with attendees and exhibitors.
The Great Recession was ongoing as the 2010s began. Building activity was down, and skilled workers and general laborers were leaving the industry in droves. But instead of stimulating business investment and focusing on job creation, the U.S. government introduced a new national health care system. Eventually, the number of construction projects increased, and AWCI members began to see their backlogs of work grow steadily.
Technology revolutionized the industry during the 2010s. Laser-based optical devices and electronic job-tracking tools improved site workflows. Cloud storage and retrieval, PDF annotation software, 3-D building information modeling and augmented reality led many AWCI members to form Visual Design and Construction departments. AWCI’s Construction Technology Committee worked and AWCI convention seminars helped many contractors stay abreast of the new technologies.
AWCI played a key role in promoting unity among steel suppliers and cold-formed steel framing manufacturers. The association’s efforts, along with a few key industry players, led to the formation of the Steel Framing Industry Association in 2011. AWCI’s board of directors endorsed SFIA’s new Code Compliance Certification Program, which brought standardization in quality to load-bearing and non-load-bearing CFS framing.
The 2010s also saw important immigration issues come to the fore. AWCI participated in the discussion through the 2016 Foundation of the Wall and Ceiling Industry paper, “Immigration: A Solution to Workforce Shortages.” The paper discussed the convoluted, restrictive immigration system and made several practical reform proposals to lawmakers.
Look for complete centennial content to debut in late March.