2018: Looking Good

Laura M. Porinchak / January 2018

2018 is going to be a memorable year for AWCI, thanks to the 100th anniversary celebrations that will be ongoing throughout the year but culminating in March at AWCI’s Convention in Florida. Many of you will notice changes on AWCI’s website this month, and hopefully most of you are aware that we started celebrating last summer with various articles in this magazine.
    
Those of us here at AWCI headquarters who have been doing the planning are eager to see it all come to fruition at our convention, but what I have enjoyed most is learning more about our industry and the place I work, thanks to the articles we have been publishing as well as the work I’ve been doing on the commemorative book that will be distributed at the convention.
    
In this issue of AWCI’s Construction Dimensions, the #AWCI100 article on page 46 highlights many of the industry’s and AWCI’s major accomplishments in just the last 25 years. Prefab, panelization, water-managed EIFS, synthetic gypsum and more punctuate a quarter-century of research and development, and AWCI’s education programs followed suit.
    
Mark L. Johnson, the writer responsible for researching and writing our commemorative book, keeps the history alive in his InSync column (page 21). Mark has been reading old magazines, past meeting minutes and other AWCI publications to find the nuggets of information that keep our history alive and give us hope for the future. In this issue, his column reviews some advice provided by AWCI’s past leaders. It’s interesting material; give it a read!
    
Construction delays, which have been around ever since the building industry began, are the subject of the article that starts on page 36. Everyone knows about delays, but what about delays that are caused by something you don’t really think about and/or work into your plans? If the five not-so-obvious reasons for delays discussed in this article suddenly become obvious to you, act now to fix them to avoid serious consequences in the future.
    
Finally, our lead feature article, which begins on page 28, is a must-read if you want to know what wall and ceiling contractors around the country are saying about their plans for 2018. In this article we asked AWCI member contractors about backlogs, margins, workloads, and what works versus what doesn’t. Let’s just say that according to most of the members we interviewed, the immediate future looks bright—except for that pesky manpower shortage.
    
So let’s keep our fingers crossed that the immigration issue will soon be resolved in a way that helps support the construction industry, that margins continue to get better and that backlogs continue to grow. We all know that what goes up must come down, but let’s hope that the next downturn is still several years away—and that we see it coming and are fully prepared. Good luck in 2018!