Less COVID-19 Talk

Laura M. Porinchak / July 2020

We have seen a lot of changes in the world in the last several months, and some of those changes are for the better. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have become regularly used phrases in our nomenclature, thanks to a worldwide pandemic. While the subject of COVID-19 is still very newsworthy, I don’t think you need or want to see another news report or magazine article soley on the subject. In this issue of AWCI’s Construction Dimensions, you’ll see that the word “COVID” appears in many articles, both features and columns, but that’s not what it’s all about.
    
For example, our first feature (page 26) is about prefabrication and panelization and its impact on the industry. Yes, COVID is mentioned, but not in the way you’d think. Is the virus a good reason to turn to prefab? No. Do new social-distancing requirements mean panelization is the way to go? Not at all.
    
The fact is, panelization and prefab techniques were being used on job sites well before the pandemic put the brakes on the economy. Now, as more contractors (and building owners) see the benefits of this growing trend, they are branching out—and making more money because of it. Improved quality and productivity, lower costs and less waste are just some of the reasons that prefabrication is growing in popularity and projected to continue growing for at least the next three years.
    
Our interviews show that not all wall and ceiling contractors are interested in building off-site at this moment, but they are aware of the options and are keeping an eye on the situation. “Follow the money” is the theme of this article and the prefab trend, so you are going to want to make sure you give this one a read.
    
Our next feature, which begins on page 34, is your opportunity to get to know AWCI’s 2020–2021 president, Chip McAlpin. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to host AWCI’s Convention in Las Vegas this spring, so the traditional passing of the gavel from the previous president to the current one did not take place as it would have in the spring. That is also when many of you would have had the chance to meet and get to know Chip, but since it didn’t happen, now is your chance to learn about AWCI’s new leader.
    
I have known Chip for many years. In that time I have watched him grow within his company and with AWCI, and I am not surprised that he was tapped early on as an emerging leader. Read the article to learn how he “climbed the corporate ladder” and what he has planned for his presidency.
    
Because we can all use a laugh these days, our next article (page 38) has our resident-comedian–writer, Mr. Saucerman, telling us why it’s not such a bad thing when your bid comes in second. As amusing and entertaining as his articles are, I have to admit that this one gets a little tense. Hang on for the ride!
    
Finally, on page 44 is the start of an article that talks about discovering what kind of leader you are when something like a pandemic turns everything upside down. When times get tough, do you lead with your head or your heart—or both? Read this article to learn some essential truths about your leadership style, and what you might want to change.
    
Stay safe, and enjoy!