Things Have Changed

Laura M. Porinchak / February 2021

Construction has been deemed an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while many companies in our industry have continued with business as usual, many challenges—both old and new—have remained.
    
In our feature article, which begins on page 26, we asked AWCI member contractors how the work gets done when many wall and ceiling contracting companies are still suffering from a lack of workers. A bright side in our current pandemic world means many workers from other fields are now looking for jobs, and suddenly construction is a new career option. But many of these people lack the skills the construction industry is seeking. So, are contractors willing to train these people in an effort to put bodies on job sites? And, considering the circumstances, what is the best way to train them in the field?
    
Training is just one element of bringing able-bodied folks to your company. It starts with interviews, many of which are being conducted online. However, some contractors say a Zoom interview isn’t enough. Reading body language is a good indicator for whether or not a new person is a good fit, and some AWCI members report a desire for face-to-face meetings before making a final decision. In this article we find that interviewing, hiring and training have definitely changed in the last year. How many of the new procedures will continue once the pandemic is over? Will we continue to see a surge in interest in a construction career? Read the article to learn how AWCI members are answering these and other questions.
    
Next I want to draw your attention to “AWCI on the Job” on page 8. There you will find a tribute to Terrie Miller, an inspirational and very active AWCI member spouse who passed away at the end of 2020. I will be among the first to say that women have made great strides in construction in recent years, but it took a loooong time to get there. Terrie was before her time, and she didn’t let anything stop her. It is rare to find a woman like Terrie in construction industry. She was highly respected, and her contributions to her family owned businesses, to AWCI and to the industry itself are remarkable. She showed me that you can do it all; she truly was an inspiration to me. She will not be forgotten.
    
Now have a gander at our annual AWCI Contractor Directory, which begins on page 31. I’ve always said our members are the best of the best, the cream of the crop, and I’m not finding any reason to change my mind. If you’re not among their ranks, you should be. Visit our website, www.awci.org, to see what we’ve done and what we do right now.
    
Finally, visit “Last Page” on page 48 to see more great work done by one of our members. Projects like the one highlighted here are just one of the many reasons AWCI member contractors are the best.
    
Enjoy!