What Will 2016 Bring?

Laura M. Porinchak / December 2015

With a little help from our contractor friends, we have jammed this issue of AWCI’s Construction Dimensions with lots of economic and business information to prepare you for what’s ahead in 2016. The general consensus seems to be that the wall and ceiling industry has turned the corner and economic recovery is spreading across the land, but the big question is how we’re going to complete any business without anyone to do the work.
    
For the article that begins on page 34, we spoke with contractor members of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry about what we can expect in 2016. Sure, the economy was a point of robust conversation, but they also discuss everything from how the competition has changed now that the recession has ended, to how architects may have changed the way they work. Current and future trends along with a look deep into the crystal ball to see when (if?) it will all end (or get even better?) are also part of the discussion.
    
We delve a little deeper into the various regions of the United States in the article you’ll find on page 54. Those who provided the information for this article are also AWCI member contractors, but this group is only the AWCI board of directors. Like many others, they also are seeing fuller backlogs and manpower shortages, but they’re also dealing with self-performing general contractors who took to drywall during the recession and have apparently decided to keep moving in that direction. Building trends and prominent regional jobs are also topics of discussion.
    
Then take a look at the article on page 48; it’s a wrapup of an economic forecast hosted by the National Association of Home Builders. The forecast featured notable industry economists and experts who paint a pretty good picture for the industry in 2016, but they do note that it won’t be stress-free or without challenges. You’ll have to read the article to find out what those challenges are.
    
As for the manpower shortage, I am hearing more frequently that women may be what’s needed to fill the gap. Many of you mentioned labor as the number-one problem facing our industry in 2016 (see this month’s “Problem Solved” on page 84), so let’s open our minds and accept the fact that sometimes a woman just might be the perfect “man” for the job.

I must now break from the “What’s Inside” info to make a deeply sincere public apology to my friend, Tim Wies. I’ve known Tim for many years, and I know where he works without having to look it up. Yet for some reason, in last month’s issue I got it wrong—so wrong that I repeated the error three times. I picked up the wrong piece of information and then went to “Cut & Paste Hell.” There’s no excuse.
    
Names and affiliations are very important, and it is especially important to get them right in print. That’s Journalism 101. Without excuse or reason, I broke that rule last month, so I correct it here and now:

Award-winning Timothy J. Wies is president of award-winning TJ Wies Contracting, Inc. in Lake St. Louis, Mo.
    
You can visit their website, www.tjwies.com, to see the fantastic work they do.

As with any job, there will always be challenges, but after reading this magazine I hope you agree that there won’t be as many challenges in 2016 as there were in 2015. I look forward to sharing the upcoming good times with you.