It’s Almost Over

Laura M. Porinchak / November 2016

If you’re thinking like I am, you’ll be so very glad when this presidential election is over. Then our social media friends and family members can go back to posting pictures of what’s on their dinner plate instead of testing friendships and blood ties by proclaiming why one candidate is so much better or worse than the other.
Those who attended AWCI’s board of directors meeting in September were presented with an “election update” given by the American Subcontractors Association’s Chief Advocacy Officer E. Colette Nelson. Nelson reminded the group that it is not the president who actually makes the laws, it’s Congress. And it’s Government 101. If a bill passes in the House, it then moves on to the Senate for approval. Once both have approved the bill, it becomes a law when the president signs it. Nelson stressed this as the reason why if you really want to have your voice heard, vote for your local politicians. From the standpoint of the presidential election, things won’t change much for contractors. It’s the people you put into the House, Senate and your local government who start the change. (See page 14 for a summary of Nelson’s comments.)
I’m not saying that being the president of the United States is an easy job. We all know it’s not. But it takes a special kind of person to be president and do the job well and keep peace throughout the land. It also takes a special kind of person to be president of a company of any size. That’s a lot of responsibility that many can’t handle.
What is it that makes a leader great? Are they born that way, or can it be learned? When it comes to our industry, strong leaders are needed, especially if we want to move forward and make good, lasting impressions on those who may be considering a career in construction. So we asked some industry leaders (AWCI member contractors) these questions and more about leadership and the future of the wall and ceiling industry. You’ll find their comments in the article that begins on page 32.
The next feature article, which starts on page 40, is the second part of Steve Saucerman’s seriously funny take on the competitive bid process. In the end, Saucerman provides what appear to me, a layperson, to interesting alternatives to competitive bids. You should give them a look!
Our third feature was provided by the Steel Framing Industry Association, and it starts on page 48. SFIA Executive Director Larry Williams organized a roundtable of leaders and asked them to discuss various hot-button issues affecting our industry right now: regulations, attracting new workers, the elections, the next recession (you know it’s coming at some point) and more. It’s an article you can’t afford to overlook.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you review this month’s “Problem Solved” column on page 56. We asked what new tricks you’re using to balance your (nearly?) full backlog with a shortage of labor, and we got some really good answers. It reminds me of how, a few years ago when most of us finally accepted the fact that we really were enduring a full-blown recession, we were calling it “the new normal.” Things had been so good for so long that we couldn’t imagine having it any other way—until “the new normal” became a way of life (and the hackneyed catchphrase of the late 2000s). Based on what you’re dealing with in today’s business world, do you think we are experiencing yet another new normal? What will 2017 bring? Only time will tell. Good luck to us all!