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Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone!

I am not supposed to broadcast this (so please keep it under your 10-gallon hat), but Texas is building up some steam in the construction industry. In the last 12 months the largest numerical gains in construction employment, according to the Associated General contractors of America and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, were in Texas, followed by California and Arizona. In fact, the analysis goes on to say that construction employment has increased in 126 out of 337 areas for which the bureau provides construction data. It is good news for our industry as a whole.

That good news was evident in San Antonio in late June when AWCI Executive Vice President/CEO Steve Etkin and I visited with the folks from one of our chapters, the South Central Wall, Ceiling & Plaster Association, to celebrate their 60th Annual Convention and Trade Show. Sixty years is quite an accomplishment, and I congratulate them. Just for perspective purposes, when the association was founded in 1952 Harry S. Truman was president (Dwight D. Eisenhower was president-elect), unemployment was 3.3 percent, The Today Show and The Jackie Gleason Show were debuting and Singing in the Rain had just been released. Oh, and more importantly, Sam Snead won the Masters!

At the Texas conference I had the opportunity to sit in on a couple of well-attended educational programs, and I enjoyed the breakfast and lunch with the exhibitors, especially the lunch with all the architects. The awards banquet was very enjoyable, especially Mike Boyd’s (AWCI Past President and Pinnacle Award Recipient) acceptance speech for the SCWCPA Lifetime Achievement Award—what a mush!

It was a great convention and trade show, and many thanks to the board of directors of the SCWCPA, their executive director Eddie McCormick and their outgoing president Michael Vickery from Baker Triangle. They were perfect hosts, and everyone we met and shared stories with exhibited that good ole “Texas charm and hospitality.” Best of luck goes out to Brent Cannedy, the association’s incoming president.

This association, like most that have gone through the “Great Recession,” has struggled. But the group has shown great resiliency in these difficult times and has done a remarkable job of reinventing itself and preserving its heritage.

Changing course is not always easy to do, and I am sure some hard decisions had to be made along the way. But the folks at the SCWCPA have successfully emerged as a stronger association in the process and if the economy keeps improving there, they will continue to be a fine resource to our industry and still provide quality educational programs and training seminars to the membership.

Once again, thanks to all of you at the SCWCPA for letting us share in your success. I look forward to visiting with all of you again in March 2013 when we are back in San Antonio for AWCI’s Convention & Intex Expo.

Warmest regards,


In addition to being the 2012–2013 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Burley is president of B&B Interior Systems, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

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