The More Things Change ...

Laura M. Porinchak / October 2017

The Contracting Plasterers’ International Association, which was formed in 1918, is the founding organization that 100 years later is known as the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry. But during the 100 years sandwiched in between, the trade association went through several name changes.

  • In 1955, lathers were invited into the fold, and a new name was needed: Contracting Plasterers’ and Lathers’ International Association.
  • By 1969, drywall and acoustical tile work was being done by CPLIA members, so the name was changed to the international association of the Wall & Ceiling Contractors.
  • When that group merged with the Gypsum Drywall Contractors International in 1976, iaWCC’s name was changed to a combination of the two merging organizations, thus creating the iaWCC/GDCI.
  • In 1979, the association name was changed to something that was more inclusive of the members’ work—and it was shorter: Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industries—International.
  • It was shortened again in 2005 when it became the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry.

A lot can change in 100 years, right? If you have been following our #AWCI100 series (this month you’ll find the article on page 56), you know that things have indeed changed. But some things have not changed much at all. For example, as I read more of the archived history of AWCI found in our library, I see that contractors from “ye olde tymes” experienced many labor shortages, issues with getting paid, and also had a little trouble adopting and adapting to new technologies, etc. I had to laugh when I came across the notation that the board of directors in 1975 made a resolution—an official resolution!—to support the use of automatic taping tools.
    
The reason I bring up all the name changes is so you won’t be confused when you read this month’s installment of #AWCI100. Whether they were making their marks on the industry when it was CPIA or iaWCC/GDCI, AWCI members have always been bonded in their love of construction and the need to talk to and be around like-minded businesspeople. The networking opportunities are one of the main reasons people join trade associations in the first place—that’s something that hasn’t changed.
    
The labor shortage, a cyclical, continuing problem for the wall and ceiling industry, is the focus of the article that starts on page 34. While it seems like New York City is one of the few bright spots for finding labor, others aren’t faring as well. That’s why AWCI member contractors offer (what I think are) some fantastic ideas for attracting a workforce that works hard and stays with your company for a long time. It’s good information that can benefit your company no matter what labor conditions you are experiencing.
    
Another way of attracting both workers and business is by marketing your brand. Does your company have a brand? Does it stand out from the competition? If not, get to page 48 as soon as possible! It’s where you’ll find an article that advises on how to create a brand and then put it to work.
    
Are you not getting the work you’d like to get? Are you not attracting the right employees? Perhaps you need to look at the quality of the service you offer. Your drywall work may be impeccable, but if your service is off the mark, you may have a problem. Go to page 40 for an article that looks at how you can fix it by offering quality service.
    
Enjoy!