Serving as SMACNA President this year has been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences I have had, but time flies when you are getting things done! It seems like just yesterday I was drafting my acceptance speech, and here I am today already drafting one of several farewells.
If you ask me how the year went, first I would say “it flew by.” Then I would say it was a wonderful experience to meet so many amazing contractors and their families. I would also tell you, “I feel really good about where things stand, where SMACNA is headed and what SMACNA has been able to accomplish this year.”
This past July, the SMACNA Board unanimously set in motion the development and launch of a significant, and sustained effort to raise industry awareness through a comprehensive and sustained national workforce development effort that includes a full array of marketing, PR, and industry relations efforts. Content development about the opportunities this industry offers is underway, and a web portal is being constructed. Everything should launch early in the new year.
Additionally, the Board determined the role of technology innovation is so important to our contractors, that we are forming a technology task force to monitor and report on trends, advances and new technologies entering the market. In a recent KPMG survey, 70% of construction companies believe that those contractors that do not adopt digital ways of working will go out of business. Digital is only one aspect of technology in the office, the shop and in the field, but it is a critical one that can make or break a contractor’s business.
Our earlier initiative to increase engagement with members and the design community has been very successful — to the point where we are struggling to fill all the requests for educational programming and technical consultations. Because of this, SMACNA will devote more resources to expand our pool of subject matter experts championing solid engineering and design in the HVAC and sheet metal industry.
As this is my last President’s column, I want to wish everyone the best of luck in all the endeavors and to live life to the fullest! Never stop planning for the future, whether it be succession planning, technology, industry trends or manpower. I also want you to know that SMACNA is well-positioned and focused on the issues that matter. The plans are in place to protect and perfect our industry.
I also want to wish Angie Simon great success charting new territory and breaking glass ceilings as the first woman president of SMACNA, as well as being the first woman president for any national trade construction organization. There is no one more qualified to lead SMACNA through our coming transition.
Nathan L. Dills