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A History of PDCA

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The Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) traces its long history to 1884, when it was established by a group of contractors. The first name of PDCA was the "Master House Painters Association of the United States and Canada," and its first home was New York City. Its mission was fourfold: to solve industry abuses, to fix a defective apprentice system, to address problems with unsatisfactory materials, and to promote the "skill, honorable reputation, and probity" of the Master Painters.

In 1890, the Association's name was changed to "The Master House Painters and Decorators Association of the United States of America." In 1903, "and Canada" was restored to the name, and, in 1904, the title was amplified to read "International Association of Master House Painters and Decorators." At Richmond, in 1903, it was voted to conduct the 20th convention in Toronto, Canada, at which time a Canadian Association was organized. For the next 30 years, the Canadian representatives were very active in the affairs of the International Association, with two of them being elected to the Presidency. The Canadian affiliation was ended with great regret on both sides of the border in 1933. This was due to legal complexities of the Association sponsoring the National Code Authority in the early days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's .New Deal. National Recovery Administration.

On June 4, 1928, under the laws of the State of Illinois, PDCA was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. That year, the name was again changed, this time to the "Master Painters and Decorators, Inc." On March 8, 1937, at the annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, the current name, Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, was adopted. This change was in response to a group of members who felt that the term "Master Painter" implied an organization of craftsmen rather than an association of businessmen, and did not accurately describe the type and scope of the work they performed. At that time, the Bylaws were changed to designate state associations as Councils of the National, while city groups would be Chapters of the Councils. Chicago Council retained its status as both Chapter and Council.

Throughout its long history, PDCA has retained sight of several basic objectives:

  1. To advance the industry for both contractors and associates.
  2. To be a conduit for communication among contractors, associates, and the trades.
  3. To provide beneficial services to members that cannot be obtained in small groups or individually.
  4. To be the official voice of the coating application industry.
  5. To promulgate an attitude of ethical responsibility in business.

National PDCA offices were first moved from their original home in New York City to a new location in Philadelphia. In 1954, headquarters were relocated to Chicago. In 1975, PDCA was moved to Falls Church, Virginia, and, in 1989, to Fairfax, Virginia. Finally, in 2003, the organization moved to its present home in St. Louis.

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