The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything


Volume 61, Number 1
Winter, 2006

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President's Night Begins Beatty Era

Miles' Swearing in Photo

With Bud Beatty -- Miles' father and owner emeritus of Beatty Decorating -- officiating, Miles assumed his new office in the company of a slate of fellow officers being sworn in which included (left to right) Directors Leo Hart and Bob Tracy, Treasurer Jeff Hester, Secretary Tom Tyrakowski, and Vice President Norb Soltysiak.

Miles Beatty was sworn in as the new President of Chicago PDCA/FCA at President's Night held this year on January 20th at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont.

Upon taking his Oath of Office, Miles commented, "I'm stepping into some large shoes's a hard act to follow Marty and all the other great Chicago PDCA/FCA Presidents that have preceded us. I certainly could not do it by myself, but we will go forward to new successes because we don't just have stars in this Association...we have a team, and we have a gameplan!

All retiring Presidents of Chicago PDCA/FCA receive a parting gift from the Association, in gratitude for their service. Each President serves on the Board for at least three years before entering the chairs for two-year terms as Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President before becoming President...a process that takes over ten years in total. Marty's gift was a laptop coloring set (he said he always wanted a laptop...) which has since been replaced by a real computer. Of course, every retiring Chicago PDCA/FCA President also gets the obligatory plaque and gavel.

Miles and Marty Photos

CHICAGO PDCA/FCA Membership Meeting

Chicago PDCA/FCA will host a General Membership Meeting for Contractor Members on April 12, 2006, at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont.

The event will commence with Cocktails at 5:30 PM, followed by Dinner at 6:30 PM, and a Business Meeting at 7:30 PM.

New draft PDCA/FCA By-Laws will be reviewed and discussed, a summary of which has already been mailed out to all Contractor Members for their review. The full text of the new By-Laws is posted for downloading from our web site:

Contractors wishing to attend the meeting should make their reservations by calling the office at 630/393-1313.

JATC - Beginning a New Series/Part 1 -- Mission & Historical Origins

The Chicago Area JATC (Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee) is dedicated to developing Apprentice trainees into highly-skilled professional painting and drywall finishing Journeymen for Painters' District Council No. 14 and the Union employer members of Chicago PDCA/FCA (the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association and Finishing Contractors Association) and GDCNI (the Gypsum Drywall Contractors of Northern Illinois).

The objective of the JATC and DFTC programs is to provide the Union Contractor employer with a qualified, productive, and safe workforce.


The JATC program originated in 1919, in conjunction with the Chicago Public School system and functioned for many years at the Washburne Trade School. In its day, Washburne became a model for other Apprenticeship programs across the land, and unique for providing side-by-side training for students engaged in several building trades. During the 1920's, the program grew to include 11 trades, all taught by competent tradesmen teachers. While the Great Depression intervened to set back the program, it resumed momentum after enactment of the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937...which gave birth to a modern Apprenticeship system by establishing a set of Standards of Skills and brought the U.S. Department of Labor into a supervisory role to guarantee upholding those essential Standards.

Enrollment surged in the 1940's, with returning World War II veterans entering the program and market demands creating new housing. These converging forces produced an enhanced program at Washburne Trade School encompassing all major building trades plus many other Apprenticeship occupational programs..

The JATC program continued evolving over the years, and in 1962, the first Trust Agreement defined a new collaboration between Painters' District Council No. 14 and the Contractor's Association now known as Chicago PDCA/FCA.

The DFTC Drywall Finishing program was founded in 1975 to complement the Painting and Decorating Program and to help professionalize the taping trade. Its founding principle was to enhance the Drywall Apprentice educational experience with a combination of practical, hands-on experience with a body of theoretical knowledge.

In June of 1995, both the JATC program and the newer DFTC programs moved into a new state-of-the-art training facility in Berkeley, Illinois, where they remain today. Today's Chicago Area JATC school has matured into perhaps the finest training program in the country for its clientele of aspiring painting, decorating, and drywall finishing Apprentices...and veteran painters and tapers wishing to enhance their skills.

     • Curriculum

     • Journeyman Upgrading
     • Faculty
     • STAR Program

JATC Apprentice at work



Jay Weaver Photo

By Jay Weaver, Executive Director Of Industry Services,Finishing Contractors Association

Blue Bullet At the Multiemployer Pension Fund Reform Legislation (S.1783/H.R.2830) "Fly-In" on 3/1/06, about 100 signatory contractors from six major associations (FCA, ICE, MCAA, NEA, NECA, and SMACNA) arrived on Capitol Hill to visit Members of Congress on four committees: the Senate's Budget/HELP, and House's Education and the Workforce/Ways and Means. The fly-in was intended to lobby Congress to ensure that the final pension fund reform legislation -- to be negotiated during the upcoming conference --contains provisions and language the Coalition feels are essential to launch long-lasting, effective pension reform. For more detailed information, contact me directly at 202/448-9001.

Blue Bullet Fearing that taxpayers would assume the costs (i.e., fund not large enough) and worrying that victims will lose their right to sue, the Senate defeated the $140 Billion Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation on 2/14/06. The Senate voted 59-40 to defeat S.852, and, after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) switched his "Yes" vote (58-41), giving him the right to raise the bill for another vote. He will not consider doing so without the committed support of 60 senators, the number needed to survive budget-related objections or a potential filibuster.

Blue Bullet The Department Of Labor 2007 Budget Proposal emphasizes Safety, Pensions, and Training Accounts. The Bush Administration's $54.1B budget proposal for the DOL focuses on workplace safety to increase inspections and prevent accidents by beefing up the Employee Benefits Security Administration (an increase of $10M), and creating personal re-employment job training accounts ($3,000) for workers as part of a Career Advancement Accounts proposal. The latter target out-of-school youth, low-income adults, and dislocated workers.

Blue Bullet The "Helmets-To-Hardhats" program is enjoying considerable success, with the number of program registrants now exceeding 100,000! The number of active duty military personnel --
transitioning back into civilian life and placed in union construction jobs -- more than doubled in 2005 to 28,845. Posted job opportunities rose from 33,074 in 2004 to 61,975 in 2005. You can become part of the Helmets-to-Hardhats success story and its growing numbers of participants by registering online or calling toll free at 1-866-741-6210.

Blue Bullet The AFL-CIO wants a Bankruptcy Trust opt-out provision added to asbestos legislation (S.852). The proposed $140B national trust fund would cut off all current legal avenues for asbestos victims upon enactment, including those filed as no-fault claims under private, court-approved trusts. AFL-CIO seeks language that would allow these trusts to "opt-out" of the national trust fund until it is fully operational.

Blue Bullet Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced that the Judiciary Committee considering bills changing our immigration system. The White House and select key senators (e.g., Specter and Frist) favor a guestworker program. Alternative bills proposed by Senators McCain (R-AZ) /Kennedy (D-MA) and Cornyn (R-TX)/Kyl (R-AZ) are now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Blue Bullet The Administration's 2007 Budget Proposal contains allocations for a Guestworker Program. President Bush's proposal includes $247M within the Department of Homeland Security budget to support a new guest-worker program open to undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Approximately $111M would improve a pilot employment eligibility verification system for employer electronic verification of work authorization documents of new hires, with $42M for worksite enforcement.

Blue Bullet The Laborers and Operating Engineers -- with 1.1 million members -- have left the AFL-CIO Building Construction Trades Department to become part of the newly- formed National Construction Alliance, which will also include the Carpenters and Joiners of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, and the Bridge Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers.


March 16, 2006


Appearing At The "Heart of America" Regional PDCA Convention
at the Embassy Suites Hotel

Trade Show Shots


March 18,2006 • Navy Pier, Chicago

Chicago PDCA/FCA joined a crew of over two hundred guests to set sail aboard the luxury cruise ship "Odyssey" on the evening of March 18th...enjoying a gourmet meal along the way, dancing to a good band, and viewing the incredible vistas of the Chicago skyline on a clear, crisp winter night. This year's Ladies Night was set in the Heart of America Convention, which drew attendees from across Illinois and six surrounding states. Out of town visitors commented that it was perhaps the finest experience they ever enjoyed at a Heart of America closing dinner.

Ladies Night Couple Shots
Golf Hole



Fair weather is on the way...and with it, thoughts turn outdoors. Soon we will prepare for the Chicago PDCA/FCA Annual Golf Outing, which moves this year to the beautiful Bloomingdale Golf Club. The Golf Committee has a few surprises in mind to provide a good time for all. Here's a checklist to get you thinking golf:





Painting Contractors from six neighboring states joined their Illinois colleagues in Chicago for three days of tradeshow, touring, seminars, and meetings on March 16-18, 2006, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, marking the first time this Convention has visited the Windy City.

Leading off the Convention on Thursday evening was Chicago PDCA/FCA's annual Associates Night Tradeshow, which drew over 300 attendees this year and offered 33 booths to visit (photos elsewhere in this issue).

Friday's options included tours of the Merchandise Mart and the JATC Apprentice School in Berkeley. JATC visitors enjoyed a bonus adventure...the ride out from Chicago aboard the Metra West Line, a genuine Chicago commuter experience. A St. Patrick's Day celebration capped the busy day.

Saturday's headliners included motivation speaker Norm Van Lier, National PDCA CEO Dr. Ian Horen, and seminar leaders Charles Vander Kooi and Barry Law. Chicago PDCA/FCA Associate Members Faux Design Studio and Atova International conducted informative Faux Finishes Seminars during the afternoon.

A gala closing dinner-dance was held at the end of the day with conventioneers and local guests shuttling to nearby Navy Pier to board the lakefront cruise ship "Odyssey" for dinner at sea, lively entertainment, and great views of the City at night (photos presented elsewhere in this issue).

Major Convention sponsors included M.A.B Paints, Benjamin Moore & Company, Graco, ICI Paints, and Sherwin-Williams. The Heart of America was hosted by Illinois Council PDCA, with the Convention Committee based at the Peoria Chapter PDCA. Chicago PDCA helped by participating in Committee planning efforts and local liaison, and ran the tradeshow aspect. The NiPDi/FCAI organization also assisted with planning efforts, and managed the Ladies Night dinner/dance event, sustaining it with a generous donation.

The Committee included Ken & Pam Ober, Mark & Nancy Fehr, Wen & Debbie Fritsch, Rusty & Dianna Hand, Dave & Kathy Mulvin, Neil & Lea Summer, Jim & Dorothy Smith, Rick & Wanda Vandegraft, Dan Marvin, Dennis Higdon, Bob Ireland, Betty Vargas, Skip Hankes, Rich Volkmer, and Marty Tew.

Charles Vander Koi Photos
Dr. Ian Horen Photo
National PDCA CEO Dr. Ian Horen noted that the Association is planning new ways to serve its members needs in the 21st Century.

Norm Van Lier Photo
Basketball great Norm "Stormin' Norman" Van Lier talked about sports, life, and his views on bringing up the next generation

Barry Law Photo
Coatings expert and consultant Barry Law lectured his classes on paint research conducted by his Master Painters Institute in Vancouver, B.C. on paint failures.
Convention Committee Photos
You could spot Convention Committee workers by their bright blue shirts, and the St. Patrick's Day folks by their green hats. Wen Fritsch (center) helped coordinate the Convention held in Springfield four years ago.