The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything


Volume 62, Number 1
Winter, 2007

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Noyola Family Photo
Geno, Melinda, and the entire Noyola family celebrated completion of an "Extreme Makeover" of their home on Chicago's Southwest Side as the ABC-TV series aired its January 14th edition. Known for its contributions to their community, the family was whisked away to Walt Disney World for a vacation during the week when crews of every Union trade were totally rebuilding their home in Lawndale.


Geno Noyola turned his life around, leaving behind the drugs and gangs of his youth for the responsibilities of heading an eight-member family, working hard as a Union carpenter, and serving his community as a volunteer. He and his wife, Melinda, find the time to work with children whose parents are imprisoned, coach baseball, and send gift-filled shoeboxes to Third World children. They just want to keep kids off the streets.

Meanwhile, the couple and their children had been surviving for the past eight and a half years

in a two-bedroom attic apartment at Grandma Blasa's house. The home they had purchased was uninhabitable…the plumbing leaked, the timbers were rotting, and it was infested.

What more deserving family could benefit from an “Extreme Makeover” of their home…especially with Melinda expecting their seventh child this coming June?

Enter ABC-TV, Norcon, and hundreds of volunteer construction workers.

Extreme Makeover

A crack team of Union construction volunteers worked day and night for four and a half days to create a miracle for the Noyola family in Chicago, entirely rebuilding their 1700-square-foot two-flat into a brand new four-bedroom 3400-square-foot single family home.

Norcon, Inc. was the general contractor and, going in, Jeff Jozwiak, co-owner of the company with partner Charles Norwesh, determined that “All of the labor is going to be done by Union workmen and Union subcontractors donating their time and services.”

By any measure, their declaration rallied the trade Unions and Union Contractros as never before. Painters' District Council No. 14 and our Painting and Drywall Finishing Apprentice School pitched in, and 45 painters from Ascher Brothers Company found themselves working shoulder to shoulder on a short fuse with other Union crafts including laborers, carpenters, plumbers, roofers, electricians, tilesetters, cement masons, insulators, iron workers, flooring installers, and landscapers.

Thirteen area restaurants provided a steady flow of food to fuel the hard-working crew. A tent city sprang up to shelter the rotating crews from the cold November weather. Even at the necessarily hectic pace of work, the project was a totally safe job site, reporting no worker injuries.

The home was totally gutted and rebuilt from the ground up, with a sizable addition for the growing Noyola family. Time being of the essence, with only a five-day window to complete all the work, fast-setting and fast-drying materials were used throughout. From the foundation to the shingles, everything is new and fresh.

When it came to the painting and decorating, Associate Member Sherwin Williams donated 180 gallons of paint in 32 unique colors. For reason of health concerns, painting work was necessarily preceded by lead abatement.

Extreme Makeover Volunteer Contractors at Work
Extreme Makeover
Bill Findling
Bill's trademark pointing gesture was in action at the 1992 Chicago PDCA Golf Outing held at St. Andrews Golf Club in West Chicago…

Bill Findling

Former Chicago PDCA Executive Director Bill Findling passed away on January 14th following a prolonged illness after breaking his hip last July. Bill was born in Detroit in 1924 and moved to Chicago in 1959. He worked in association management for many years, counting the Lake County Plumbers Association and the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce among his other clients. He also ran the In-A-Wink printing service before retiring. Bill's many friends in the painting and decorating industry will recall his ready laugh and considerable poker skills. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, and children Jim, Michael, Barbara, and Diane. Condolence cards & letters may be sent to Shirley Findling and family at 622 Hillcrest Lane, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.

Paint Spots Miscellany Paintbrush Image

Here's some encouraging news for professional painters from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2005, while fatal injuries were higher for construction laborers, carpenters and construction equipment operators, they were much lower for painters…down 46 percent! Don't let these figures lull you into a false sense of security…improper use of respirators & cell phone distractions while driving remain two common safety traps that professional painters fall into. However, the biggest risk constantly looming over all painters is falls…from ladders, scaffolds, roofs, and more. There are two other humbling numbers that the painting industry probably contributed to: (1) Fatal work injuries among workers under the age of 20 were up about 18 percent from 2004. (2) Fatal work injuries among Hispanic workers increased 2 percent in 2005 to a new high.

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The 17th Annual Construction Safety Conference & Exposition will be held February 13-15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center located in Rosemont, Illinois. The three-day conference offers dozens of seminars and forums focusing on safety-related topics. Call 800-552-7744 to register, or go to

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Hines, a privately owned real estate firm involved in developing, acquiring, leasing and managing real estate, has a website managing a list of Responsible Contractors eligible for bidding in the National Office Partners’ competitive bidding process for services covered by the Responsible Contractor Program (RCP). To get on the list of Responsible Contractors, go to or and click on the “Responsible Contractor Program” menu option. Just follow instructions for “adding a contractor to the list of interested Responsible Contractors.” Of course, inclusion on their list does not guarantee a contractor will receive a Request For Proposal (RFP), when Hines competitively bids a contract. However, the policy does allow Hines to select a number of contractors to include in the competitive bid process.

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The website is also a bulletin board on which Hines posts notices of all contracts that require competitive bidding under the RCP. Contractors are encouraged to check the postings, which are updated regularly. If a Responsible Contractor responds to a posting in a timely manner, they will then be included in the Request for Proposal process.

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Applications for the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) 2007 Scholarship Program are now available. CISCO established the scholarship program in 1994 in order to provide educational support to CISCO members and their families. Scholarship applications and more information are

available on CISCO's website at or by calling (630)472-9411. The submission deadline for all applications is February 18th, 2007.

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In an emergency, every second counts. That's why you should put ICE on your cell phone. ICE is an acronym for In Case of Emergency. By using that acronym, along with the phone number for your emergency contact, you provide an important tool to assist emergency personnel if you are incapacitated. Your emergency ICE contact should be include:

• Your Full name
• Your Address
• Your Birth date
• Your Primary physician
• Your Blood type and allergies
• Your Relevant medical history

If you don't carry a cell phone with you on a regular basis, then carry a wallet card listing your important information. The Department of Homeland Security has a form to download at

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It turns out that walking is one of the best exercises you can do. It can condition your heart and lungs, burn calories, build muscle, lessen stress, and, best of all, it is an activity that is easy to stick with!

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315 entries published in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.

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Even more fascinating, in that same tome, there were no words that rhyme with orange, purple, or silver.

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On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily. It has not been reported whether or not any of the parents got a better deal from any of these mistakes.

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In the Seldom-needed Information Department, did you know that Susan Lucci is the daughter of Phyllis Diller … or that Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister?

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Finally, and best of all (tell your friends this one) that red spot on the 7-Up logo came from its inventor, an albino who had red eyes. Top that!



Jay Weaver Photo

By Jay Weaver, Vice President, Eastern Region and Canada, Finishing Contractors Association

Blue Bullet Beginning January 1, 2011, Section 511 of the Tax Reconciliation Act (P.L. 109-222) requires that federal, state, and local governments with expenditures of $100M or more withhold 3 percent from payments for goods and services as a guard against possible business tax evasion.

Blue Bullet Just before the end of the Congressional session in December 2006, certain Members of Congress attempted to advance Section 511's implementation date from 2011 to 2007 to help “pay for” a rural schools initiative. That proposed amendment would have meant that all contracts entered into with the federal government in 2007 would have had 3 percent of the entire cost of the contract withheld. However, aggressive industry lobbying by the FCA and other Coalition members beat back this last-minute attempt-for now!

Blue Bullet We cannot act on your behalf without your ongoing support, particularly your active response to our calls for Congressional Action. You, the contractors, need to be heard on Capitol Hill: not only from your association staff, but also by picking up your phone and calling your Members of Congress or by writing and/or e-mailing them a letter that explains the impact of pending legislation on your businesses. We also need to hear from you about how pending legislation favorably or unfavorably affects your businesses. E-mail Jay Weaver ( with your comments and/or questions.

Blue Bullet A test of your future commitment will be demonstrated during our upcoming Campaign for Quality Construction Legislative Issues Conference in Washington, D.C. from May 1-3, 2007. You can be certain that Section 511 will be a major part of that agenda when we visit your Members of Congress.

Blue Bullet The Secure Fence Act, which authorizes the 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, became public law (P.L. 109-367) on 10/26/06. It may provide an important step toward a more comprehensive immigration reform program (i.e., tougher worksite enforcement, a path to legalization for undocumented workers, a more reliable employee verification system, and a new guestworker program). President Bush has energized his push for this latter program with most Democrats and about half the Senate Republicans are leaning his way.

Blue Bullet The Congressional Research Service has published four Davis-Bacon studies: “The
Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy,” “Davis-Bacon: Employment of Helpers on Federal Contract Construction,” “Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature,” and “The Davis-Bacon Act: Issues and Legislation during the 109th Congress.” Copies are available from BNA PLUS by calling 800-372-1033 or emailing

Blue Bullet The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that total compensation costs, as identified in the employment cost index paid by construction employers, rose 3.3% in the 12-month period ending September 2006. The total compensation costs (wages/benefits) for unionized workers in the goods producing sector, including construction, went up 2.2% that same period.

Blue Bullet The Bureau of National Affairs data through 10/23/06 showed an average first-year wage increase for union workers of 4.1% in new contracts (the highest of any industry sector), compared with 3.4 % for the same time period last year.

Blue Bullet The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment in the construction industry fell to 4.5% in October (456,000 unemployed) from 5.6% in September. For an annual comparison, the construction jobless rate in October 2005 was 5.3% (519,000 unemployed).

Blue Bullet The Citizenship and Immigration Minister announced that enhancements to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (i.e., shorter, simpler, and less costly requirements for advertising to recruit needed workers) will make it easier for employers to hire foreign workers, including skilled construction trades workers. The initiatives will shorten the recruitment process by 2-4 weeks. On 11/15/06 the B.C. government announced an Immigrant Skilled Trades Employment Program to help employers fill gaps in their workforces.

Blue Bullet The Laborers' International Union of North America says it appears the Canadian Government is rejecting a recommendation made by a parliamentary committee to stop deporting undocumented workers from Canada.

Blue Bullet On 11/7/06 the Building and Construction Trades Department offered to meet with the National Construction Alliance to develop a consensus on resolving jurisdictional disputes, using a “best-practices” approach to resolving jurisdictional disputes that will not impede the ability to put large construction projects under universal agreements.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rosewood Restaurant 9421 West Higgins Road  •  Rosemont, Illinois  •  847/696-9494
bullet  2:00 PM -- Setup Time For Associates
bullet  4:00 PM -- Doors Open For Contractor Guests
bullet  4:00 PM to 8:30 PM -- Exhibits Open For Visitors
bullet  4:00 PM to 7:30 PM -- Continuous Dinner Served
bullet  7:30 PM -- Drawings For Booth Prizes & Door Prize
bullet  5:00 PM & 6:00 PM -- Early Bird Drawings

Call The Chicago PDCA/FCA Office Today At 630/393-1313 To R.S.V.P.

Mike Krawiec and Terry Fitzmaurice

St. Anthony’s
Celebrates Trades

Representatives of the painting, carpentry, and electrical trade Unions, which donated over $150,000.00 in goods and services toward renovating St. Anthony’s pediatric wing this past year -- were honored and recognized at the official facility’s ribbon-cutting held at the South Side hospital on January 18th.

St. Anthony Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Attending the event were (left to right): Frank Peters (NECA/Chicago); Susan Mennenga (St. Anthony’s staff); Ken Bauwens and his mother, Rachel Bauwens; Oscar Linares, MD (St. Anthony’s staff); Kathleen K. DeVine, CEO (St. Anthony’s staff); Debora Morris (St. Anthony’s staff); Gary Niederkorn (I.B.E.W. Local 134); Mike Krawiec (JATC Apprentice Training Instructor); Kathy Carrol (Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes); Terry Fitzmaurice (PDC14 Secretary-Treasurer); Barbara Talisman (Starlight Starbright Foundation); and Romeen Lavani, MD (St. Anthony’s staff).



Contrary to what some believe, primer is not thinned-down paint, and paint can never take the place of good primer. They have different missions, and, necessarily, different compositions.

What primers and paints do have a lot in common is being comprised of the same four principal ingredients:

  • PIGMENTS -- Finely-ground particles that give opacity, color, and body to the coating.
  • BINDER -- A natural resin (such as shellac) or a synthetic resin (such as alkyd or latex) that binds the pigments and other solid ingredients together and gives them the ability to adhere to a surface.
  • SOLVENT -- The liquid part of a coating, oftentimes called the "vehicle," that delivers it to a surface. Shellac uses alcohol solvent, alkyds use mineral spirits, and latex resins use
water. In latex paints, water is really termed a dilutant (rather than a solvent) because the latex resins are suspended rather than dissolved.
  • ADDITIVES -- Performance enhancing components like thickeners, surfactants, defoamers, and biocides.

What sets primer apart from paint are the proportions of the four ingredients. In primer, you find much less pigment and far more resin, because resins lend sealing power, block stains, develop surface adhesion, and lend an ideal surface for paint. These are primer's jobs.

Paint, on the other hand, contains proportionately much more pigment than resin because it is formulated to decorate and protect the surface. Thus, it has better hiding power, durability, color, and color retention.

We use them both because each has a different job to do, and they need each other for the best results. In short, never skip priming, or try using paint for primer.

Many thanks to Zinsser's Tech Forum Column
for information used in preparing this article…
Associates Christmas Party Group Photo


Weather conditions back in December prompted postponement of the 2006 Associates Christmas Meeting, but it went forward on January 12th at Edelweiss in Norridge. At that time, a slate was presented for 2007 Associates Group Officers and Directors, resulting in the election of Jim Gasparro (President), Diane Meyer (Vice President), Ken Tatarelis (Secretary), Calvin Mims (Treasurer), and Tom O'Connell (Director). Present for the occasion were, left to right, Bob Patinella (Benjamin Moore & Company), Tom Moore & Herb Ulrich (EPCO Paint), Ken Tatarelis (ICI Paints), Calvin Mims (3M), Steve Kamp (Chicago Dropcloth Service), Tom O'Connell (Ames Taping Tools), and Jim Gasparro (Benjamin Moore & Company).

USS New York

USS New York Sails With Motto

“Never Forget!”

With half a year left to complete its construction, the U.S. Navy's amphibious assault ship "USS New York" has already made history twice. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel salvaged from the World Trade Center wreckage, and it survived Hurricane Katrina.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, Louisiana, to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on September 9, 2003, “those big tough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,” recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was present at the time. “It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.”

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the “hair on my neck stood up.”

Hurricane Katrina disrupted construction when it pounded the Gulf Coast last summer, but the 684-foot vessel escaped serious damage, and workers were back at the yard near New Orleans within two weeks after the storm.

The New York is the fifth in a new class of warship designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

The ship revives a name borne by at least seven previous ships…most recently, the nuclear submarine SSN “New York City,” which was retired in 1997 after 18 years service. In U.S. Navy tradition, battleships were named after states and cruisers were named after cities. This new ship is in a class by itself, with the motto “Never Forget!”.


-- June 15, 2007 --



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