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A Few Words About . . .

FCA International

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FCA International’s mission is “to improve its members’ economics and work environments by forming proactive relationships and partnerships within the finishing industry,” particularly with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT). Its end result strives “to improve the profitability and increase the market share of its union contractor member companies.”


The Finishing Contractors Association (FCA) was formed as a national construction trade association headquartered in Washington, D.C., to represent the union finishing contractors who work in drywall finishing, flooring, glass/glazing, painting/decorating, signs/displays, and related finishing industries.

The FCA’s recognized start date was January 10, 1997. At that time the Board of Directors had been established with the Bylaws being adopted by the Board the next day. From the beginning, the FCA announced its primary goal was “to improve its members’ economics and work environments,” with the mission of accomplishing this goal in forming proactive relationships and partnerships within the finishing industry, particularly with the IUPAT.

Forming the FCA in 1997 came about because of action taken by individuals and groups from various labor and management organizations. It was evident to many in the early 1990s that an all-union contractor organization in the finishing industry was needed in order for union contractors to achieve continued success

The FCA is the first, and only, national construction trade association in the

finishing industry, comprised of 100% union contractors. As such, a cooperative labor-management relationship needed to be fostered. This precept was clear and unequivocal as stated in 1997 by FCA’s first President Bob Swanson of Swanson & Youngdale, Inc., St. Louis Park, MN: “New approaches need to be invented; new methods of working with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) need to be undertaken; and new attitudes of cooperation need to be fostered. The FCA is the vehicle to accomplish these new initiatives.”

The FCA was organized by professional union contractors to represent contractors throughout the United States and Canada. Membership criteria were established that require a finishing contractor to be signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with the IUPAT and to be contributing to the IUPAT’s Labor Management Cooperation Initiative (LMCI). The FCA has also established a category of membership, where individual contractor members can be part of an Affiliate Group or a Coalition. Explanations of both types are expanded in Tab 10. The FCA is a rapidly growing association—gaining new members, expanding its programs and services, and gaining recognition for its contractor and staff accomplishments.


FCA’s Strategic Plan was originally developed by a Strategic Planning Task Force, appointed in 1999 by FCA’s President, to thoroughly analyze the previous year’s plan and to propose an in-depth vision that would accommodate FCA’s rapid growth into the 21st Century. The Task Force’s carefully designed proposal, developed through brainstorming and action planning sessions, was approved by FCA’s Board of Directors on December 1999, just in time to ring in the new millennium. This newly adopted plan was viewed as FCA’s vision for the early part of the first decade, with major reviews planned every 12-24 months, depending upon the problems and opportunities that develop within the finishing industry.

FCA’s current strategic “overview” plan emphasizes that FCA is “to be the exclusive industry trade association enhancing the union contractors within the finishing industry” by accomplish-ing the following long-term goals and short-term objectives:

  • Influence legislative and regulatory issues which affect the industry, both at the national and local levels.
  • Facilitate and promote the industry’s growth in the marketplace, to include increasing the market share.
  • Assist in ensuring worker readiness by partnering with the IUPAT to recruit, train, and retain high-quality technical and management people.
  • Promote collecting and sharing, among members, information regarding market issues and trends, policy development, collective bargaining agreements, and compliance issues.
  • Maintain and broaden the public’s confidence in the high standards of the industry’s competence, quality work, and professional commitment.
  • Build confidence and trust in FCA’s/partner’s integrity and competence, as well as increase visibility within the industry (e.g., trade shows, ads, and videotapes, etc.).
  • Market FCA by generating an enthusiasm for the professional union contractor in the finishing industry.
  • Partner with the IUPAT, the Painters and Allied Trades Labor Management Cooperation Initiative (LMCI), the IUPAT Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund (JATF), local affiliates, and government agencies to better the industry.
  • Be sensitive to and satisfy the distinct needs of the many trade sectors represented within the finishing industry.
  • Provide high-quality, cost-effective services and programs targeted to meet FCA’s diverse member needs.