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William L. Shannon, Editor

William L. Shannon, Editor of CISCA

We Are The Economy

March/April 2001

Well, it's time for Intercon 2001! We have a new president and a new congress, Chad and his dimples are forgotten. The new year is off to an exciting start, from the economy to politics and not to mention the international scene. However, everywhere we go it seems that the most important topic of conversation is the economy.

We all know that the press, both print, television and radio need news to try and make their offering interesting. It seems that they have forgotten about reporting the news and have decided it is their responsibility to make the news. Obviously a robust growing economy is boring for them; they need excitement and seem to be the cheerleaders for an economic downturn.

Interestingly it seems that many members of our industry forget that we are the economy. Our companies and employees have the ability to set the tone for the national economy by our attitudes, actions and investments.

Consider for a moment the impact that commercial construction has on the national and international economy, yet it is barely mentioned in the national and international news. One would surmise that the only industries in our country are the stock market or dot coms.

Think of the millions of people contributing daily to the commercial construction sector of the economy. Owners, Architects, Engineers, Manufacturers, Contractors, Distributors, Independent Manufacturers' Representatives, lawyers, Bankers, investment specialists, advertising agencies, the list goes on and on.

We have a large degree of control over the destiny of the national economy. People are always asking each other "how is the economy in your market?" "What do you project for the near and long term future"? Our answers are important, we can and do have a direct effect on the direction of the market. An inward and outward positive attitude is as contagious as the negative attitude proffered by the news media. If we believe in the future and share this sense of optimism with our peers, it will result in a spreading positive attitude that can and will enable the economy to remain strong.

Imagine if an athletic team approached a season with the attitude that it was going to be a mediocre season, the sport is in a downturn, the players are not of championship quality, fan interest is waning, could they possibly hope to have a championship season? I doubt it!

It's time for the members of our industry to lead the way in the economy with a positive and uplifting attitude. In speaking with fellow CISCA Members around the country, in virtually all segments of our membership, there is an overwhelming feeling of a continued strong commercial construction market. Most of the individuals cannot find enough talented employees to complete the work they already have on the books. Their estimating departments are buried with new opportunities. The lead times for manufacturers are longer than any time in recent memory. Distributors cannot keep up with the pace of orders. Independent Manufacturers' Representatives are working at a pace many of us have never experienced in our careers.

Another very exciting aspect of the current commercial construction market is the project mix. Unlike past market upturns, that were tied to a specific, volatile market segment, the current market is multi level and multi facetted. We are witnessing significant growth in educational, health care, civic, transportation and office construction. This broad based market activity results in much more stable commercial construction environment.

Let's all take the lead in promoting our segment of the economy. In conversations with friends, business associates, local newsgathering organizations, and others, promote the positive contributions of our member companies.

Rather than asking others where they think the economy is headed, we should take the lead in determining the direction of the economy. A positive attitude can have a dramatic effect upon our economic future! Remember, "We Are The Economy!"

William L. Shannon CSI, CISCA
President of Shannon Corporation
Recipient of the 2004 De Gelleke Award

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