Call to all Craftsmen

by Tony Severino – Treasurer, PDCA Craftsmanship Forum President, Professional Painters, February 2006

The PDCA Craftsmanship Forum needs your help, knowledge, and some of your time. 

We have embarked on a very noble and much needed crusade to rescue the painting industry from poor workmanship.

As open-shops, we tend to be small and under capitalized. One of the critical things we can’t afford is a formal training program for our painters. If we band together and pool our collective knowledge, we can develop a training system that will benefit all of us at a minimal cost.

At the Craftsmanship Forum, we have begun enormous task of creating a complete set of Craftsmanship Operating Procedures for Residential Painting, or as we fondly refer to them as COPs , the ‘Guardians of the Trade’. COPs are step by step instructions of how we want our painters to accomplish their daily work in the field. These COPs will break down the painting craft into its most basic tasks. Some examples of COPs are; Prepping a six panel door, Painting a six panel door, Prepping a window, Painting a window, Prepping a wall, and Painting a wall etc.

If you would like to see a completed COP, click here. Here you will find our COP Template, as well as a completed COP on Painting a 6-Panel Door with Waterborne Enamel. Feel free to use those tools in your company.

What we need now to complete this project are experienced painting contractors (and/or their star craftsmen) to join our COP development process. We have three levels of participation available at this time.

Bronze Level: Participate via e-mail only

This is the beginning level commitment. We will add you to our e-mail list. You will receive a new COP on the first day of each month. You then are required to submit suggestions and modifications to us by the 15th of each month. At the end of the month, if we have received input from you that month you will receive the final approved version of that month’s COP. So by contributing, you will have the COPs as soon as they are created at no cost to you, and you will be able to immediately start using them in your company. You can stay at this level permanently, though we hope after becoming familiar with our process, you will progress to the next level of participation.

Silver Level: Participate via e-mail and monthly conference calls

The next level of involvement requires you to join us on our monthly conference calls. We are looking for a core group of 12 people to be the final evaluators of the COPs. The conference calls are where we discuss the suggestions and modifications we’ve received via e-mail. This is where we deliberate the final version of the COP. We expect you to participate in at least 10 of the 12 conference calls each year to be recognized at this level of commitment.

Gold Level: Participate via e-mail, monthly conference calls and author COPs

The final level of commitment and our Gold level of commitment is to participate in the first two levels, but also to commit to writing COPs and submit them to our committee for evaluation. In your first year of commitment, we expect you to create a minimum 2 COPs, and the second year we will a minimum of 4 COPs. However, keep in mind that as our stock of completed COPs grows, many items and tasks repeat from COP to COP and our job gets easier.

PDCA Endorsement and Active Support

It is important to point out that this Initiative has the total endorsement and support of National PDCA. Our National Association has recognized that, because of numerous market forces, Craftsmanship must move to the Center Stage in its efforts to professionalize the painting industry. PDCA understands that if the industry does not step in to define what painting is, it will be done for us (like by ‘Big Box stores’). If the industry does not act now, we are at risk of becoming irrelevant as an Association; as painting contractors, we will all suffer from an outcome such as this.

As they are developed, these COPs will be available for purchase by contractors from all over. They will be downloadable and can be customized to the particular brand of craftsmanship of every contractor. They will be integrated to the PDCA’s PACER Estimating System. COPs will also be available for purchase in segments.

Incentives and Recognition 

There is a nice ring to all these words; isn’t there. By the time you read these words, you may already have received an e-mail or letter from PDCA announcing an Incentive and Recognition Program designed to encourage and reward involvement in this Initiative and other PDCA initiatives as well.

I hope you recognize that involvement in this Initiative is a great opportunity for you to pass along your hard won knowledge and influence the methods painting craftsmen will use for years to come.

We know this may seem like an overwhelming task. However, this is a task that shall be accomplished, for the good of all!

Being involved in this task for four years now, we often find ourselves quoting an ancient Chinese proverb. It states that even ‘a journey of 1000 miles still begins with the first few steps’. We have taken those first steps for you, and now we hope you can join us on our mission.

If you would like to help, you can contact us through our website or call our Craftsmanship Forum, Mario Guertin at 847-612-5812 (cell).