It is hard to believe that 2000 is nearly over. At this time in 1999, how many people thought life as we knew it would not continue past the first hour of the new year? The clocks chimed midnight and nothing happened, except that we all got a little older.

But something else happened as the days came and went: The FCICA grew! It grew in every respect, thanks to an outstanding team of professionals comprised of the leading installation contractors in the industry. Fold in the support of an associate membership featuring the most dedicated manufacturers and distributors in the marketplace, and the recipe for success is evident.

In 2000, the FCICA refocused itself on its membership and the industry. Significant investments were made in the services the association provides. TechNet, the technical-assistance service, now includes professionals in all times zones committed to providing advice to fellow installers in a bind. Our FIT committee continues to add modules, making the FIT program a comprehensive tool in establishing in-house training programs. Our newsletter, Bottom Line, and our conferences continue to bring our membership and our industry the important issues confronting installation contractors nationwide. And, most importantly, our administrative staff and board of directors continue to develop agendas that tackle the hot-button issues confronting us daily. In 2001, we plan to look at what we can do to facilitate prompt-pay legislation, and to involve ourselves further in issues as varied as industry certification, installation standards, and industry-wide communication.

The board of directors is dedicated to making the same commitment to satisfy the needs of its membership in 2001. The updates to the FIT curriculum will continue. TechNet's importance will grow. And the best learning opportunity for the entire industry will be at our annual conference in New Orleans, March 27-31, 2001. The network of professionals in the FCICA can help you grow an existing business, and help you seek out and implement the best methods for training the next generation of floor covering installers. If we, the leaders in the industry, don't invest in teaching new people the skills necessary to succeed, the projected shortage of quality installers will soon become a frightful reality.

So, what are you waiting for? Become part of our exciting programs and growth! We need your support to continue offering these vital services to our industry. We promise that your investment and support of FCICA will pay significant dividends to you and your business. By joining FCICA today, you will stop asking questions, and start becoming part of the solution. Special group- and local-chapter packages are available. Visit us at www.fcica.com, or call 877-TOFCICA for more information.