A humble acceptance to uphold our great industry's proud tradition.

Having been duly elected by a silent vote, with no recount or court appeals, I hereby swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and fulfill each and every campaign promise.

My party platform was based on honesty and integrity. In total contrast with the previous administration, we have absolutely no intentions of legalizing perjury in federal courtrooms by our elected government officials. We also will ban the use of cigars in private areas.

In addition, the following 10 planks on our party platform will give you something solid to stand on throughout our administration. These are not merely empty campaign promises that are soon forgotten or broken after each election. I prefer using the word "commitments" to assure you our industry's image can and will change with a diligent effort by everyone involved. My leadership will not make it happen unless you join in this pursuit of happiness.

1. Make it fun. Construction is hard work - dangerous and demanding - but it can be fun. Enjoy the comradery of your peers, put in a hard day's work, and proudly look back with a smile on your face at the quality product you have produced. Provide flextime options to accommodate every employee's personal needs or demands and still beat those critical path schedules.

2. Think and act professionally. Your highly-trained and talented craftsmen need to delegate menial tasks just as doctors, attorneys, architects and engineers do. Surgeons do not sterilize their instruments or empty bedpans, or clean up operation rooms. They use registered nurses and nurses' aides who are properly trained and certified to perform these specific tasks.

Our construction industry's professional wages could be doubled in order to maintain a proud standard of living in today's inflationary economy. Painting all of your company vehicles the same color with an attractive logo and catchy "certified technicians" slogan certainly will promote your professional image in your market area. This professionalism also can be enhanced by providing work uniforms to all your service techs and jobsite employees. When they look professional, they will act professional - and likewise should be paid like professionals.

3. Reward gifted employees. Unfortunately, not all men and women are created equal. We certainly can provide an equal opportunity for individuals, but some are gifted and some are not. Some are smarter, faster and stronger. Some work hard and others are lazy. We cannot change what has been endowed in individuals, but surely we can measure what they produce and reward them accordingly. If the best don't make the most money, who would ever strive to be the best?

4. Promote from within. This provides growth for every ambitious, career-minded employee. It also assures employees that their boss has walked that critical mile in their moccasins. Every construction supervisor should receive basic human relations and cost control training. You should not expect them to know how to train, motivate, measure and discipline human beings.

One little mistake of playing favorites, giving hell in public, breaking the chain of command or overlooking discipline with buddies could cost you a proud and productive employee. You also must consider the ripple effect of this costly turnover as they relate their woes to friends.

5. Maintain an updated written and posted organizational chart. This assures that absolutely no employee answers to two bosses. This chart clearly defines responsibility, and any supervisor who has the authority to tell a subordinate what to do must also accept the blame or consequences for whatever goes wrong.

6. Pretrain and certify employees for specific duties. Using database skill inventories and critical path manpower schedules are two ways to do it. Enhance your professional image by capitalizing on the words "certified craftsmen" in all of your promotions and negotiations.

7. Go for the Gold. Recruit and nurture retired and semiretired mentors to work with your apprentices, green helpers and temporary manpower. This Gold mentoring especially is effective with orientation and training of females on your jobsites. Do not overlook the opportunity to use injured employees on light-duty workers' compensation as mentors for this sharing of wisdom, knowledge and experience.

Remember the words from Jim Henson's Kermit song: "It isn't easy being green É " In addition to a lack of proper tools, training and experience, newcomers are exposed to chauvinism and abusive and demotivating peer pressure. Experienced mentors effectively can override negative peer pressure with their spoken words of wisdom, but green helpers cannot resist alone and still be accepted in their ranks.

8. Demand total safety and first-class quality. You have a right to get what you pay for, and your employees are not volunteers. Your foremen should scrutinize each day's work plan and clarify goals before your crew begins every morning. This also is a good time to ensure the safety of neighborhood children, who surely will be playing on your jobsite after working hours.

9. Partner with your customers, employees and other trades. Partnering simply means we all will cooperate and work together to get the job done on time. These cooperative commitments should be discussed and documented before the start of each project. If any of the partners should wander off the agreed upon path, you can then use that document to get them back on track.

10. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion, speech and the exercise thereof. Regardless of what religion or beliefs you choose, you should practice this principle in the workplace. Use your own "Good Book" as the "building code" for building your own character and helping build others around you.

With these 10 solid planks on our platform, you easily can understand how and why we must elevate our construction industry's proud image. These commitments will not end or change at the end of my four-year term but last through this entire millennium. Our leadership will change, our contractors will change and our craftsmen will change, but our proud and sacred challenge must continue.

As you consider working with us on this Craft Revival Crusade, you carefully should analyze the "cost vs. result" financial opportunities involved with each and every plank. This is one "pursuit of happiness" where satisfaction definitely is guaranteed.

My humble thanks to each and every one of you who voted me into this prestigious position. You can be assured I will keep my promises and make every effort to fulfill your expectations. Thank you in advance for your continued support throughout my administration. Together we will make a difference!