SSPC 2016, the Society for Protective Coatings’ 4-day national conference and trade show in San Antonio, Texas, in January, ran more smoothly thanks to some help from 12 Williamson paint and coatings technology seniors.
The seniors helped wherever they were needed — registering guests as they entered the conference, packing backpacks full of conference materials, working in the bookstore, making name tags, collecting papers — at the conference, attended by 1,500 protective coatings professionals and company representatives.
Margaret “Weemie” Kingham, placement director and trip organizer, said “Our students’ participation in this conference was extremely worthwhile. They made contact with professionals in the protective coatings industry from across the country and they spread the word on Williamson College of the Trades. They helped make everything run smoothly, freeing up the time of the SSPC personnel to tend to other conference matters.
“I was so proud of our young men. Their attitude was great and they had a very nice appearance and acted appropriately at all times. They represented Williamson very well.”
Terry Sowers, SSPC’s director of membership services, agreed, saying “The participation of Williamson’s painting seniors was a wonderful experience for everyone — the students, the attendees, and the SSPC staff. It gave the students the opportunity to be exposed to a large congregation of SSPC representatives and to learn more about the protective coatings field. They were a great help to our staff and did everything we asked of them with an enthusiastic attitude. They didn’t need a lot of direction and were on time for everything. They were perfect gentlemen and hard workers and we were all impressed that they wore suits and ties. We liked their participation so much we have already asked them back for our 2017 conference.”
Senior Keron Tull said, “Attending the conference was definitely a great experience. We learned a lot about the protective coatings field and had a good time while helping out. We were able to meet a lot of people in the industry. I got some business cards and will pursue them for employment opportunities.”
Matt Sinex, a senior, said “Attending the conference was a great experience. We met a lot of people in the coatings field and they gave us advice on how to enter the field as a career. We also learned a lot about individual companies.”
Senior Chris Connor said, “I greatly benefitted from attending this conference. I gained a lot of information that will be beneficial in getting a job in the future. While I was working the registration table, I made a lot of contacts.”
Kingham, who attended the conference and also helped out, said that Lori Thoman, decorative trades instructor, and John Curran 0W5, paint and coatings technology instructor, were also very beneficial to the trip’s success.
Kingham said paint and coatings technology students will definitely attend the 2017 conference in Tampa, Fla.
The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) was founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures Painting Council, a nonprofit professional society concerned with the use of coatings to protect industrial steel structures. In 1997, the name was changed to the Society for Protective Coatings to better reflect the changing nature of coatings technology and the ever-expanding types of construction materials.
SSPC is the only nonprofit association that is focused on the protection and preservation of concrete, steel, and other industrial and marine structures and surfaces through the use of high-performance protective, marine and industrial coatings. SSPC is the leading source of information on surface preparation, coating selection, coating application, environmental regulations, and health and safety issues that affect the protective coatings industry.