As we look back on this fabled year of 2020, a crystal ball would have served us well in January. Our industry felt the wrath of COVID-19, experiencing hardships and challenges never expected or seen before. From the two-month month shutdown of construction, to worker limits, to major material shortages and meteoric rises in material prices, we have found a way to survive. Yes, there were some unfortunate circumstances that diminished our membership numbers by 10 percent, but those of us who have remained standing have been reaping the benefits of a flight to new homes and major renovation of existing homes centered on a new life of home schooling and remote work.

The year 2021 will hopefully bring us renewed hopes of a more normal life with the start of vaccinations, lowering material costs, and better supply chain inventory. Our membership should follow suit with growth associated with a rebound of job security and low interest rates that should both remain constant through the year ahead. Customers are willing to spend money to make their homes more than just a place of shelter. Our homes are our new offices, schools, recreational facilities, and restaurants. With low cost money available, the sky is the limit and we must do our part in making dreams a reality.

Our Association remains the voice of the residential construction industry in Pennsylvania. We are fighting for more cost-efficient construction codes with our involvement in the RAC process. We are fighting for more sensible regulations with respect to land development through our GA committee by creating relationships on both sides of the political aisle.

Together PBA and its membership can make a difference through volunteer involvement in our efforts. Now more than ever, it will take an increase in participation from all corners of the Commonwealth to ensure our voices are heard loud and clear. We must work together in creating a future workforce through our PA Foundation for Housing and the Endorsed Trade Program, help to educate our next generation and hire them after graduation. Skilled trade shortages abound and with the increased workload projected for 2021 the need for new talented workers is paramount.

Looking back on 2020, I know that this was not the type of year I envisioned in January or February as my presidential year started, but I will say that this has been a year that I will not soon forget. Not because of the COVID related challenges, but because of the passion that I saw in the membership and staff of this great Association. PBA is truly the greatest group of Builder, Associates, staff and friends with whom one could ever hope be involved. I wish the best for Cindy Cepko in her presidential year and know that we will have her back regardless of the challenges we face in 2021.