Ames Taping Tools announced the appointment of Mark Wilson to the new corporate role of director of education with responsibilities for product education and industry stewardship, according to President and CEO Andrew Reed. Wilson, a 14-year Ames veteran, brings more than three decades of industry expertise, including roles as a professional finishing contractor, product specialist, as well as a variety of sales and regional management positions.

"Ames was founded on the principle that quality workmanship begins with quality tools and training," explains Reed. "Mark's in-depth industry knowledge is a true resource for our customers and he has been instrumental in helping thousands of contractors become more productive at their trade."

Rising demand for training: Describing his economic outlook as "optimistic, but subdued," Reed anticipates a mild rebound in 2012 as the home building industry continues its slow recovery. The economy has breathed new life into multi-family housing and there are signs of growth in the commercial sector that should help lift the number of jobs for finishing contractors, he says. But this uptick in activity has, in turn, spurred a new demand for trade education.

"The economy has really forced a reset for our industry," explains Reed. "Many contractors and trades people who led the industry during the housing boom of 2005-2007 have left the industry. As a result, drywall contractors are now faced with a pressing need to train new finishers and make them more productive with efficient tools and practices."

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