Obviously, your main goal opening your shop was for it to be successful, provide a decent living for you, your family and those of your employees. This is the basic standard of our trades’ union, so you’re already more closely aligned than you may have thought.

Becoming a union shop has immediate advantages:

  • It opens exclusive union bid opportunities
  • It provides attractive benefits to your existing crew
  • Great benefits allow you to attract top talent
  • You can draw from an experienced pool of proven workers
  • Employee access to safety and skill improvement training at our state-of-the-art schools


It’s understandable why workers want to unionize. They receive an ally in collective bargaining to ensure they have the best working conditions, pay and benefits. Perhaps less obvious is what benefits a contractor receives going union.

Some of the key benefits are:

  • No upfront cost to join!
  • Access to union projects
  • Access to the industry’s most highly trained tradespeople
    • Higher productivity
    • Increased safety and associated job savings
  • Professional marketing representation throughout Chicagoland
  • Dedicated association representing union contractors


There is no cost for your shop to become union. All administrative fees associated with the union are covered by the membership dues your crew members pay. In exchange they receive apprenticeship and ongoing journeyperson training at the union’s state-of-the-art, dedicated training facilities, comprehensive health insurance and pension benefits.

As a union shop you have access to apprentices and journeypersons with proven track records of performance. They have all gone through or are currently enrolled in a rigorous and comprehensive apprenticeship program. They have a solid grasp of what it means to be in our trade, the workload and responsibilities. They understand their best chance for success is to maintain cutting edge skills and safety training.

  to discuss the available workforce.

A highly trained union workforce is shown to be statistically more productive than a non-union shop resulting in higher profit margins for you AND quicker access to completed project sites for your customers. Both are key building blocks to a successful contractor!

  • Less time spent on punch lists and rework
  • Jobs finished on-time and on-budget!
  • Apprentice rates are a percentage of full-scale, offering a job savings to you while they learn the trade
  • The Union also covers a portion of benefits during a  worker’s apprenticeship for additional savings to you

Your crew’s apprenticeship and ongoing journeyperson training has an emphasis on jobsite safety, so your workforce is versed in all the necessary and latest safety standards:

  • OSHA 10 and 30
  • City Scaffolding
  • Hazard Communication
  • User Erector/Dismantler

A safer workforce and jobsite mean lower project costs by reducing, downtime, workman comp costs, and absenteeism, not to mention increased productivity.


DC14 and the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago (FCAC) have taken things a step farther by incentivizing the continued training of journeypersons and apprentices through their Safety Training Awards Recognition program (STAR). Members of your crew take FREE skills/safety classes and receive an invitation to the annual banquette and a raffle ticket where the prizes range from 65”-75” TVs, to laptops, to cash prizes and even a grand prize winner of a new car or truck! We’re serious about keeping your crew the most highly skilled in the industry!

Learn More About STAR

Your company needs to be fully licensed, insured and bonded.
  with any questions.

Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago

The signatory contractors within DC14 can join the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago, an organization dedicated to supporting union finishing contractors. The FCAC represents contractors in collective bargaining with the union. Its board of directors is comprised of elected contractor representatives.

Other membership benefits include:

    • Estimating Essentials Class
    • Project Management and Supervisor Training
    • Interpersonal soft skills
    • Sexual Harassment Training & Legislative Updates
    • Networking and problem solving with other union contractors
    • Annual retreat offering industry insights and planning

For more information
Visit the FCAC

Finishing Chicago

Finishing Chicago is the cooperative marketing arm of the Chicago painters’ union. They aggressively advertise on behalf of DC14’s union contractors in Chicago’s major radio, tv, print and online markets:

  • Sponsorships of Chicago’s Bears, Bulls, Hawks, Cubs and Sox teams
    • In-Game commercial spots for select teams, sponsored segments or calls, like the “Paint the Corner brought to you by Finishing Chicago” calls during Sox games
    • Full-page print ads in team programs for select teams
  • Commercials on WBBM, WSCR the Score and ESPN
  • We have featured contractors and workers on, (channel 7) ABCs Built to Last television series
  • Digital and print ads and articles in industry/trade magazines
  • Paid search, and advanced digital marketing methods

Looking for a second pair of eyes to bolster your marketing efforts, they’re available to offer insight. Have Finishing Chicago take photos/videos of your jobs and receive all the footage for FREE to use in your own marketing campaigns.

Finishing Chicago represents union labor at key industry trade shows. Their field agents make routine sales calls on entities like property managers, general contractors, municipalities, government agencies and the hospitality industry. Your union company would be listed on their website in the free searchable index, where people can easily find their next finishing contractor.

The goal of all these coordinated efforts is to generate bid opportunities for our union contractors and bolster the positive union reputation throughout the industry.

For more information
Visit Finishing Chicago


  • Who you hire and how large or small you run your business is still your decision. DC14 is here to ensure you have all the resources for success. Successful contractors mean the union is thriving…it’s reciprocal!
  • The bottom line is always in consideration and we wouldn’t assume otherwise. Being a union company opens you up to business opportunities previously unavailable to you like secured union work and it also secures your qualification for prevailing wage jobs.
  • We can honestly say we’ve had a very open and collaborative relationship with our contractors and their representative association, the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago. Both sides understand working together is the only way to secure business for our contractors which generates hours for our members. We’re committed to supporting all our contractors! 


  to discuss becoming a union shop!