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Awards and Scholarships

The FCAI Larry Nedrow Scholarship was created by Former Chairman Larry Nedrow to further educational development within the market served by NIPDI contributing contractors. FCAI scholarships are offered on behalf of the finishing industry. It is not required that the nominee/applicant contribute to the NIPDI fund, be related to a NIPDI contributing contractor, or have any connection with FCAI. A scholarship recipient’s event is planned to receive your award and celebrate all scholarship winners.

Since being founded in 1992 by the Board of Trustees, the FCAI Larry Nedrow Scholarship Fund, supported by NIPDI/FCAI members, has helped hundreds of students achieve their educational goals. Each year, FCAI awards qualified recipients a scholarship with money raised from our golf outing and other fundraisers. The FCAI Larry Nedrow Scholarship Program recognizes promising students, advances higher education, and honors its first Chairman and a Founder of NIPDI.

To date, the FCAI Larry Nedrow Scholarship Fund has helped 539 students totaling $584,250.


  1. Complete the FCAI Scholarship Application Form, including signatures of the sponsor and the applicant
  2. Write a 500-word essay concerning the applicant’s educational objectives and how the following shaped his/her current thinking. Please write about the following (if applicable):
    • Involvement in high school activities · Needs-based information · Employment experience
    • Community and/or church involvement · Positions of leadership · Plans for the future
    • Family background · Honors received
  3. The NIPDI/FCAI Board of Directors will screen all applications, select FCAI scholarship recipients, announce winners by April 1 and report all results to the FCAI scholarship applicants and recipients, the media, and the membership of FCAI contractors as determined by the Board.

Download Application Forms

FCAI Scholarship
1991 W Downer Place
Aurora, IL 60586

Email your applications to

The nominations for the “Excellence in Safety Award” and the “Employee of the Year” awards are closed for 2024.



Download the Employee of the Year Documents

Is there someone within your company who goes beyond his or her duties on a regular basis? Does the nominee have a superior work ethic, is dedicated to high-quality workmanship, and who deserves to be recognized? Take this opportunity to recognize an employee who stands out and has made a positive contribution within your company. A nominee for this award may be an employee who works either in the office or on the jobsite (part of Painters District Council 30).

The award evaluations will be based on the following:
  • Quality Workmanship/Quality of Work Produced
  • Superior Teamwork
  • Outstanding Customer Service
  • Strong Leadership Skills
  • Accomplishments (written examples of exceptional work done by the employee)
  • Involvement in Industry Trade Associations
  • Volunteerism within the Community

Please complete the nomination form and remit (by email, fax, or mail) to the FCAI Office by January 12, 2024.


Download the Excellence in Safety Award Documents

In an ongoing commitment to promoting safety within the construction industry, FCAI seeks to recognize individuals who exemplify outstanding safety performance. FCAI Contractors may nominate one individual per company for this award. This individual (staff, safety director, PDC #30 union member, or other employees) should demonstrate consistent safe working habits and should warrant recognition by you, the employer, and co-workers who benefit from their conscientious safety efforts. Please include the company’s current EMR and other safety statistics, the company’s safety program, history, and stories of the nominee, and/or relevant safety certifications in conjunction with completion of the application form below.

The award evaluations will be based on:
  • Conscious implementation and devotion to safety on the jobsite/workplace
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of safety (procedures, rules, PPE, etc.)
  • Demonstrated personal belief in safety to business operations and job performance
  • Safety training history
  • Active employee participation in company safety culture
  • Knowledge of company safety program

Please complete the nomination form and remit (by email, fax, or mail) to the FCAI Office by January 12, 2024.

The NORM HANKES Award for OUtstanding Apprenticeship

Norm Hankes was the owner of Hankes Decorating in Aurora and devoted more than 47 years to the industry, beginning when he returned home from military service in World War II. The Hankes family lived on a 400-acre farm in Sugar Grove, IL. It is there that Norm learned his lifelong work ethic the old fashioned way, doing backbreaking work from sunup to sundown. Norm graduated from the Fox Valley Apprentice School in 1949.  He served as an instructor at the school in the 1950’s. Norm recounts one of the proudest accomplishments at a Trustee on the Apprenticeship Program was when the Blaine School, a former public elementary school building, was obtained for JATC use in Batavia.

After working as a Journeyman for many years since his apprentice graduation, in 1960, went into business for himself and started Hankes Decorating.

Through the years, Norm served the painting industry in many leadership roles. In addition to his JATC work, he served on the PDC #30 Pension and Welfare funds, the NIPDI Board of Directors, and as President and Board member of the Northeast Illinois PDCA Chapter. He was the JATF Committee Chairman, and a champion for apprenticeship education. He was a tireless promoter of the school as he saw the benefit of training industry newcomers.

Because of his tireless efforts to the industry and his passionate dedication to education, The Norm Hankes Award was created for an outstanding graduating apprentice who exemplifies quality work, passion for their craft and dedication to education and training. FCAI gives out this award every year at the NCIFTI graduation ceremony honoring the painters/decorators, industrial painters, drywall finishers, and glaziers who successfully completed the North Central Illinois Finishing Trades Institute apprenticeship program.

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