By Rick Schwolsky

If there's one thing we learned over the past year of touring with the Site Commander, as we visited 600 cities across the country, it's how hard contractors will work to keep their companies afloat. Survival in this business is difficult enough without facing historic economic conditions and the challenges they've presented to our industry over the past two years. And yet, for the tens of thousands of contractors who came to see the Site Commander in person or who visited the Web site, and for all those who entered the sweepstakes last year, the Site Commander represented a bright spot and created a place to share new ideas and common ground. Everyone we met on the road this year faced challenges they never had to face before – some worse than others. Many were re-evaluating their markets and business plans and assessing strengths and weaknesses. All were preparing do whatever it would take to hold on until things turned around.

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Look for Site Commander driver Josh Glasco and his LENOX Wolf Pack teammates Danny Nicholson and Anthony Bell when they visit your area with the Site Commander national tour. Go to thesitecommander.com for details.

Like all of you, we've been searching the horizon for signs of an economic recovery, for a dose of relief and belief – something we could hang some hope onto. So we're happy to see initial indications that things are starting to turn around for the economy and our industry, and we're hopeful that we can gain some real traction and climb out of this recession. But we're also aware that any road to recovery will likely have its ups and downs for a while. Some markets will come back faster and stronger than others. Some types of projects will present earlier and greater opportunities than others. Our industry will emerge to face a new world, change and adaptation will be a constant reality, and competition in all areas will be fierce.

And while there are still some important market conditions that need correcting, there are clear signs of new opportunities in the midst of all this change – spurred on by the federal stimulus package, a surge in remodeling, and an incentivized focus on green building and energy-related work – that if properly approached will spell renewed growth and long-term success in every market. These are the things we think will bring a true and sustainable recovery. And we want you to be prepared.

That's why we've dedicated this year's Site Commander national tour to helping you position your company for new levels of success as the economy gains strength, and why we're calling this year's tour "The Road to Recovery."

Not only is the Site Commander an ultimate work truck with features, tools, products, and technologies ready to equip you for the recovery, but this year it is also the vehicle that will carry you forward with new ideas and information. The 2010 Site Commander tour will deliver up-to-date information on the recovery and how to take advantage of new market opportunities. From details on the stimulus package, selling green remodeling projects, and marketing tax credits to tips on starting an energy audit business, avoiding legal hassles, and navigating green building certifications, the information we've compiled will help you find solid ground in these emerging markets.

And just as contractors across the country never gave up, innovation never ceased at the leading companies sponsoring this year's tour, including our tour partner LENOX Industrial Tools as well as sponsors Reading Body, Werner Ladder, Georgia-Pacific, AdvanTech, and Liquid Nails.

Quality, productivity, and safety will always be at the foundation of a successful and profitable construction business, and these companies have combined to provide a powerful package of products and services you can use to strengthen your business. You'll find that between the wireless communication equipment and mobile office features in the Site Commander, the tools, equipment, and building products from our select group of sponsors, and the detailed recovery-related information we've compiled for you, the 2010 Site Commander tour will place you squarely on the Road to Recovery.