Professional Association for Industrial Distribution

History

The Professional Association for Industrial Distribution (PAID) provides a forum for students, faculty, former students, and companies who manufacture and distribute goods and services. PAID was originally formed in 1983 as a coordinated effort between ID students and faculty under the guidance of Dr. Demo A. Stavros, Mr. Gerald A. Stone, and Dr. Mike Workman.

Under its constitution, PAID has four main goals:

  1. To develop the character of students pursuing a career in the practice of Industrial Distribution
  2. To develop and refine students’ skills preparing them for a career in Industrial Distribution
  3. To coordinate services and activities for the students in the Industrial Distribution Program
  4. To act as a liaison between the students, faculty, and companies who manufacture and distribute goods and services.

The original PAID members were ID students from the Engineering Technology Society (ETS), which also hosted members from the Industrial Technology and Engineering Technology departments. Upon PAID’s inception, the organization considered a number of names such as SIDA (Student Industrial Distributor Association) and IDEA (Industrial Distribution Education Association). They communicated with students at University of Houston, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Clarkson University to come up with a common name but were unsuccessful at coming to an agreement. Each university decided upon its own organizations title.· At that time at A&M, independent student organizations were not allowed on campus without a “faculty” sponsor who attended meetings and helped organize student activities.

In its early years, faculty arranged everything from scholarships to internships, student placement, field trips and job placement. The organization became an entity when the students were given responsibility for the PAID senior banquet held each year in April.· The banquet was originally sponsored by Houston Industrial Distributors Association and the North Texas Distributors Association in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Companies would charter a bus and come to campus where they would eat and converse with students and faculty. The companies provided summer jobs and internships, and many hired ID students full time after graduation. This was the beginning of PAID’s successful student/industry relations.

Today, PAID takes the initiative to arrange many events including Banquets, Socials, Corporate Spotlights and PowerLunches. These activities provide an environment outside of the classroom for students to meet their professors and fellow students and have significant discussion with individuals from industry.

One of the original objectives of PAID, Resume Review Pamphlet, is carried on today. Resume Review provides great opportunity for student resumes’ to get exposure to Industry. Resume Review is sent to over 500 companies nationwide.· It is also accessible on the web, giving companies the opportunity to learn more about A&M’s ID students and semester graduation dates.

In the early years, ID faculty and students were closely associated with the Houston Industrial Distributors Association which included companies such as Briggs Weaver, Rex Supply, Drago Supply, Moore Supply, Welders Supply, Industrial Oxygen, Cottingham Bearing, Warren Electric and others.

Today, membership is highly encouraged and open to all ID majors. A full membership in PAID provides the following privileges: voting, holding office, representing the society and attending all general association functions. General meetings are held throughout the semester, usually on Thursdays. The meetings cover a wide spectrum of topics beneficial to students. Each year, a number of guest speakers visit the monthly meetings and provide input from industry.

The annual Career Fair hosts companies from all over the nation. Over 120 representatives from the best companies in their respected industries attend and meet, interview, and hire ID graduates. Students are paired up with the industry of their choice for a golf tournament before the Career Fair. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to become familiar with various companies and companies to meet the students on an informal level. Career Fair is held each year in February.

Sources:

TAMU Student Activities

Dr. Mike Workman

Mr. Don Rice

Sue Softy ’84

Noonie Hebert ‘84