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:
- To develop the character of students pursuing a career in the practice of Industrial Distribution
- To develop and refine students’ skills preparing them for a career in Industrial Distribution
- To coordinate services and activities for the students in the Industrial Distribution Program
- 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. Also during 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; they helped with scholarships, 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 Power Lunches. These activities provide an environment outside of the classroom for students to meet their professors and fellow students and have significant discussion with industry professionals.
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 used to be held throughout the semester and would cover a wide spectrum of topics beneficial to students. A number of guest speakers would visit the monthly meetings and provide input from industry. As PAID has grown, the program now has an event each week to give students the chance to network and learn with industry professionals.
The PAID program has grown to have a Fall Career Fair and a Spring Career Fair that host companies from all over the nation. In recent years, the PAID Career Fairs have grown to have representatives from over 80 of the best companies in their respected industries attend, meet, interview and hire ID graduates. Prior to the PAID Career Fairs, students have the opportunity to be paired up with the industry of their choice for a golf tournament and attend a networking social. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to become familiar with various companies, and for companies to meet the students on an informal level. The Fall Career Fair is held each year in September and the Spring Career Fair in February.
TAMU Student Activities
Dr. Mike Workman
Mr. Don Rice
Sue Softy ’84
Noonie Hebert ‘84