ASA, PHCC Leaders Meet with White House Staff to Address Labor Shortage

Leaders from the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association and American Supply Association were part of a select group of PHC industry representatives who participated in a Sept. 14 meeting at the White House and discussed the importance of tax reform, infrastructure needs, and most importantly, workforce development.

The group stressed that PHC industry leaders are eager to be an integral part of developing and implementing solutions.

“We were so pleased to meet with chief policy makers to emphasize the critical nature of our industry’s workforce shortage and discuss ways to prepare our young people to enter our industry through increased pathways to success while still in high school,” said PHCC President-elect Laurie Crigler. “Our current and future workforce are critical to maintain the nation’s health and expand the American economy. Our industry has wonderful opportunities, but we cannot find enough qualified individuals with the necessary skill sets to fill our needs.”

“ASA is excited with the level of interest of chief policy makers in the White House on the importance of attracting young people to careers as plumbers in our industry and to jumpstart their apprenticeship while still in high school,” said ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi “Our current and future labor force is critical to maintain the nation’s health and to expand the American economy and the President’s signing Executive Order EO 13801 directing the Departments of Labor and Education to look at new ways to jumpstart apprenticeship in high schools is a great step forward.”

In response to this need, the industry group offered the following as possible solutions:

  • Provide applied technology training in high schools, enabling students to leave high school as second- or third-year apprentices.
  • Support states establishing accredited plumbing programs in the high schools across the country.
  • Include plumbing, water and sewage systems in any future federally funded infrastructure projects.
  • Include construction issues in the Department of Labor Task Group on Apprenticeship Training (task force to be named in the near future).

In attendance from the White House were:

  • George Sifakis – Office of Public Liaison, assistant to the president
  • Steve Munisteri – Office of Public Liaison, deputy assistant to the president
  • D.J. Gribbin – National Economic Council, special assistant to the president for economic policy
  • Kara McKee – Domestic Policy Council, Education, Woman & Families & Workforce Policy
  • Paul Ray – Department of Labor, counselor to the secretary of labor
  • Dianne Quebral – Office of Public Liaison, business liaison

Participating in the meeting from PHCC were Laurie Crigler, PHCC president-elect, L & D Associates, Inc.; Michael Copp, executive vice president; and Mark Riso of Legislative Affairs. Participating in the meeting from ASA were ASA President Elect Steve Cook, Northeastern Supply, ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi, ASA Director of Government Affairs Dan Hilton.

Other industry leaders at the meeting included:

  • Bradford White: Carl Pinto, director of marketing
  • Elkay Manufacturing: Tim Jahnke, CEO
  • Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions: Tim Ferry, group president
  • American Standard Brands/LIXILWater Technology Americas: Steve DeLarge, CEO
  • Win Supply: Rick Schwartz, CEO
  • The Brightup Group LLC: Craig Brightup, CEO and consultant

The meeting at the White House is the latest step in PHCC’s ongoing efforts in advocating for workforce development, one of the key areas addressed at PHCC’s June 2017 Legislative Conference. PHCC will continue to focus on this important issue at its annual conference, CONNECT 2017, when several seminars will explore how PHC contractors can attract and retain skilled workers and become the employer of choice in their area.

For more information, visit http://www.phccweb.org.

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