PHCC meets with WH staff to address labor shortage

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The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) was part of a select group of p-h-c 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 p-h-c industry leaders are eager to be an integral part of developing and implementing solutions. The meeting was a joint collaboration facilitated by the American Supply Association and PHCC—National Association.

“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—National Association President-elect Laurie Crigler. “Our workforce and our future workforce are critical to maintain the nation’s health and to 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.”

In response to this need, the industry group offered the following as possible solutions:
· “Jump Start” training by providing applied technology training in high schools, hence 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
· DJ 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, VP of Legislative Affairs.

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
· American Supply Association: Steve Cook, CEO & ASA President-Elect, Northeastern Supply; Michael Adelizzi, Executive Vice President; Dan Hilton, Director of Govt. Affairs
· The Brightup Group LLC: Craig Brightup, CEO & 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 p-h-c contractors can attract and retain skilled workers and become the employer of choice in their area.

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