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,” PHCC President-elect Laurie Crigler said. “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 and 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; and
• Include construction issues in the Department of Labor Task Group on Apprenticeship Training (task force to be named in the near future).

Participating in the meeting from PHCC were:
Laurie Crigler, PHCC president-elect, L & D Associates, Inc.; 
Michael Copp, executive vice president; and
Mark Riso, vice president of legislative affairs.

Other industry leaders at the meeting included:

• Bradford White Director of Marketing Carl Pinto;
• Elkay Manufacturing CEO Tim Jahnke;
• Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions Group President Tim Ferry;
• American Standard Brands/LIXILWater Technology Americas CEO Steve DeLarge;
• Win Supply CEO Rick Schwartz;
• American Supply Association CEO and President-elect Steve Cook of Northeastern Supply, Executive Vice President Michael Adelizzi and Director of Government Affairs Dan Hilton; and
• The Brightup Group CEO and consultant Craig Brightup.

The meeting at the White House is the latest step in PHCC’s ongoing efforts in advocating for workforce development. For more information, visit