The PHCC Auxiliary is a group of dedicated people who share an interest in the plumbing–heating–cooling industry and are willing to give their time and talents in support of that industry. The objectives of the Auxiliary are to promote PHCC, protect the industry and encourage participation among members. Over its history, the Auxiliary has evolved from representing the businesswomen within the industry to a diverse group that has become the marketing arm of the association. In many cases now, Auxiliary members also are contractor members who wish to support the objectives of the Auxiliary, as well as PHCC.
The Auxiliary promotes education through the production of educational materials, fundraising, and distribution of scholarships and industry grants. Each year, 25 or more college scholarships are awarded, totaling more than $35,000. Also, educational expense grants up to $1,000 each is available for contractor members to attend PHCC programs, seminars and enhanced service group meetings.
Recruiting into the industry is another focus of the educational efforts. Age-specific educational materials are produced for elementary-, middle- and high-school-age children to explain the opportunities available for careers within the industry. The materials include a puzzle book, a coloring book, and a pamphlet and 20-page full-color brochure titled, “Constructing Your Future.” The Auxiliary actively supports vocational education programs, Skills USA and apprenticeship and trade school programs. Members devote many, many hours each year to distributing information, meeting with guidance counselors, and recruiting at open houses and career day programs.
The Auxiliary provides members with information on the legislative process and legislation affecting the industry. In conjunction with PHCC legislative efforts, members lend their hand in influencing the legislative process at the local, state and national levels. Nationally, Auxiliary members participate in the annual PHCC Legislative Conference, visiting Congressional members on Capitol Hill to help spread PHCC’s message on key issues.
PHCC logo awareness is a large part of the Auxiliary function. Recent projects include the funding of PHCC Yellow Pages listings; PHCC “Hire a Professional” billboards; the production of two 30-second television commercials available to run as Public Service Announcements (PSAs); “Construction Jack,” a plumbing action figure; and most recently, the creation and introduction of PHC-Opoly, an industry-specific game based on the traditional Monopoly game. Also, the Auxiliary has developed several items that have the PHCC logo prominently displayed on them. They include carved wooden pen and pencil sets and customer Thank-You notes and Christmas cards. Silk ties bearing little gold toilets in a geometric pattern and clocks embedded in mini toilets, lavatories and tubs continue the theme of promoting the industry.
The 125-year history of the Auxiliary is chronicled in A Partnership Unique, the companion to the association’s history, A Heritage Unique. It is the story of family-owned business in America, of women in our society, and the work that has been done to eliminate unsanitary conditions and the diseases that result from them. It is amazing to consider the fact that the women of the Auxiliary were formally recognized two years before women obtained the right to vote in America.