PHCC sponsored a two-hour meeting Jan. 23 in New Orleans, where participants discussed current recruitment and training methods, and ideas on how to attract a future workforce.

The plumbing and HVACR industry needs more than 100,000 workers each year.

As part of its continued efforts to bring attention to the critical shortage of skilled plumbing and HVACR industry workers and develop a plan for the future, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association sponsored a workforce summit Jan. 23 in New Orleans, La.

Approximately 40 PHCC members, union representatives, educators and government officials attended the two-hour meeting. Participants discussed current recruitment and training methods in Louisiana, which still faces a severe worker shortage following Hurricane Katrina. They also shared ideas on how to attract and educate workers for the future.

Communicating the right message, reaching the correct people and taking personal responsibility also were emphasized during the summit. Gerry Kennedy and the PHCC Educational Foundation provided an update on resource materials available for training plumbing and HVACR technicians to industry standards.

John Easley of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System said, “We need to get the word out that plumbing and HVACR technicians have more than a job, they have a career with great opportunities. Efforts need to be coordinated in order to get students into the programs.”

Jerry Payne, the Louisiana PHCC’s representative to the Louisiana State Plumbing Board, said, “Not only do we need to make students aware of opportunities in the trades, but parents need to know about these opportunities, too. For example, we need to find ways of showing parents that their kids can get free postsecondary training.”

As a next step in Louisiana, the group will meet again to develop a plan of action to train the workers that are needed to build and maintain the infrastructure needed in the state and region. On a national basis, future workforce summits are planned for North Carolina, Ohio and Oklahoma.

For more information, contact PHCC at 800/533-7694 or visit