Nearly 100 plumbing contractors and UA leaders from across the country met in Kohler, Wis., June 26-28, to focus on a variety of challenging issues facing the plumbing industry. The three-day conference, led by Union-Affiliated Contractors Chairman Robert Melko (who also serves as the Chicago Plumbing Council chairman, PAMCANI vice president and Local 130 Joint Apprenticeship Committee co-chairman), began with the annual Plumbing Industry Council Meeting.

UA General President Bill Hite and UA Director of Plumbing Services Tom Bigley served as the meeting moderators, asking more than 40 UA business managers and union contractors to present a state-of-the industry and to provide best practices used to overcome the obstacles they face in their respective territories.

Union contractor and Purdue professor Kirk Alter presented a PHCC Educational Foundation seminar series session on the topic of becoming a union contractor. Alter discussed the economic and emotional barriers to starting up a new business; the basics to running a new business; establishing effective marketing plans; and working with professional consultants to ensure the new business’ ongoing success.

Alter’s session led directly into a roundtable panel discussion on the same topic featuring Melko and PCA/Plumbing Council/PAMCANI Executive Director S.J. Peters, along with several other UA leaders.