By Laurie Crigler, PHCC-National Association President (2017-2018)
The PHCC—National Board of Directors recently met in Florida to discuss challenges, progress and issues of our association, composed of a strong community of contractors across North America. Many of you may not know that the Board meets face-to-face three times per year—in the winter at various locations, during the spring at the Legislative Conference, and in the fall during CONNECT.
I just read the minutes of the meeting and was amazed at how many meaningful conversations occurred during our eight-hour meeting. I am taking the liberty of using this platform to make sure you know exactly what your Board of Directors does so you know we treat this position with respect and are working to protect your interests.
We started the morning with an overview from each Zone Director on the successes and challenges in his or her state. In brief:
Zone 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, ON-Canada, PA, RI, VT, WV)
- working to increase apprenticeship and continuing education in several of the states, utilizing approval of the PHCC Educational Foundation’s e-learning programs;
- several states developed strategic plans so they know where they are headed;
- the apprenticeship/journeyman ratio is rearing its head in several states;
- several states are fighting to keep their contractor licensing status intact through their legislatures.
Zone 2 (AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, VI)
- addressing membership development and apprenticeship issues;
- using the new e-learning program to assist apprentice training and membership recruitment/retention;
- held an Olympic challenge within the southern Zone 2 states (fun challenges between states that encouraged networking);
- using creative workforce development programs such as working with the Norfolk Housing Authority to help folks in low-income housing districts find jobs that help get them out of poverty.
Zone 3 (AK, IA, ID, IL, IN, MI, MN, MT, ND, OR, SD, WA, WI, WY)
- addressing membership development issues and apprentice/journeyman ratio issues;
- discovering that union chapters have the same workforce shortage issues and addressing how to help those chapters find value in PHCC;
- addressing the rise of Legionella.
Zone 4 (AR, AZ, CA, CO, HI, KS, MO, NE, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT)
- recuperating from all their natural disasters and making sure their members are supported;
- experiencing apprentice/journeyman ratio issues;
- addressing state licensing issues and working with the regulatory boards to make their licenses stronger.
While many of these issues are state-specific, I think you see a trend. The apprentice/journeyman ratio was mentioned in several states, and what PHCC—National can do to help this state issue is to provide DOL guidance to states wanting to change that ratio. PHCC—National ultimately hosted a webinar that outlined the process by which states can formally request those changes in their states.
During this Board meeting, we also heard in-depth reports from staff in their respective areas of responsibility, such as marketing surveys that the association has invested monies so that we can base decisions about new programs and services on data from our members.
We heard about the progress of the membership pilot programs that were approved by the membership at CONNECT last fall designed to increase our membership and reach our strategic planning goal of doubling our membership by 2020. In the coming months, you will be hearing more about the Student Member Pilot Program and the Franchisor Sponsorship Pilot Program.
We also heard about the new Regulatory Sub-Committee – a contractor-based group – that was developed to help PHCC monitor regulations that come out of the federal government and advise members on how to comply. And, of course, we heard about plans for the Legislative Conference coming up May 22-23 and top issues we will discuss when we meet with our legislators.
We also heard from our valued partners (AEC, the PHCC National Auxiliary and the PHCC Educational Foundation) about the programs on which they are working on the industry’s behalf and to determine ways we can all work together toward common goals. We also were delighted to hear the insights of our new manufacturer’s rep, Jim Lewis of Kohler Co.
Suffice it to say, this Board meeting was full of energy and great ideas and, at the end of the day, is a tad exhausting. At the same time, it is very inspiring to be a part of all the achievements underway to advance our industry. It’s a privilege to serve PHCC.
The PHCC—National Board is working on your behalf, so if you have questions about what is going on, please ask your Zone Directors, your Auxiliary members, your Association Executives and your Executive Committee. We are trying to be responsive to your association’s needs and – if we are missing something – let us know!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas.