By Jonathan Moyer, PHCC–National Association President (2019-2020)
As we head into Thanksgiving next week, I wish you all a much-deserved break, hopefully filled with good food and time spent with family or friends. I know I’m particularly thankful this year to be serving as your PHCC president, representing passionate people who truly care about this industry.
Speaking of such, one of my personal passions – and one of my biggest goals for the year – is working to protect professionalism in our industry. It’s a crucial issue, especially in my home state of Pennsylvania, where a patchwork of local licensing laws result in very few restrictions for those performing plumbing work and even fewer for those in HVAC.
It was exciting to see PHCC of Texas’ strong advocacy efforts last summer to preserve the plumbing board in that state. I encourage you to build relationships with lawmakers and with the governor’s office in your state to explain the risks and costs involved when plumbing and HVAC equipment is not properly installed and maintained by qualified professionals. Launch a letter-writing campaign to your legislators (PHCC—National can help you with that!). Leverage your relationships with other industry pros or even your own social media platforms or website to explain the importance of hiring a professional.
Think our profession deserves more respect?
The other aspect of protecting professionalism is about enhancing the image of our industry. My employees know clean, professional uniforms and neat, organized trucks are must-haves in my company. It’s important to me to present a positive image to our customers, our vendors and even to each other. After all, if we want to command more “professional” wages, we have to look professional!
Helping my company, Cocalico Plumbing & Heating, be recognized as the contractor of choice in my area also means ensuring that my employees are properly trained and highly knowledgeable. At a minimum, we hold one company-wide training session each month, in addition to other opportunities throughout the year for more specialized training. PHCC, our Educational Foundation and local representatives from your product manufacturers are great resources for training opportunities.
Who do you want working for you?
Let’s face it, we all want to recruit the top talent out there to move our businesses forward and protect the reputation that we’ve worked hard to build. Looking neat – appearing professional – will go far in people wanting to be a part of our industry.
I also encourage you to promote the breadth of professional opportunities in our business. As we know, plumbing is much more than fixing toilets; there are opportunities related to product engineering, estimating, project management and even business ownership! Use the PHCC resources found in the Workforce Development Center (under PHCC Resource Center at phccweb.org) to explain the demand, skills needed and professional possibilities associated with careers in the p-h-c industry. With smart technology, especially, the products and capabilities we’re dealing with today are so much more technical than they used to be, and those aspects appeal to younger people.
Take the time to get personally involved in recruiting in your communities. Meet with students, counselors and teachers in your area schools. (I recently had my son, who manages my HVAC division, talk with students at our local high school because I thought they would identify better with someone younger than me!) Serve on the advisory board at your local trade school. Join a professional networking group in your area, or get involved in your Chamber of Commerce.
Get out there and sell the industry!
For more ideas on how you can support your local educators by providing your expertise, time and resources, click here.