Michael Adelizzi 2017-11-15 09:17:37
ASA Lead Coalition Asks White House To Support Efforts To Solve Labor Shortages ACCORDING TO A STUDY by the American Supply Association (ASA), roughly 200,000 people are currently employed in the manufacturing and distribution segments of the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping (PHCP) and pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) industry. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 400,000 installers are now employed. Thus, the plumbing industry is a significant source of high-paying professional jobs. paying professional jobs. Unfortunately, industry experts predict the industry will lose 25% of its current labor force in the next 18 years and nearly half by 2035. But shortages are already have significant impact on the delivery and installation of industry products in both the plumbing and industrial PVF markets. Distributors are reporting that product earmarked for a project sits on warehouse shelves because of backlog from contractors. And representatives from the contractor sector report contractors are declining new work due to current lack of labor availability. Authoritative studies predict this labor shortage will escalate construction prices and hinder the availability of dependable services to Americans who need system repairs and renovations. A barrier to meeting the demand of a shrinking labor force is that after graduating high school, many students who enter formal Bureau of Apprenticeship (BAT) programs fail to complete the four-year curriculum. CHANGING HOW WE TRAIN The plumbing industry currently operates about 300-500 apprenticeship programs that offer various degrees of training. But this is not nearly enough to keep pace with the demand from those leaving through retirement. This is not lost on President Trump and administration officials who are all too familiar with contractor-looming labor shortages. Solutions lie in industry partnerships with the federal government to create more innovative training programs that will attract young job seekers to the industry and get them on jobsites faster. These new programs will need to look beyond the traditional four-year USDOL Bureau of Apprenticeship Training programs that can be slow and bureaucratic. SPEED TRAINING AND ATTRACTING NEW LABOR The plumbing industry believes that a "jump-start" approach is needed that allows students to get through their training faster in order to contribute sooner toward servicing our nation’s water systems. These programs should be flexible to the way today’s students want to learn and not so reliant on older systems because “that’s the way we have always trained our apprentices.” Long-term solutions lie in reinstituting preapprenticeship classes in our nation’s high schools that will not only expose the next generation of workers to the rewarding careers that are available to them but get them through a four-year program faster. Nothing will solve our generational labor crisis in construction and the pipe trades more effectively than exposing hundredsof- thousands of students to these careers by taking classes while they are in high school. Most importantly, we strongly urge that graduates from these accredited high school classes be recognized by the Department of Labor’s BAT as second- or third-year apprentices, thus propelling them through their post-high school curriculum and getting them on the job and earning as journeymen at a faster pace. On June 15, President Trump signed EO 13801, “Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” The Department of Labor’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion will be co-chaired by Secretary of Labor Acosta and Secretary of Education DeVos and will include 20 representatives from a broad cross-section of business. To date, more than 400 applications have been submitted for consideration. We note that the task force’s report must specifically address the following four topics: •Federal initiatives to promote apprenticeships; •Administrative and legislative reforms that would facilitate the formation and success of apprenticeship programs; •The most effective strategies for creating industry-recognized apprenticeships; and •The most effective strategies for amplifying and encouraging private-sector initiatives to promote apprenticeships. THE PLUMBING INDUSTRY HAS A PLAN Led by the American Supply Association and Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the PHCP & PVF industry is unified in its support to “jump-start” apprenticeship programs that begin with high school pre-apprenticeship classes. On Sept. 14, 12 industry CEOs from both the ASA and PHCC met with senior staff at the White House to discuss the looming issue as well as potential long-term solutions. During the 70-minute give-and-take meeting, the industry representatives presented what we plan to do to begin tackling this problem: •Led by a joint effort from ASA and PHCC, the industry will work with high school districts throughout the nation to establish 1000 pre-apprentice applied technology classes in the pipe trades by the year 2020 that will be accredited programs which will offer students full-time jobs out of high school (career alternatives to college). •Industry will provide each program with a quality instructor and all materials such as toilets, faucets, valves, pipes, tools, etc., to conduct the classes and support lab work. •Assistance in creating a one- and twoyear curriculum and support providing educational materials will include delivery of education in formats that facilitate students’ learning. •Support in finding employment after graduation in order to continue their mastering of the craft and building a life-long career of employment. •Doubling the number of active apprenticeship programs offered by 2020 to ensure that students seeking to complete their training can gain the necessary training. But recognizing that industry alone can’t solve this program, we asked the president to support our efforts with the following actions: SUMMARY OF INDUSTRY INPUT TO THE PRESIDENT’S EO 13801 •“Jump-start” four-year apprenticeship programs through DOL recognition for accredited high school appliedtechnology training so that students in a one- or two-year applied-technology plumbing program are recognized as second- or third-year apprentices getting them as full journeymen faster. •Department of Education support in urging the nation’s high schools to mirror the Palatine (Ill.) Township High School District 211 Construction Applied Technology Program and support industry efforts to start these high school options. •Urge the National Governors Association to set a priority of getting construction classes back into the nation’s high schools. •Create a national plumbing license superseding state licenses that stresses uniformity. One national license will simplify training as well as lowering costs for these employees and businesses that work cross-jurisdictions. It will also assist worker portability to seek jobs where they are available. THE FINAL ASK: REBUILDING AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE The plumbing, heating, cooling, pipe, valve and fittings industry has a long history of protecting the nation’s health through the delivery of clean drinking water, fuel, natural gas and the safe removal of waste. This is predicated on quality manufactured products, the reliable delivery of those products, and highly trained mechanics to install the systems that provide our nation with dependable and invaluable resources. We have seen the results from ignoring an infrastructure not readily visible to the public in tragedies such as Flint, Mich. Those in the industry know that most of America’s major cities have old, deteriorating water and gas infrastructures loaded with lead, crumbling pipes and aging valves long ignored because they are not in plain sight like our roads and bridges. We impressed upon the president the urgency to include plumbing and PVF in the infrastructure investment. For these and many other reasons, it’s imperative that we attract, train and retain the labor force that will provide vital services for future generations of Americans. Impassioned Leadership By Michael Adelizzi, CEO, American Supply Association TRADE ASSOCIATIONS like the American Supply Association advocate on behalf of an entire industry. The value of associations is apparent when members band together for the common purpose of strengthening an industry, be it regulations, codes and standards, a level playing field in Washington or creating a pathway for the next generation’s labor force. ASA is the national association advocating on your behalf. Leading an industry by keeping hundreds and thousands of employees, firms, volunteers and staff focused on the mission of being indispensable is a daunting task that is aided through the association’s strategic long-range plan. ASA’s volunteers serving on the board of directors as well as special interest divisions and committees meet regularly to map and navigate a pathway towards future success. For the past nine years, this vision has expanded and driven ASA to the highly effective and influential association it is today. Collectively, ASA’s mega goals, such as building our members’ operational excellence, recruiting, developing and retaining employees and being the recognized voice for advocacy, provide the long-term value for members and the industry. While the strategic long-range plan has been the one constant for nearly a decade, it is ASA’s impassioned volunteer leadership that continues to think boldly and drive the future success of the association. As current leaders complete their terms and rotate out of their leadership roles, new leaders are ready to step in with their own strengths and styles to contribute to and enhance the cohesive voice of the association. It is the passion, vision, dedication and drive of ASA’s volunteers that continue to push us forward. ASA has had the good fortune to find great leaders to serve on 12 boards and committees that constitute the organization’s governance structure. The leadership team consists of visionary, insightful and confident professionals operating with a high degree of commitment to building the industry. These volunteers inspire trust, a shared vision, clarity of purpose and a deep commitment to the mission. “Through my years as a volunteer for ASA, I have marveled at the passion and selfless dedication of our volunteers who are the heart of our association,” ASA Chairman Tim Milford (Milford Supply) said. “One minute, we might be fierce competitors in the marketplace, and the next minute we’re all working together under the ASA umbrella and in the best interests of the industry.” Skilled association management professionals are a critical component to ASA’s leadership team. Staff plays an integral role in the governance process, working closely with the volunteer-led boards and committees to provide them critical information they need to make decisions that chart the course. Learn more: www.asa.net/About-ASA firstname.lastname@example.org (630) 467-0000, ext. 201 ASA Recognizes Leadership THE AMERICAN SUPPLY ASSOCIATION is governed by nearly 100 visionary leaders who serve on various boards and committees. Governed by the association strategic vision, these leaders dedicate their time and work toward advancing the organization, its mission and the betterment of its members. The following ASA volunteers were recognized in Nashville during NETWORK for their service to the association and industry. Tim Milford, Milford Supply Chairman & Executive Committee Jim Lewis Kohler Executive Committee & VMD Todd Restel First Supply Board of Directors Kip Miller Eastern Industrial Supply Industrial Piping Division Chairman & Board of Directors Gary Jones Eastern Pennsylvania Supply Plumbing Division Chairman & Board of Directors Partnering for the Survival and Enrichment of an Industry There are memberships and there are partnerships, and Bradford White is extremely proud of the fact that the American Supply Association fosters the latter by truly partnering with its members to enrich this great industry. A DEMONSTRATION OF PARTNERSHIP, RELEVANCE AND LEADERSHIP Recently, the ASA, true to its core values of relevance and leadership, invited Bradford White to participate in a Sept. 14 meeting at the White House to discuss the importance of tax reform, infrastructure needs and, most importantly, workforce development. The discussion was fruitful and bore optimism regarding the current administration’s commitment to enhancing and enriching the public view and understanding of career needs and opportunities in the PHCP/PVF industry. With an expected industry shortfall of more that 138,000 employees by 2022, ASA members, from wholesalers to master distributors and from manufacturers to reps, must all stay deeply engaged in this discussion. It is imperative that ASA member companies continue to partner in addressing a workforce challenge that could have a devastating effect on several layers of our industry, let alone our country’s infrastructure, as acknowledged by members of the Trump administration. For a company such as Bradford White with all U.S.-based manufacturing operations, initiatives that shed light on the great opportunities that exist for young men and women in the trades and manufacturing are critical, and we thank ASA for allowing the manufacturing community to share its voice at this very important meeting A RENEWAL OF COMMITMENT This year, ASA renewed its longterm vision and commitments, as did Bradford White through the release of its new constitution during its 25th Anniversary Corporate Convention in June. Fundamental to each organization’s renewal of commitment were themes of quality, relevance, education for the enrichment of customers (members) and the industry at large. If it were not for the support and efforts of organizations such as ASA, the ability of companies such as Bradford White to ensure alignment with industry and customer needs would be far more challenging. As billed, ASA truly has its finger “on the pulse of economic, social and political trends” affecting our industry, and it shares that knowledge in a way that helps its members/customers like Bradford White be the best they can for their own customers. In mid-2017, in the spirit of ASA’s member/customer commitments and its NETWORK2017 theme of “Building Your Bottom Line,” Bradford White launched For The Pro, a collection of resources to help its supplier and contractor customers enrich their businesses. The many relationships cultivated through ASA and rich discussions at their local and national events helped Bradford White shape the framework for this new program that will continue to grow and evolve in a manner that reflects industry and customer needs for years to come. A PARTNERSHIP THAT WILL ADVANCE YOUR ABILITY ASA prides itself on being an “indispensable resource” that provides its members with the “ability to adapt, grow and succeed.” They’ve made it clear through its actions and its words that associations and their member companies must stay relevant to the needs of their customers in order to flourish and maintain loyalty. This is a philosophy to which Bradford White Corporation also subscribes and the company deeply appreciates ASA for leading by example.
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