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Oct. 19-21, the PHCC community met in San Antonio, Texas, for CONNECT 2016. Nearly 800 attendees brought positive energy and a true desire to collaborate with their peers and industry partners on pressing needs, from keeping up with technology and government regulations to hiring and retaining skilled workers.
“For those who are prepared, chaos brings opportunity.”
CONNECT keynoter John Spence shared how emerging trends – computer speed, robotics, virtual reality and more – are impacting the PHC industry. For example, augmented reality, the overlay of reality with computer-generated content and images through select devices, has many training implications for the HVAC/plumbing industry, according to Spence.
Those contractors who plan, however, will be ready to forge the new frontier, said Spence.
Spence’s address was just one of more than 25 education sessions offering attendees ideas and proven solutions on topics such as succession planning, consumer financing, data-driven marketing, fresh air treatment and filtration and much more.
Politics and the Industry
During the second keynote address, political analyst Stu Rothenberg explored the interaction between American demographics and politics.
“The nation is divided,” he said, “and it’s not going to change in this election."
PHCC members displayed their belief that a unified voice carries far greater power than any single individual by contributing more than $9,500 to the PHCC Political Action Committee during CONNECT 2016.
QSC Business Excellence Day
This year's CONNECT was one of many firsts. One of the biggest was the inaugural QSC Business Excellence Day, an event made to highlight the unique programming and services PHCC's Quality Service Contractors has to offer. The one-day track was aimed at owners and senior managers and focused on service and repair topics. Covering everything from inspiring performance through great leadership to the power of selling an experience, the event pulled in packed rooms of attendees.
"This was our first QSC Business Excellence Day and I think it has been a great success. This event brought together members of the QSC community and showed potential service and repair contractors what we are all about and what we have to offer," said Lawrence Leonard, QSC Executive Director.
"Without a doubt, the most important aspect of our success was the educational content we were able to provide participants. Our goal is to help these business leaders move their companies forward while taking advantage of the opportunities currently available. Many thanks go out to our incredibly supportive industry partners who helped make QSC Business Excellence Day a reality."
Workforce Development: Becoming the “Employer of Choice”
During a Workforce Development Exchange, several panelists shared ideas on how contractors can become an “employer of choice,” citing their own experiences using technology, career fairs, social media, career websites and more.
PHCC—National Association unveiled a number of new recruitment tools for members during the session. One was a new a career video focusing on the industry and what it offers. Another was Conquering the Workforce Challenge, a resource guide to help members find and recruit qualified employees.
Educating Current and Future Generations
The talents of promising young workers were on full display at CONNECT, with 20 plumbing apprentices and 12 HVAC apprentices vying for top honors during the PHCC Educational Foundation’s Apprentice Contests.
The PHCC Educational Foundation announced that it received Invest in Your Future campaign contributions totaling $39,500 during the Awards Luncheon last Friday.
Proving their commitment to supporting the next generation, PHCC Auxiliary and Educational Foundation announced scholarship awards totaling nearly $134,000 to 72 students.
“Collaborating for Success”
With an eye on the future, PHCC installed new officers, with PHCC President Chip Greene, Greene & Associates, Macon, Georgia, passing the baton to Patrick Wallner, Wallner Plumbing Company, Inc., Redding, California, during the closing installation ceremony.
The organization also welcomed Ken Nielsen, AccuAire Inc., Reading, Massachusetts, as Vice President. Mr. Nielsen was elected during the Oct. 21 PHCC Annual Business Meeting.
Expanding its communications tools, PHCC released its new magazine – PHCC Solutions. CONNECT attendees got a sneak peek at the first issue which focuses on technology integration and how contractors can get ahead on this new innovative trend.
During the conference, PHCC also launched its Water Supply Calculator App, offering members a single resource to determine water support fixture units and minimum fixture branch sizes for common plumbing fixtures, as well as other calculations. The app also serves as an all-in-one membership engagement tool that allows members to directly access PHCC information and resources on their portable devices.
Of course, PHCC couldn’t pave its path forward without recognizing several deserving contractors, apprentices, auxiliary members, association executives, and students who have made the progress so far possible.