Industry News

Top water heating and storage manufacturer and trade organizations share concerns about aging blue-collar workforce. Ambler, Pa. — As global economic disruption accelerates during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leaders in manufacturing, distribution and residential and commercial services are calling attention to overlooked career opportunities in the traditional skilled trades and urging an industry-wide focus on workforce Read more

Top water heating and storage manufacturer and trade organizations share concerns about aging blue-collar workforce.

Ambler, Pa. — As global economic disruption accelerates during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leaders in manufacturing, distribution and residential and commercial services are calling attention to overlooked career opportunities in the traditional skilled trades and urging an industry-wide focus on workforce development to close the skilled trades labor gap and recruit a new generation of young workers.

“For young people who are seeking a rewarding career but don’t feel like four years of college is the best choice for them, there are some tremendous advantages to seeking a career in the traditional skilled trades, from good starting salaries and job security to a variety of opportunities for advancement,” said Carl Pinto Jr., senior director of marketing communications, Bradford White Corporation.

“Unfortunately, many high school students and recent graduates who would thrive in our industry never consider a career in the trades. This is due in part to the overwhelming message that is being delivered through a variety of channels — college is the only path to success. But recent circumstances have highlighted the fact that manufacturing and residential and commercial service jobs are a critical part of the national economy. Lockdowns and social distancing have created challenges for the industry, but HVAC service and clean hot water have proven to be necessities during a pandemic. An overwhelming number of manufacturers and contractors were quickly identified as essential services and have been operating continuously since the COVID-19 outbreak began.”

Pinto and other experts share a concern about the demographics for manufacturing, distribution and skilled trades jobs.

“Everyone has a sweet spot in life and a unique path toward finding the career that best suits them,” said Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan. “For some people this might mean pursuing a four-year degree, while for others an apprenticeship might be the answer. Whatever that path may be, it is critical that we look for innovative ways to provide educational opportunities for America’s workers and ensure our workforce is prepared for the good-paying jobs of the 21st century.”

According to the American Supply Association, approximately half of the people in those industries are at or nearing retirement age, but only 4% are under the age of 26.

“That’s our greatest concern, that there just aren’t enough people,” said ASA CEO Mike Adelizzi. “At the same time, we have to recognize that it’s an opportunity, too. With so many people aging out of the industry, a young worker can fast track his or her career.”

The ASA and other organizations are involved in ongoing efforts to combat stereotypes about blue-collar jobs. One of ASA’s key initiatives is the ASA Education Foundation, which provides innovative tools and strategies to support the preparation of the next generation of leaders and continued support for the next generation of the industry’s workforce.

“Our industry offers so much for young workers, but unfortunately there are some persistent stereotypes about manufacturing and trades jobs,” said PHCC Executive Vice President Michael R. Copp. “We feel a major responsibility to help our members reach and recruit the best talent. Connecting with the next generation of skilled trades workers not only helps individual businesses succeed, it elevates the industry as a whole.”

The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) has made workforce development a strategic priority and is developing a tool kit for its members and their suppliers. PHCC’s Workforce Development Center currently provides potential employees, manufacturers, contractors and suppliers with a library of online information and training material, with additional assets in the works.  In response to needs that arose during the pandemic, the PHCC Educational Foundation is leveraging its online learning platform to provide alternative methods to help contractors attract and train new employees.

To learn more about Bradford White, please visit https://www.bradfordwhitecorporation.com/

Agency examines COVID-19 effects on professional tradesmen, manufacturers, trade media and influencers Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, created a comprehensive resource guide full of information regarding COVID-19 and its effects on the Business-to-Tradesmen (B2T) niche that Sonnhalter serves. Sonnhalter’s COVID-19 Tip Sheet is available Read more

Agency examines COVID-19 effects on professional tradesmen, manufacturers, trade media and influencers

Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, created a comprehensive resource guide full of information regarding COVID-19 and its effects on the Business-to-Tradesmen (B2T) niche that Sonnhalter serves. Sonnhalter’s COVID-19 Tip Sheet is available for download at www.sonnhalter.com/covid-19-tip-sheet.

Through extensive research and interviews with a number of key industry stakeholders, Sonnhalter created content at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued throughout the ensuing months to examine the effects and compare them to effects that were initially predicted for the future of the industry. The coverage of the topic includes a five-part series with several editors, publishers and key personnel from the trade media industry, a three-part series of interviews with industry influencers, advice for COVID-19 internal and external communications and content and interviews from the distributor’s perspective.

“As an agency dedicated to the business-to-tradesmen (B2T) industry, Sonnhalter quickly realized the tremendous impact COVID-19 would have on all facets of our business, so we wanted to not only provide communications resources to help businesses during the pandemic, but also educate ourselves by hearing from all types of industry voices on the effects of the pandemic,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Discovering how manufacturers, media, distributors and influencers adjusted to the challenges of this new normal has been a fascinating learning experience and we have been wholly impressed with their ingenuity and resilience during this pandemic.”

To review Sonnhalter’s COVID-19 posts, visit our blog or download the COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Sonnhalter.com/covid-19-tip-sheet.

Viega hosts online training seminars in October Attendees can earn credits and certifications. BROOMFIELD, Colo. (Oct. 1, 2020) – Viega LLC has a full slate of online seminars in October for contractors who want to increase their knowledge and add skills. During the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the company is making the valuable training easily Read more

Viega hosts online training seminars in October

Attendees can earn credits and certifications.

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (Oct. 1, 2020) – Viega LLC has a full slate of online seminars in October for contractors who want to increase their knowledge and add skills.

During the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the company is making the valuable training easily accessible to contractors, distributors and others. Viega’s Colorado and New Hampshire seminar centers are closed for now.

Viega, the leading manufacturer of pipe fitting installation technology, is offering 22 classes in such subjects as ProPress, MegaPress and PureFlow PEX, as well as radiant, fire sprinkler and flushing systems training. The classes are taught by Viega’s expert instructors. Some courses offer Continuing Education Units while others include the opportunity to earn industry credentials from Viega.

In addition to the classes below, Viega can schedule requested online sessions for small groups. To inquire about such a session, DM us on social media at @viegallc.

Online seminars are free, but registration is required (all times EDT).

Pressure Testing Press Systems Training – 11 a.m., Oct. 1 PureFlow PEX Credential Training – 2 p.m., Oct. 2 MegaPress Credential Training – 3 p.m., Oct. 5
Industrial Solutions Training – 1 p.m., Oct. 6

Viega Toolbox App Training – 11 a.m., Oct. 7 Flushing Systems Training – 2 p.m., Oct. 8

Climate Panel Installation Training – 10 a.m., Oct. 9 ProPress Credential Training – 4 p.m., Oct. 12 Radiant Training – 11 a.m., Oct. 13

CuNi Credential Training – 2 p.m., Oct. 14

Radiant Manifold and Connections Training – 1 p.m., Oct. 15
Water Management Solutions Training – Noon, Oct. 16
Residential Fire Sprinkler Credential Training – 10 a.m., Oct. 19
MegaPress Press-in Branch Connector Credential Training – 11 a.m., Oct. 20 PEX Piping Systems and Applications Training – 3 p.m., Oct. 21

MegaPress Piping Installation Training – Noon, Oct. 22
PureFlow PEX Credential Training – 10 a.m., Oct. 23
MegaPress Credential Training – 2 p.m., Oct. 26
Hydronic Mixing Block Installation and Programming Training – 4 p.m., Oct. 27 Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation Training – 1 p.m., Oct. 28

MegaPress Stainless Credential Training – 3 p.m., Oct. 29 ProPress Stainless Credential Training – 10 a.m., Oct. 30

To register and learn more, click here.

In addition to the online training, Viega continues its “TechTalk LIVE!” program. Master plumbers and Viega training managers Troy Locke and Bo DeAngelo discuss technical topics and answer questions from viewers in real time. Previous sessions are available on Viega’s YouTube channel.

Original dates of January 25-27, 2021 have been officially postponed; March 15-17, 2021 continues to be considered with a final decision expected by October 15, 2020 AHR Expo Show Management today announced the postponement of the original planned Show dates of January 25-27 for the 2021 AHR Expo in Chicago. Both McCormick Place and Choose Read more

Original dates of January 25-27, 2021 have been officially postponed; March 15-17, 2021 continues to be considered with a final decision expected by October 15, 2020

AHR Expo Show Management today announced the postponement of the original planned Show dates of January 25-27 for the 2021 AHR Expo in Chicago. Both McCormick Place and Choose Chicago , an organization dedicated to bringing visitors to Chicago, recognize how vital the Show is to the city and have offered Show Management the dates of March 15-17, 2021 to host the HVACR industry. In a survey conducted by AHR Expo, the proposed move to March is preferred by nearly 80% of exhibitors and attendees. The decision to postpone the original planned January dates was difficult, however, the AHR Expo, ASHRAE and AHRI are encouraged about hosting a live event in March and continue to explore feasibility. A final decision will be announced no later than October 15, 2020.

“We continue to exhaust all possibilities that will allow us to host a safe and successful event for all industry stakeholders,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager. “But we have to take into account that there are barriers for allowances within the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago that we cannot control. We remain cautiously optimistic that we can meet together in Chicago in March.”

In consideration of the significant planning and preparation required to participate in the Show, AHR Expo Show Management, along with co-sponsors ASHRAE and AHRI, will make the final determination and announcement on or before October 15th. While six months remain between now and March, a decision to make a final call well in advance will allow both exhibitors and attendees to more easily plan.

Throughout the spring and summer, countless meetings have been held to explore all possible avenues in order to produce a safe and successful Show in Chicago. In partnership with Show co-sponsors and the advisory committee, Show Management has been in close contact with McCormick Place, the city of Chicago, Show vendors, and other officials to provide the best guidance to host the event. These meetings will continue throughout the month as all options are considered.

“All of us in the industry understand the vital role HVACR plays in the world. We at AHR Expo know the importance of the Show in providing a unique environment where members of the HVACR community can congregate to learn, share, and grow as professionals while experiencing all that’s new in the industry,” continued Stevens. “I think we all understand the challenges this year has presented thus far, and while HVACR has emerged as a primary player in how we can hope to combat COVID-19 and other pandemic threats of the future, there are safety, governmental, and practical considerations that have to be taken into account.”

Show Management will continue to follow updates within the state of Illinois, the Governor’s office, as well as the CDC and other advisory councils.

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will advance the benefits that both organizations provide to the plumbing industry. David Fink, President of PPI, and Billy Smith, FASPE, Executive Director/CEO of ASPE, made the joint announcement virtually from their respective Read more

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will advance the benefits that both organizations provide to the plumbing industry. David Fink, President of PPI, and Billy Smith, FASPE, Executive Director/CEO of ASPE, made the joint announcement virtually from their respective headquarters. ASPE is the international organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification, and inspection of plumbing systems. PPI is the leading North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry.

“For the past 70 years, PPI and our members have embarked on research projects that have led to the creation of many manuals and standards, and influenced codes,” Fink stated. “We have always sought ways to work with other like-minded groups to amplify the benefits to the industry. Our work with ASPE has been highly rewarding, and we are looking forward to doing even more. For example, we will explore how to best educate legislators on issues important to the members of each organization, plus promote mutually beneficial positions during the development and passage of state and federal legislation.”

One of the key components of the MOU is advocacy. Where mutually beneficial, and to the extent allowed by laws and corporate policies, ASPE and PPI will work together on common public affairs goals and ideologies.

Billy Smith stated, “Being the international organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification, and inspection of plumbing systems, ASPE is dedicated to the advancement of the science of plumbing engineering, to the professional growth and advancement of our members, and to the health, welfare, and safety of the public. Having the opportunity to continue our core goals by collaborating with industry partners through advocacy for the benefit of all is a valuable asset.”

“PPI has enjoyed a close relationship with ASPE for a number of years,” stated Lance MacNevin, P. Eng., Director of Engineering for PPI’s Building & Construction Division (BCD). “ASPE’s scope of work related to plumbing and fire protection systems is very much in line with PPI BCD’s scope of work. Since becoming a professional member of ASPE in 2015, I have benefitted from the resources made available to their members and participated in the ASPE Main Design Standards and Legislative Committees. Also, PPI has been registered with ASPE as a continuing education CEU Provider since 2016. This has helped PPI to connect with plumbing engineers through ASPE conferences and Chapter meetings. I encourage more PPI members to join ASPE.”

Part of PPI’s mission is to educate the plumbing industry about correct applications for plastic pressure piping systems using CPVC, HDPE, PEX, PE-RT, PP-R, and PP-RCT. “It is important that plumbing engineers have access to accurate information about these pipe materials. There are ideal applications for each of these materials when utilized correctly,” MacNevin said. “The MOU with ASPE will help to accelerate our goal to deliver accurate and thorough information about these systems, so that the best pipe material can be selected for an application.”

Other areas addressed in the MOU include education, technical activities, and research.

“This Memorandum is certainly very exciting,” MacNevin continued. “It clearly defines our goals, outlines the initiatives, and sums up the strong support structure of why and how we have forged this agreement. The collaborative work of ASPE and PPI members, based on their years of experience and knowledge, is intended to benefit the plumbing community and the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

“The wealth of knowledge contained in both of our organizations is second to none, so we are looking forward to expanding our relationship with PPI to help increase the technical knowledge of the industry,” Smith said.

Additional information can be found at plasticpipe.org/building-construction or at aspe.org.