Case Studies

Associated Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Alabama

Member benefits for the 21st century

Since 1953, the Associated Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Alabama (PHCC of Alabama) has provided plumbing and HVAC professionals throughout the state with opportunities for continuing education, business development and unique industry-related services.

PHCC strives to offer value to members by providing resources for leadership, networking, advocacy and training, as well as serving as a directory for Alabama preferred service providers. The association also provides a forum for sharing ideas, challenges and business solutions.

“While our members are business competitors, they help each other all the time,” says Bob Mosca, who has been executive director of PHCC of Alabama since 1993. “Our members recognize that they are a part of a mutually beneficial organization. There is a very high level of comradely and that is the philosophy of PHCC.”

In order to stay abreast of industry trends and regulations, members turn to the progressive organization for business development opportunities, up-to-date information on building codes and services that help PHCC companies reduce costs, increase profits and enhance efficiency.

 “The association not only connects us with new clients looking for licensed, local contractors, but it also connects us with other industry leaders,” says Charlie Conklin, Sentry Heating Air Conditioning Plumbing & Generators (Sentry) founder and president. “Networking and talking with other contractors around the state allows us all to grow—to learn how they are bettering themselves and what issues they are facing. A little friendly competition helps us stay at the forefront of our business.”

As a PHCC of Alabama member contractor for more than 60 years, Dean Plumbing Co. Inc. has had the opportunity to network with others like itself, and finds membership beneficial for business development. “PHCC offers us the opportunity for peer networking and discussing with others in the business about their problems and solutions,” shares Michael Dean, president of Dean Plumbing.

Online training

In addition to PHCC of Alabama’s widely-used and well respected networking and hands-on training programs, it has been a pioneer in the field of online education delivery. It was the first in the nation to provide an online plumbing apprenticeship program in 2001, and since then technology has allowed for greater and more advanced programs.

“Times have changed, and our business managers and owners are from the generation where everything is done online, so providing online education programs is a major benefit for them and keeps them coming back,” says Bob. “Over the past 10 years, education has become more important, both technically and businesswise for our members. Virtual classrooms are cost-effective and convenient for people who don’t have the means to travel and need to secure their online education credits.”

The association offers three online educational programs, including backflow prevention, HAVAC continuing education and a plumbing apprenticeship program. In the future, the association hopes to add a virtual HVAC apprenticeship program, as well.

“More than 60 percent of our members actively participate in our programs, which tells me we are succeeding in delivering what’s needed in the industry,” says Bob. “I’m big on education, so to see members take to this so enthusiastically is very inspiring and motivates our board to continually improve our online education experiences.”

Member advocacy

PHCC’s membership is diverse. The organization represents contractors in plumbing and air conditioning – with roughly half working in commercial industry and half in service and repair. While the association is dedicated to helping its members secure the skilled employees they need through education and networking opportunities, PHCC of Alabama also serves as a voice for legislative and regulatory issues between operators, agencies and governing bodies.

“We work directly with the state board for legislation on plumbing and heating,” says Bob. “In 2013 and 2014 we saw several improvements to outdated state legislation. These upgraded policies not only benefit our members, but they conform with business practices and environmental concerns of the 21st century, as well.”

The assistance that the group provides in the state senate has been a tremendous aid to its members. Nick Tatum president of Conrad Watson Air Conditioning Inc. (CW), a member of PHCC of Alabama, notes legislative representation as one of the best benefits of membership for his company. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the work PHCC has done for us and other members,” says Nick.

As the Associated Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Alabama approaches 65 years of service, Bob takes great pride in the organization’s accomplishments and is looking forward to implementing new online courses and initiatives to drive membership growth over the next few years.

Published on: July 14, 2015

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