Case Studies

Associated Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Texas

Keeping contractors connected

The Associated Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Texas (PHCC Texas) has been providing opportunities and unique industry-related services for Texas professionals in the plumbing and HVAC industries since 1914. The organization offers resources for leadership, networking, advocacy and education, as well as serving as a directory for Texas preferred service providers. PHCC Texas strives to offer value to members, while serving as a voice for legislative and regulatory issues between operators, agencies and governing bodies.

Nancy Jones, executive director of PHCC Texas, is a certified association executive. She works with a staff and board of directors to build programs and initiatives to best serve members. Jones has been involved with the association since 2000 and worked in association management for 15 years prior.

“When I first started, I was working with the organization from the outside on legislative issues,” she explains. “They approached me and asked me to work with them. It was good timing and the PHCC has been a great fit.”

Organized operations

“We are very involved in education,” says Jones. “We do a lot of business training. We train 11,000 students each year and we have 23 instructors who work for us. We write new continuing education textbooks each year and contribute to numerous publications. Other providers use our materials, as well. We have our own building, including our own training center with two classrooms and an outside building where we focus on hands-on learning.”

The organization built the training center in 2008. Currently, a staff of five keeps everything together and works closely with the board of directors.

In addition to the education component of the organization, PHCC lobbies for member interests on a local and national level. The organization also offers networking and social events to members.

“On a state level we do this at our annual conference,” Jones elaborates. “On the local level, they have monthly meetings, which are very important. Attendance to local meetings is good and these meetings play an important role in keeping our members informed.”

In order to fund all of these services and gatherings, PHCC relies on member contributions based on revenue. “The financial aspect is really important,” Jones notes. “We need to be able to hire the people we need for the projects we want to do. We are also fortunate to have a strong board of directors. We gauge our success on the connectedness of our members, but also on how well they are doing. We know that if their revenue and volume numbers are good, we are doing our job and we can keep doing that job. These figures help us determine what aspects of our organization are working and what aspects are not so we can adjust accordingly.”

Working together

PHCC’s membership is diverse. The organization represents contractors in plumbing and air conditioning. Roughly half are commercial contractors and a majority of members are involved in sustainable construction and green initiatives. The plumbing sector also includes specialists who perform work in medical facilities for various gas lines.

“We are very proud of how our members interact with each other,” Jones adds. “Our members recognize that they are a part of the federation. It is not a problem when they are competing; actually it is amazing that they are such good friends. They feel such a network of common interest they know they can share their problems and that they can network and troubleshoot together.”

Looking ahead

The strong network has allowed PHCC to take on some unique and ground-breaking initiatives over the years. One of the more common challenges in the trade sector of the construction industry has become finding qualified labor. The association helps out by building connections to up and coming professionals. One such partnership is with Northlake College in Irving, Texas. The school trains apprentices from PHCC member companies, helping young professionals to jump-start their careers while providing skilled and willing labor to members.

The quest for quality labor continues as one of the organizations biggest initiatives. Jones and her team are reaching out to establish more successful partnerships with trade schools and colleges across the state. She is also hoping to get some high schools onboard to help encourage students to pursue careers in the industry. The organization also holds regular job fairs to help bring in new talent.

As PHCC approaches 100 years of service, Jones takes great pride in the organization’s accomplishments. “Our progress in education has been incredible and we have developed some very successful programs,” she explains. “We have professional contractors with excellent foresight and with their help, we can keep our industry growing.” The Associated Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Texas celebrated its 100 year anniversary at the annual conference in Fort Worth in April 2014, focusing on its legacy and the vision of strength and growth for the future.

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Spring 2018



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