FALLS CHURCH, VA. — In a move to address workforce development, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association has partnered with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to develop a world-class plumbing curriculum and skills assessment.
“We believe this is a real solution to the workforce challenges facing the plumbing industry,” said PHCC President Eddie Hollub. “By providing a top-notch plumbing curriculum and skills assessment, PHCC is taking a significant step forward to provide training and workforce development in the plumbing industry.”
When looking at options, PHCC leadership determined that more could be accomplished by combining resources with NCCER than by working independently. PHCC currently offers a four-year plumbing apprenticeship program of its own.
“We are all aware of the labor shortage the construction industry is facing,” Hollub said. “But when looking at federal statistics, it is astounding to also note that less than 10% of U.S. construction workers are involved in a federally-approved apprenticeship program. This new initiative is designed to aggressively provide an option for a trained and productive workforce.”
PHCC and NCCER will develop the curriculum and craft assessment. PHCC will select 50% of the curriculum development team, involving PHCC chapters that provide apprenticeship training.
The curriculum will be built from NCCER’s “Contren” plumbing curriculum, which is taught nationwide by contractors, association chapters, and secondary and post-secondary schools. The craft assessment will evaluate the skill level of employees, and identify areas where additional training is necessary.
The comprehensive program, which includes the plumbing curriculum and skills assessment, is scheduled for completion in 2004.
This program also includes NCCER’s accreditation process, instructor certification and the NCCER National Registry. The Registry provides students with credentials that document their training accomplishments. These credentials are in the form of transcripts, wallet cards and certificates. The Registry enables contractors to verify a technician’s qualifications and provides portability of skills to the workforce.
The current PHCC plumbing apprenticeship curriculum will be available until the new curriculum is released. More information will be provided to PHCC chapters, which the association noted are essential to the program’s success.
NCCER, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education foundation, develops and publishes the Contren Learning Series, which includes construction, maintenance, and pipeline curricula for more than 35 craft areas; industry-developed safety programs; management education programs; and a complete line of skills assessments. More information is available at www.nccer.org.