FALLS CHURCH, VA. — A little more than a week after Vice President Joe Biden commented that “there are an awful lot of smart plumbers,” the president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association has reached out to Mr. Biden for help in spreading positive messages about the plumbing profession whenever he can.
In a May 31 letter to Mr. Biden, PHCC President Keith Bienvenu, Bienvenu Brothers Plumbing, Metairie, La., thanked the vice president for acknowledging the intelligence of plumbing professionals.
“We appreciate you saying that ‘there are an awful lot of smart plumbers’ because we certainly know a lot of them, as well,” Bienvenu wrote. “As America’s first and foremost trade association dedicated to the construction industry, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association represents some of the most qualified and dedicated plumbing professionals in the nation.
“Unfortunately, the plumbing trade, in particular, does not always get the respect it deserves, and is the victim of many disparaging remarks,” Bienvenu said.
The family business co-owner went on to ask Mr. Biden, in his role as vice president, to depict the plumbing professional and industry in a positive light whenever possible. He also appealed to Mr. Biden’s personal exposure to the trade, including a time when Mr. Biden’s father worked on a temporary basis for a heating and cooling company in Delaware.
“Through this experience, you and your family certainly had firsthand exposure to the contributions our members make to protect our safety and quality of life,” he said.
Mr. Bienvenu stated: “As a leader in this great country of ours, and with his working class family background, Vice President Biden is well-positioned to help us spread the word of all the plumbing profession can offer — a stable income to support a family, a job that won’t be outsourced to another country, opportunities for learning new technologies and techniques and a sense of pride at the end of the day that you have played a key role in ensuring the health, safety, and comfort of society and the protection of the environment.
“As the economy continues to recover, there will be many opportunities for qualified workers to enter our profession. Just yesterday [May 31, 2012] at a Career and Technical Education Foundation meeting we learned of the latest projected numbers of workers that will be available as Baby Boomers retire, and the pool is definitely shrinking. We’d love for the ‘best and brightest’ to choose our rewarding profession. We encourage anyone interested in this fulfilling career to contact us at www.phccweb.org or 800/533-7694.”