PHCC Foundation Foremen Workshop at the Viega Training Facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.

PHCC Super Foremen Class Learns Strategies to Drive Success

May 8, 2024
A packed classroom of twenty-seven attendees engaged in a highly interactive and intense two-day workshop conducted May 3-4.

FALLS CHURCH, VA — “More Time, More Money and More Peace of Mind” was the theme of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation’s popular Creating Super Foremen class. A packed classroom of twenty-seven attendees engaged in a highly interactive and intense two-day workshop conducted May 3-4. The event was held at the Viega Training Facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, with lead instruction from Purdue University Professor Emeritus Kirk Alter.

Effective time management is a direct strategy for success and Alter gave attendees an insightful introduction to some of technology’s newest offerings that can save time. By showing the class how they could harness artificial intelligence (AI) tools in their day-to-day work, he opened their eyes to the possibilities. Attendees experimented with prompts to use in ChatGPT when starting a budget analysis and saw how the chatbot can save time when gathering project information, writing emails, and even creating a 5-year career plan.

Solving Problems

The second part of the theme was captured by a key question asked by Alter: “How do you make money?” His answer: “By solving other people’s problems.” For foremen, that means becoming effective front-line managers. “As the subcontractor business owner, I am handing my wallet to you, my foreman, every single day,” Alter explained. “If you are asking good questions, managing with numbers and making the best decisions you can with the information you have, it will absolutely show in the results for your jobs. What do think that will do to your career path at my company?”

Finally, Alter illustrated how foremen can face fewer surprises and have more peace of mind. This breakthrough came when Alter introduced attendees to the importance of using spreadsheets to analyze the status of a construction project. Groups worked independently one evening on analyzing the numbers. The next day Alter led the class through an activity where they experienced firsthand how to extract details about labor productivity, management decisions, and where things went wrong. 

“You get frustrated on your jobs because of surprises, but if you know how to read the numbers, the whole story is there,” he said. “Being able to spot productivity issues or other problems early will help you to solve those issues when you still have time to recover. That is going to make your jobs and your life so much easier.”

'Aha' Moments

Foremen are problem-solvers who can impact a company’s success. After two days of "aha" moments, the PHCC Super Foremen class left equipped with new strategies to achieve three things that drive success: more time, more money and more peace of mind. 

Viega sponsored and hosted the foremen class at their New Hampshire Training Facility, providing the training room, A/V, meals for the attendees and more. “We are very grateful for Viega’s support for this class. As in past years, the attendees expressed how great of an experience this class is and how seamless Viega makes it to learn in their classroom space,” said John Zink, Vice President of Development and Communications, PHCC Educational Foundation.

Project managers and foremen who wish to register for future class offerings of the Foundation can add their names to the notification lists at

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