Archives: News Items

Boston Opens New Training Center

MSCA Chair, Kip Bagley, (EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems, Irvine, CA) spoke at the New England MSCA membership meeting last month in Boston, MA. Later that week he joined Local 537 to celebrate their new Pipefitters Training Center. Also in attendance were UA General President, Mark McManus, Mayor Martin Walsh, many sate and city officials, UA International Representative C. Daniel Watts, Building Trades President, Brian Doherty, The Boston City Singers, Rev. Gerry Petringa and many LU 537 members, family members and friends.

“You have so much to be proud of  with your beautiful new training center,” remarked Bagley. “It is very impressive and I know it took a joint effort to make it a reality.”

The new facility hosts over 80 welding booths, hands on refrigeration and pipefitting classrooms and state of the art computer labs. This Class of 2023 will be the first apprenticeship class that will spend their entire five years of education in the newly built Training Center.

A special thank you to former MSCA Chair and Education Trustee for Local 537, Frank Norton, who plays an integral role in the HVAC industry in Boston and was instrumental in seeing the building of the training center come to fruition.

This is an exciting time at Local 537 and in Boston!

2019: A Good Year to Be a Better HVAC Contractor

MSCA Chair, Kip Bagley, along with other industry leaders, were interviewed by ACHR News regarding the year’s outlook for the HVAC industry.

By all accounts, 2018 was a great year as far as the U.S. economy was concerned. Sales of HVAC equipment remained strong, the unemployment rate stayed below 4 percent, and the gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter (4.2 percent in the second quarter).

But some analysts believe the economy may soften in 2019, as housing starts slow down, interest rates rise, and existing home sales decrease. This may mean fewer remodeling opportunities, or it could result in consumers deciding to stay put and investing in their current homes and businesses. That would be good news for HVAC contractors.

Many member companies of the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) experienced year-over-year growth in 2018, said current chairman, Kip Bagley, vice president of service, Emcor Services Mesa Energy Systems, Irvine, California.

“Retrofit divisions have been among the highest increases year over year, followed by automation and service,” he said. “MSCA expects to see continued growth in 2019 when it comes to service offerings. I expect to see continued interest and increased sales in equipment and innovations that focus on energy efficiencies, such as VRF systems, chiller replacements, and drive projects, as well as solar and automation equipment installations and upgrades.”

Bagley expects commercial service and repair work to continue growing at the same pace as it has for the last several years.

“There are so many systems that are in various life cycle stages, so when organizations are faced with budget cuts or consolidation, they typically choose to service and repair their equipment instead of making a larger investment in a replacement,” he said. “We don’t see this changing for the foreseeable future.”

Looking ahead for the year, the skilled worker shortage will continue to be a challenge, forcing many business owners to turn down work because of lack of manpower. In addition, businesses continue to struggle with adapting to new technologies, which are always changing.

Not surprisingly, the labor shortage continues to be a concern for MSCA as well. Bagley noted that while this has been a big issue over the last few years, the next five to seven years may be even more of a challenge as baby boomers start retiring.

“The good news is that we are starting to see an increased interest in younger millennials (ages 17 to 23) joining the skilled trades, as well as those in their late 20s and 30s, who are struggling with college loan debt,” he said. “Both groups are finding out that our industry provides excellent compensation, benefits, and opportunities.”

Bagley believes that company culture has a lot to do with attracting and retaining employees. He noted that companies can be successful by having a highly collaborative environment, fostering constant communication, and being dedicated to the ongoing training of their technical workforce.

“We also encourage adopting proven technologies and innovations, which help attract the younger generations,” he said. “Finally, it helps to be a very sales-focused organization, so technicians are always busy and can count on a full 40-plus hour schedule, which is important to most in our industry. Any of these tactics can help contractors attract new employees.”

 

Read full theNEWS article here; https://www.achrnews.com/articles/140974-a-good-year-to-be-a-better-hvac-contractor? 

Sales Basecamp: Registration Now Open for May Program!

Sales Basecamp will be held May 16-17, 2019 at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport in  Linthicum Heights, MD.

This two-day program  is for anyone new to the sales function or the HVACR and plumbing industry who is preparing for a career in sales. This highly interactive course will prepare recent hires or employees new to a sales position with all the relevant skills necessary to confidently sell HVACR and plumbing services while creating added value for the customer.

The program was developed by a task force of MSCA contractors in partnership with Nancy Bandy, lead instructor for this program, an accomplished professional with over 30 years of corporate training and organizational design
experience.

Class size is limited, so make sure to sign-up today!

 

Submit Your Nominations for the MSCA19 Everyday Hero Award

MSCA defines the Everyday Hero as Everyday Hero as a person of integrity with a will of compassion to serve others, who willingly and unselfishly gives of his or her time, skills, and /or services to assist, support, or advocate for others, but seeks no recognition or compensation.

There are remarkable heroes all throughout our industry, doing extraordinary things every day. They have a passion to brighten other’s lives in whatever way they can without seeking attention. That deserves to be recognized and celebrated!

We need your help to find a group of these exceptional people who are making a positive impact in the lives of others — please take the time to nominate one or more people in your company that you believe are deserving of this honor.

 

Here’s what the 2018 recipient had to say:

“It was a great honor and true pleasure to receive the 2018 Everyday Hero award. Many of the people in the audience had just donated their time and efforts working with a local non profit organization in Orange County. Anyone that gives back is considered a hero in my book and I think what the MSCA has done for local charities since adding this event is quite extraordinary and something all members should be proud of.”

Ted Stutz, EMCOR Services/Mesa Energy

 

Here’s what the 2018 nominator had to say about the experience:

“Until I met him, I had never met a hero or seen what they do first hand. He gives back quietly and without fanfare and is not looking for any kudos. He makes us all want to be a better person. We all have a long way to go to be like him.”

Kip Bagley, VP of Service, EMCOR Services/Mesa Energy

WiMI Minute – Meet the Women of WiMI

This month we feature Kori Gormley-Huppert, President of Gormley Plumbing + Mechanical in McMinnville, OR. Kori is also the Chair of the Women in the Mechanical Industry Committee this year.

The Rewards of Giving Back: Arista Team Rebuilds a Home in Puerto Rico

It’s not every day you get the chance to give someone a gift that changes their lives. A group of 12 employees from MSCA member company, Arista Air Conditioning Corporation, did just that when they traveled to Puerto Rico with Convoy of Hope to build a new house and repair other homes that were damaged in Hurricane Maria.

Before the trip, they knew they would be giving a family back their home, which would certainly make a big impact. And they knew it would feel gratifying to help. But they never expected to be so profoundly affected by the experience, and in so many ways.

“It’s not like we are strangers to helping people. In fact, it’s a big part of what we do everyday in the air conditioning service business, and it’s what makes our work rewarding. But the outcome of this project went far beyond providing comfortable conditions in homes and businesses,” shared Scott Berger, President of Arista.

As a family business, one of their most deeply-rooted values is a commitment to giving back. Every year they are on the lookout for ways we can do so as a company that will make the biggest impact. For Scott, that means more than just donating money. He knew Arista had something valuable to offer: a skilled workforce with experience in many aspects of building construction. In the places where those skills are desperately needed, like Puerto Rico, they are both hard to come by and prohibitively expensive.

Arista partnered with Convoy of Hope, an organization that is often first on the ground after natural disasters and no stranger to the MSCA, which has partnered with them over the past decade during our annual education conference. Arista had already worked with Convoy of Hope earlier in the year, when 150 of our employees spent a morning packing 4000 hygiene kits for people in need. Convoy offered them the opportunity to send a group of 12 people to Puerto Rico for a week to rebuild a home.

When they arrived at the job site on the first day, there were foundation posts with three box beams attached. The team worked very hard in hot and humid conditions for long hours. By the end of 5 days, they had built the entire house, complete with plumbing, electricity, and paint. The house was fairly small and basic, but well constructed and superior to what the surrounding community is living in.

“People who had very little were ready and willing to give whatever they could. Seeing that motivated us to work hard and work together so we could help them as much as possible. The result was a team that was willing and able to move mountains to accomplish their goal. The outcome was truly everything I hoped it would be.”

Everyone was deeply moved by the poverty and conditions people were living in, and were keenly aware of how fortunate they are to live where they do and have everything they have. The entire team is eager to do it all over again!

Read more about their experience; https://aristair.com/blog/rewards-giving-back-arista-rebuilds-home-puerto-rico/ or Watch this video and get inspired to give back!

 

Ferguson and DEWALT Show Their Support for the WiMI Initiative

Ferguson and DEWALT showed their support for MCAA’s Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative during MCAA19. Ferguson underwrote two $5,000 Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships that recognized high-achieving female students working towards degrees related to our industry. DEWALT collected more than 1,500 signatures in support of the WiMI Initiative and donated $7,500 to WiMI’s efforts.

Sharing the “Value of Your Service Business” at MCAA19 Convention

MSCA’s presented “The Value of Your Service Business to Recession Proof Your Company” at this year’s MCAA19 Convention — and it was a big hit!
Over one hundred attendees joined the session to gain a better understanding of the value of a service business to a company and how it can ensure sustained profitability.

The session focused on building a strong service component in existing construction companies. The presentation was led by current MSCA Chair; Kip Bagley, Emcor Services Mesa Energy Systems, and past Chairs; Chris Carter , Murphy Company and  Steve Smith, ACCO Engineered Systems, Inc. The session was broken down into three sections; Service Financials, Value of Service Agreements and Understanding Service Manpower. The speakers helped the audience identify realistic maintenance goals and how service sales can add value to a company and not only increase profits but also minimize risk.

The talk sparked a lot of interest among the audience. One attendee shared, “I thought I was running a good service business until I heard this talk. I now need to go back to my company and reevaluate some of our business practices.”

Participants left with three key take-aways:

  1. Separate service and construction financials.
  2. Build a strong Preventative Maintenance base.
  3. Hire and retain skilled service talent.

MSCA Participated in the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference

MSCA headed to Vegas March 3-5, 2019 for the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference. The annual conference hosted hundreds of individuals involved in educating and training the HVACR workforce. This year’s conference schedule offered nearly seventy lecture-based, and hands-on sessions to introduce, teach and reinforce, at all levels, the concepts, theories and methodologies on which the building sciences rely. It was a great opportunity for MSCA to get in front of the instructors that are laying the foundation for our industry’s future workers.

MSCA exhibited Sunday and Monday as well as hosted the “Creating Career Opportunities for HVACR Graduates” session on Sunday evening. We  had a great attendance and shared why it is so valuable for students to be employed by an MSCA company after graduation. It is beneficial to students as well as our members for instructors to truly understand the limitless career opportunities and benefits, from free continuing education, higher than average wages and benefits and the opportunity to work at some amazing customer facilities, for those students that are placed with MSCA member companies post graduation.

MSCA Minute Technology Challenge

Sometimes it takes only a minute to take a look at your business and find some answers to the questions that have been haunting you. Attendees at the MSCA18 annual conference stopped by the podcast booth to take part in the MSCA Minute Technology Challenge conducted by JBKnowledge.  Each participant answered 10 rapid fire questions about their current technology situation in — you guessed it — just 60 seconds! Watch the video and answer along, it’s a great way to gain a quick insight to how you compare to your industry peers when it comes to technology.

Sign Up Today for the 2019 Sales Masters Program!

The MSCA Sales Masters program is a highly customized program for intermediate to advanced HVACR and plumbing sales professionals looking to take their careers to the next level. The intensive nine-day program is designed to provide industry-specific training not found in any other sales program. The course is broken up into two weeks.

Week 1, April 7—11, 2019 at Woolley’s Classic Suites in Denver, CO, is taught by industry leaders with decades of HVACR sales experience. Participants will work through “real world” sales opportunities. Attendees will roll play through cold-calling, prospecting, qualifying, surveying, proposal development, and delivering a presentation as a sales team.

Week 2, November 3—8, 2019, at the University of Houston in Houston, TX, is taught by leading professors from the world renowned Sales Excellence Institute at the Bauer College of Business on the campus of the University of Houston. Attendees will master communication, negotiation, time management and other skills necessary to preform at the top of their game, while still remaining very specific to the HVACR and plumbing industry.

Ongoing follow up is provided by University of Houston sales experts after the class is complete to ensure new skills are being applied and goals are attained.

Class size is limited to provide optimal learning environment, so make sure to register today!

UA 2019 HVACR Regional Training Dates Now on MSCA Website

The United Association (UA) Education and Training Department have released  2019 dates for the HVACR industry courses. These courses are offered through the 2019 Regional Training System, in an agreement with the major HVACR manufacturers, Carrier Corporation, Daikin, and Johnson Controls.

Courses will be taught by authorized-factory instructors, incorporating manufacturer-specific curriculum. Course size is limited so early registration is encouraged. These courses are designed to provide the best possible training for the UA local unions, keeping up to date with current HVACR industry requirements for project specifications in high performance buildings.

HVAC Service Technicians and NFL Quarterbacks

We all know that great HVACR Service Technicians are invaluable to your company, but have you ever considered how similarly the compare to NFL quarterbacks? Neither had we  — but check out this fun list of similarities!

The Top 10 Qualities a Great HVAC Service Technician Has In Common With an NFL Quarterback

 

1. AN EXCELLENT MEMORY
It’s not uncommon for NFL teams to have playbooks consisting of more than 50 running plays and up to 200 passing plays. The quarterback has to know them all. Likewise, today’s HVAC service technician has to remember how to maintain and repair hundreds of types of equipment made by dozens of manufacturers over several decades. What’s more, he also needs to be familiar with the local building codes and regulations.

 

2. KEEN PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY
A quarterback has to be able to think on his feet (literally) at the line of scrimmage. He must look for clues about the defensive coverage he’s facing, and react accordingly by calling an audible, rearranging the receivers, or calling a timeout if needed. A talented HVAC service technician has that same ability to size up the problem in front of him and see the solution even when it’s not obvious.

 

3. HARD-WORKING
The performance of the quarterback affects the team’s entire offense. If his throws are off-target, the receivers can’t catch them. If he does not move quickly, the linemen can’t protect him and he’ll be sacked. If he’s not sure-handed, there will be lots of fumbles. That’s why no one works harder in practice than the quarterback. The same holds true for the HVAC service technician. The success of the entire HVAC service company depends on his abilities (or lack thereof). That’s why an HVAC service technician spends years in training an apprenticeships working to gain the technical knowledge he needs to properly diagnose and repair HVAC problems.

 

4. COOL UNDER PRESSURE
There’s nothing like staring down a bunch of 300-pound defensive linemen who are just itching to throw you to the ground. That’s the kind of pressure the quarterback is under every time he steps to the line of scrimmage. Your HVAC service technician also faces a great deal of pressure with every service call. He may not be facing physical violence, but he must remain calm and professional when dealing with irate customers with no air conditioning in triple-digit summer heat, as well as those with unexpected repair bills in the thousands.

 

5. ACCURATE
A quarterback is nothing without his precision throwing arm. He’s got to be able to place the short lateral as well as the long bomb in the exact spot where the receiver expects it to be. An HVAC service technician needs those accuracy skills as well. In an HVAC system with hundreds of parts and sometimes a dozen possible causes for a symptom, he needs to pinpoint an accurate diagnosis. After all, he doesn’t get four tries to make a first down; he needs to get it right the first time.

 

6. ADAPTABLE
Different situations require the quarterback to adapt his throwing technique. To throw a screen pass, he’ll make a soft, lofted pass while backpedaling. For a fade pass, he’s got to place it in front of the receiver and with enough air under it that the receiver has a chance to get to it. The HVAC service technician also must adapt his approach to the task at hand. Diagnosing a problem with a state-of-the-art VRF system in a restaurant requires different techniques than working on a rooftop system in a warehouse.

 

7. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS
As the leader of his team, the quarterback needs to effectively communicate play information to his teammates. There is no room for misinterpretation. Similarly, you want to deal with an HVAC service technician with good communication skills. Can he explain problems and maintenance issues in a way that makes sense to you? Does he make the time and effort to keep you informed about appointments and work in progress? Are his proposals, reports and work orders clear and informative?

 

8. AGILE
We’ve all seen cringe-worthy performances from quarterbacks lacking sufficient agility: way too many sacks, which can even lead to injury. This one may be a surprise to you, but an HVAC service technician needs to be agile as well, especially in downtown buildings. Air conditioning equipment is often jammed up in ceilings, tiny crawl spaces or wherever it can fit so it doesn’t take up useful and expensive space. Getting into those tight spaces to work on that equipment often requires a sprightly and limber guy.

 

9. PROACTIVE
A good quarterback understands the need to proactively practice the techniques he knows will produce the results he wants, like the right way to take a snap to prevent fumbling. Your HVAC service technician must be the poster child for being proactive. His job is to proactively perform the maintenance techniques that will produce the results you want from your HVAC system: efficient and reliable heating and cooling.

 

10. COMMITTED TO SAFETY
If a quarterback is reckless about safety, he won’t last long in the NFL. Your HVAC service technician takes your safety, as well as his own, just as seriously. He knows the safety hazards and follows all recommended protocols associated with HVAC equipment, including the safe handling of refrigerants, preventing carbon monoxide leaks, and dealing with mold in air conditioners and ducts.

 

Alfred State College Becomes MCAA’s Newest Student Chapter

MCAA would like to welcome their 59th student chapter, Alfred State College.

The Alfred State College MCAA Student Chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Rochester, New York. Erin Vitale, Chair of Civil Engineering Technology at the college, serves as the chapter’s faculty advisor. She helped lead the effort to get the chapter established and create student interest.

The chapter consists of Construction Management, Mechanical Engineering majors, and HVAC Associate Degree candidates. Their HVAC program involves the students in project-based learning and participation in real-world constructions projects, including installation of water, drain, heating and air conditioning systems.

The chapter will receive their charter at MCAA 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona during the Awards of Excellence Breakfast on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.

Congratulations and welcome!

Registration for MSCA Field Supervisors Training is Now Open

The 2019 Field Supervisors Training is scheduled for May 2-3 in Milwaukee, WI. This is an intensive two-day training program designed to give your service field supervisors (and your company) an edge in today’s tough market.

Focusing on training and improving the performance of service field supervisors, this program uses proven methods that will advance skills in leadership, coaching, planning, time management, communication, and motivational techniques, all of which will give the field supervisor an edge and the confidence to deal with the workplace challenges of today. The program covers a wide range of topics relevant to the needs of field supervisors, including transition to management, mentoring, delegation, the eight core values of a successful supervisor.

This is one of the most  popular courses that MSCA offers and it fills up fast!

Women Leaders Shape the Future of Women in the Mechanical Industry

Twenty-five of MCAA/MSCA’s top women leaders and manufacturer-supplier executives met this week in Arizona to shape the future of Women in the Mechanical Industry. Excitement was evident throughout the event as the attendees shared challenges and inspiring stories of success and accomplishments in their own businesses. Through brainstorming and strategic sessions, the attendees discussed an array of programming options to help women in the industry advance their careers, network, share resources and mentor young women entering the industry. Attendees left the event with a renewed sense of community and a new network of peers. Stay tuned for additional information about WiMI events and programs for the coming year.

Report Shows MCAA Members Don’t Invest Enough in Tech Budget and Manpower

In 2018, MCAA sponsored a JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report that surveyed over 2,800 professionals in the construction industry. In the newly released MCAA-Focused Report, the responses given by MCAA members were separated and compared to those of the rest of the construction industry.

While MCAA members are getting heavily involved in VDC and mobile technology, they are behind the rest of the industry when it comes to some aspects of R&D. As the report’s primary researcher, Liz Beechinor from JBKnowledge points out, “Our research is showing that the construction industry as a whole is behind on R&D spending compared to other industries, but when we take a look at MCAA members’ responses and compare that to the construction industry, they are even further behind. Fewer MCAA contractors have dedicated R&D budget and employees dedicated to R&D.”

According to a 2017 McKinsey Report, the construction industry as a whole spends less than 1% of their revenue on R&D. Compared to the auto industry, which spends 3.5%, and the aerospace industry, which spends 4.5%, this can seem relatively underfunded.

What is even more concerning is construction companies’ lack of any R&D budget. The 2018 MCAA-Focused Construction Technology Report showed that 56.8% of those surveyed had no budget for R&D, while 63.5% of MCAA members reported that they didn’t budget for R&D.

The same could be said for having employees dedicated to R&D. In the last few years, we have seen more MCAA and MSCA contractors dedicate manpower to technology research and implementation, but on average, they are still behind the rest of the industry.

Most respondents that identified as MCAA members reported that they had one or two people dedicated to R&D, while 37% do not have employees dedicated to R&D. During a presentation on the topic at MCAA19, MCAA’s Director, Construction Technology Sean McGuire explained, “While we are seeing more members take technology seriously, smaller companies are going to always be more limited on budget and manpower that they can dedicate towards research and implementation. Larger GCs and CMs can absorb these costs a little easier simply as a function of their size.”

Being bigger does not necessarily mean better though.  As Sean notes, “While research and staff budgets can be absorbed by larger companies easier, the bigger you are, the harder implementation becomes. Small companies can adopt changes a lot faster because you can get less people pulling in the same direction faster.  Large companies have to dedicate more resources to implementation and follow up.”

This lines up with another report question that asked what the most limiting factor was for adopting new technology. Not surprisingly, lack of staff and budget received the highest response rates and were concerns for nearly half of the MCAA respondents. The report provides further insight into these questions as well as BIM productivity and estimation and mobile device and hardware use.

Need Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Your Team? Check Out this Video!

MCAA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Safety Training Video illustrates how observing basic precautions prevents the transmission of bloodborne pathogens and related diseases, such as Hepatitis B and HIV.

Your workers will learn to:

  • Identify potential high-exposure work tasks
  • Protect themselves before starting work or responding to an injury
  • Select and use appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Use appropriate procedures for clean-up
  • Properly handle contaminated equipment
  • Use proper personal hygiene practices to help prevent exposure

Download or play the video in English

Download or play the video in Spanish

There’s More…

Accompanying materials are also available to assist you in highlighting key training points, documenting worker training and confirming that workers understand the training concepts:

Highlight key training points

Download the Pocket Guide

Document worker training

Download the Documentation Sheet

Confirm that workers understand the training concepts

Download the Test

Download the Test Answer Key

Check Out this Related Resource

Download the Model Program

Want More Safety Resources?

MCAA has you covered, with a full range of resources to help you protect your workers from injury and comply with applicable safety regulations. Here’s where to find them:

On our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page, where they’re listed by category with links.

Go there now

In the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

Visit the Resource Center

Have questions or need personal assistance?

Contact MCAA’s Pete Chaney.

MCAA Kicked Off Targeted Programming for Women Professionals at MCAA18

Our association’s leading women kicked off our Women in the Mechanical Industry forum with a networking reception. During the event, women learned how the forum will further enrich their careers through networking, educational, mentoring and career development opportunities beyond those already offered through membership in MCAA and MSCA. Women in the Mechanical Industry also sponsored a special session on two proven career advancement strategies measured to have the strongest payoff for women professionals.

MSCA and Convoy of Hope Team Up and Do Some Good in CA

 

MSCA volunteers and the Convoy of Hope team up for the ninth year to give back in Orange County, CA, in conjunction with MSCA18. Over 50 volunteers performed a variety of projects including landscaping, painting, and construction that provided Share Our Selves, Costa Mesa with a face lift. In addition to 36 pallets of supplies were donated and unloaded. A special thank you to everyone who participated and donated to our project this year!