ACCA advances federal funding | Annapolis, MD

    As summer heats up and temps exceed 100 degrees many of your businesses are filling this workforce constraint more than ever.   While we have yet to discover the silver bullet to provide the much-needed workforce fix, we are pleased to share skilled workforce support took a major step forward last week when…Perkins CTE passed the Senate HELP Committee!!! BACKGROUND: Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act dictates how the federal government spends about $1 billion each year on career and technical education programs. If the reauthorization is passed, it would mark a major step toward the law’s first significant…
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Round Two of Tariffs Add to ACCA’s Concerns | Pikesville, MD

  Thursday May 31, the Trump Administration announced additional steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. This latest round of tariffs went into effect on June 1, 2018. The European Union has already announced it will launch legal proceedings against the United States with the World Trade Organization to challenge Trump’s actions. After the first round of tariffs went into effect in May, ACCA’s concerns over the increased costs of HVACR equipment caused by tariffs on steel and aluminum proved accurate. With equipment price increases into double digits, these tariffs are negatively impacting professional contractors and…
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Regulations and Fine Increases | Baltimore, MD

The stakes for failure to properly dispose of mercury thermostats just got quite a bit higher in the state of California. Doubling down on a law already in place on disposal and recycling mercury thermostats enacted over ten years ago, the legislature recently added language which now raises the maximum penalty for mishandling the hazardous waste from $25,000 to $70,000, and the fines can be assessed for each separate violation, for continuing violations, and for each day that the violation continues. This is nothing new for California residents and resident companies, who have long been on notice that recycling mercury…
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Steering Clear of Federal Telemarketing Fines Baltimore, MD

Steering Clear of Federal Telemarketing Fines Baltimore, MD Last week, an Arizona HVAC company was ordered to pay $340,000 in civil fines for making over 25,000 illegal telemarketing calls between 2011 and 2015. The company blatantly ignored the federal Do-Not-Call Registry (DNC) and even worse, lied to many of those called by claiming exemption from the federal regulation. (The HVAC company was not alone – an Arizona carpet cleaning company conducting the same telemarketing was fined $1 million in a consumer lawsuit around the same time.) Many years ago, ACCA published multiple guidelines to an assortment of federal rules passed…
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Tariff Preparation: What HVAC Products Are Caught Up In the Steel & Aluminum Tariffs? Annapolis, MD

Tariff Preparation: What HVAC Products Are Caught Up In the Steel & Aluminum Tariffs? Annapolis, MD On April 3, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced a list of Chinese imports that would be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff. The following list highlights some of the HVAC products that are affected by the new tariffs. The full list can be found here. If you would like to learn more about the tariff’s and how ACCA is working to insulate our members from the impacts, you might want to check out the recent webinar “Navigating…
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Proposed Policy Changes for Energy Efficiency Requirements of Residential and Commercial HVAC Equipment Annapolis, MD

Here are some items that are topics of converstation in the HVAC world: Energy Bill & EPCA Reform Issue: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), is the governing policy for energy efficiency of DOE residential covered products and commercial covered equipment; and gives DOE authority to regulate many of the HVACR Alliance members’ products. EPCA is over 40 years old and has not been updated since its initial enactment to reflect new technologies and economic realities. EPCA has produced an endless cycle of efficiency rulemakings that adversely impacts our industry’s competitiveness, consumers’ choices and installed costs. The Act overlooks effects…
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HVAC Contracting Groups Provide Limitless Networking Opportunities

After learning from industry leaders, H.C. Blake has evolved to 50 percent commercial construction and 50 percent retail service. The company has also grown from 35 employees in 2010 to approximately 115 employees today. In addition,  Bret Foxson, owner, Comfort Tech, Millersville, Maryland, has only been part of a MIX Group for two years, but the experience has already benefited his company. “My group spent some time at my shop in the fall,” he said. “They pointed out some potential issues that were easier to see from an outsider’s perspective. They suggested a number of improvements that we could make….
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State Incentives for Hiring Apprentices Baltimore, MD

This week, I came across a couple of articles highlighting what some of the states are doing to incentivize apprenticeship programs. For instance, Montana is offering employers who sponsor an apprentice $750 (or $1,500 if the apprentice is a veteran). Arkansas goes even further, offering a credit $2,000 or 10 percent of wages earned (whichever is less). It’s not just tax incentives that are helping contractors find more young people for their businesses. The Hazardous Occupations Law for Minor in Maine was recently amended, by Senator Amy Volk, allowing students to work in jobs with potentially hazardous machinery. The Portland Press…
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US Department of Labor’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion – Carroll, MD

The Department of Labor (DOL) Task Force established by President Trump’s Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America will be holding their second of four meetings scheduled for 2018, on February 6th.  The mission of the task force is to identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient. The task force has recognized that registered/approved apprenticeship programs are not keeping up with labor demands. (Did you see we have locked in DOL Secretary, Alex Acosta to speak at our annual conference next week?) Take Away of the Task Force So Far: The Task Force…
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Recruiting Veterans – ACCA Has A New Resource To Help – Howard, MD

   Finding Qualified employees is a struggle that most contractors face. The conversation about how to recruit employees appears on the ACCA Contractor Forum frequently and ACCA receives questions about it all the time. The question really boils down to: where do you find these employees to fill the workforce? Over the past decade a new group of qualified people has emerged as a prime group for contractors to look at…VETERANS! With the end of the combat missions in the Middle East and the reduction in our military force, there is a large pool of veterans who are looking to…
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