Last year,the ASA Education Foundation conducted a National Labor Study to fully identify the workforce challenges this industry will face over the next decade and beyond. The results are alarming. Today, there are about 200,000 people employed in the PHCP/PVF industry. Over the next 10 years, a staggering 25% of them will retire and over the next 20 years, we’ll see half of the current workforce exiting this industry.
Left unchecked, companies will face significant shortfalls in their workforce, hindering their ability to sustain current levels of operation and certainly their ability to expand. “This was a wake-up call for the industry,” commented John Mills of WHCI Plumbing Supply Co., out of California and current president of the ASA Education Foundation. “PHCP and industrial PVF companies need to plan ahead for the changing workforce. Supporting the hiring and training of younger employees for a sustainable future must be our focus.”
The ASA Education Foundation originally created an endowment fund to meet the demands of a changing industry and has done just that over the past 20 years. Earnings from the fund have enabled the Foundation to fulfill the promise to support the critical learning and industry initiatives needed by the PHCP-PVF industry. The Foundation has been able to innovate, create and enhance training and education initiatives through ASA University. Most importantly, our ability to reach and train employees has become faster and more efficient through on-line learning. To date, a total of $6.5 million has been reinvested back into this industry in the form of resources, support and development tools. ASA-U online, the Master of Distribution Management program and the numerous industry-specific courses available through ASA University are all made possible by the generous support of the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund. As we prepare for the obstacles ahead, the fund will be an even more important factor in our ability to serve the industry.
Attracting and training 50,000 to 100,000 employees won’t be easy and will require additional resources beyond the original promise of a $10 million endowment. Onboarding will need to happen faster and more effectively, and retaining these new employees through development and career pathing will be essential. Establishing succession plans for every position will be critical to continued success and training will be a constant need to achieve all this. ASA is committed to providing the tools and training you need to weather the upcoming shift in demographics and succeed with a better-educated, better-trained workforce.
We’re counting on you
In order for the Education Foundation to continue to support this industry at the level necessary for future sustainability and to ramp up efforts to meet the needs of our members, the Karl E. Neupert Fund must continue to grow. In 1996, Karl E. Neupert of Oregon-based Consolidated Supply Co., publicly launched the $10 million campaign for the ASA Education Foundation with the ultimate goal of supporting the ASA membership with their plans for the future.
Today, to continue the success achieved as a result of the original campaign, we are embarking on a renewed effort in response to the demands of the changing workforce by introducing a new campaign, Version 2.0 – Preparing for the Challenge Ahead. Find out more about the work of the fund and donate today at www.asa.net/give.
The Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund is dedicated to providing support for building new programs and educational opportunities for employees in the PHCP and PVF industry, thereby protecting the future viability of the wholesale channel of distribution.
Thank-you to these companies
Thank-you to these companies who have pledged additional support to help kick off the new campaign – Preparing for the Challenge Ahead:
Aaron & Co.
Central States Group
WHCI Plumbing Supply Co.
Union City, Calif.
Zoeller Pump Co.