ACCA Shares Contractor Priorities with House Democrat Leader Pelosi and Democratic Caucus Members

March 2, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28, Barton James, ACCA's senior vice president of government relations testified before the Democratic Members of the Small Business Committee and Members of the Democratic Caucus. ACCA is the nation's largest association of indoor environmental systems professionals.

James's testimony focused on the shortage of skilled workers, which are vital to promulgate proper installations of cutting-edge energy efficient equipment. He stressed the need for the federal government to prioritize technical education support, especially in high schools, that highlight the benefits of employment careers in the skilled trades while promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Additionally, Congress must support reforms that encourage all states to promote veteran apprenticeship programs with small businesses that have a record of success. Such reforms should highlight the skilled trades and facilitate speedy approval of small business apprenticeship programs.

James also underscored the ongoing problem of government agencies creating unique standards, instead of using voluntary consensus standards, which have already been created by bodies organized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Doing so will ensure standards safeguard consumers and the HVACR Industry. 

In his statement to Leader Pelosi and other Members of Congress in attendance James said, “The U.S. economy depends on the HVACR systems that ACCA’s members install, service, and repair.  These systems provide human comfort and make modern medicine possible, keep food fresh, and ensure our information technology systems are operational. Two particular focus areas for this Committee are workforce development and utilizing industry consensus standards.

“We believe our nation is poised to tackle the commonsense policy and regulatory recommendations ACCA has outlined for the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress," said Paul T. Stalknecht ACCA president & CEO. "ACCA values our long-term working relationship with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Small Business, and appreciates her including ACCA in the discussion on setting the small business agenda. We look forward to being a part of more of these meetings and being a voice for our members and all small business owners."

If you have questions about this meeting and testimony, or any of ACCA's government relations efforts, contact Barton James, ACCA's senior vice president of government relations at


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ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environment and energy services community. Our member firms are the nation's most professional contracting businesses, serving residential and commercial customers in every state. With roots stretching back a century, ACCA was incorporated in its present form nearly 50 years ago. Today, ACCA sets the standards for quality comfort systems, provides leading-edge education for contractors and their employees, and fights for the interests of professional contractors throughout the nation. Learn more about ACCA here.