ACCA’s Workforce Development Priority Gets Helping Hand From President Trump

June 16, 2017

ACCA, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, is getting a boost to one of its top priorities, workforce development, from President Trump and his administration. This week, the President embarked on a three-day trip to expand the nation’s use of apprenticeships to fill unmet labor needs and to highlight workforce development issues.

On June 13, President Trump, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump, visited and toured Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, WI. The President and his team used the visit to draw attention to the need for America to shift its focus to apprenticeship programs to close the skills gap that is making it hard to fill many jobs in the trades and manufacturing.

On June 15, during a special White House event, President Trump signed the Apprenticeship & Workforce of Tomorrow executive order, which will allow more resources to flow to vocational training programs and help remove restrictions that have prevented industries from creating apprenticeships. ACCA's Barton James, senior vice president of government relations, was at the event.

"Finding and hiring skilled workers is one of the most critical challenges that contractors face today," said Don Langston, ACCA chairman of the board and president of Aire Rite Airconditioning & Refrigeration in Huntington Beach, CA. "The HVACR industry is facing a 50,000-plus worker shortage within the next decade if nothing changes and we continue down a path that ignores the fact that careers in the trades are some of the most stable and well-paying jobs in the country. The support that President Trump and Secretary Acosta gave this week for apprenticeship programs shows that this administration is focused on growing America's workforce and is committed to the promises that were made during the campaign. Contractors should be encouraged by these steps, because they are opening doors for the next generation of workers to more easily enter into our industry and help grow our businesses."

"ACCA is pleased that President Trump and his administration are putting such a high priority on workforce development issues," said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. "For years, we have worked with Members of Congress and the Department of Labor to educate them and help them understand the impact our industry has on every American and the challenges we are facing when it comes to the workforce shortage. We finally feel that our message is not only being heard, but being acted on in a way that will allow us to continue to provide the essential heating and cooling systems that our country's infrastructure needs to thrive."

ACCA will continue to work with the Trump Administration and Congress to make workforce development and workforce shortages top priorities for the entire country.

If you have questions about the programs that President Trump announced this week, please contract 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.