According to Manpower Group’s recent survey, for the sixth-straight year skilled trade jobs are the most difficult to fill in the U.S. and nearly half of the employers in our country are feeling the impact. As the shortage of skilled labor increases and the current labor force ages, Ferguson is actively pursuing solutions and working with its trade partners to address the growing crisis.
“Our company is not just about products, it’s about building relationships – that’s how we sustain our business and maintain our top spot in the industry,” explained Henry Wood, Vice President of Residential Trade and Corporate Counter Development. “The shortage of skilled trade professionals is an issue we hear about from our customers on a regular basis. We are working alongside several organizations to change this growing trend and provide opportunities for more young people to enter the industry.”
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC)
Ferguson is a Corporate Founder and has been a member of the PHCC Educational Foundation’s Board of Governors since 1990. In 2005, the Foundation launched an annual giving campaign to help support the development and delivery of educational programs. For more than a decade, Ferguson has supported the initiative and provided opportunities for business management and technical educational programs to contractors and their employees, along with scholarships. Currently, Wood represents Ferguson on PHCC’s Board of Governors for the Educational Foundation.
Ferguson’s ongoing investment in education has allowed the Foundation to create and expand a core portfolio of critical training for those choosing a career in the plumbing-heating-cooling industry. Four-year plumbing and HVAC apprentice textbooks and an accompanying e.Learning program lay the groundwork for new workers to understand the technical side of our industry. Foundation scholarships help those apprentices and their employers pay for the essential training.
Live seminars, webinars and YouTube videos supply the project and business knowledge the workers need to move into management positions. Intense workshops give managers the opportunity to share best practices and explore what it means to be the owner of their own company.
“Ferguson has been with us since the beginning of the Educational Foundation, and is the only wholesaler who has made the commitment required to join our Board of Governors,” said Foundation Chairperson Roger Peugeot. “I think that says a lot about their dedication to making our industry better and the value they place on long-term relationships.”
PVF Roundtable is a global group of manufacturers, distributors, master distributors, fabricators, engineering firms and end-users all working to improve the Pipe, Valve and Fitting (PVF) Industry. Senior Industrial Group Manager Joe Costanzo is currently representing Wolseley Industrial Group (WIG) as a member of the Board of Directors. Ferguson is proud to support the organization in its effort to provide scholarships for industrial distribution students and trade school students in piping-related programs.
Mechanical Contracting Education and Research Foundation (MCERF)
Ferguson has long-supported and continues to support MCERF through monetary donations. The organization is committed to the growth and development of Mechanical Contracting through strong working relationships with many industry practitioners, academics, manufacturer/supplier representatives, and industry consultants. Our company supports MCERF’s programs that attract talented, well-educated, resourceful and industrious future young professionals to the trade.
Our branches are doing their part too
Earlier this year, the Meridian, Idaho branch (2459) donated tools to the College of Western Idaho’s Plumbing Apprentice Program. Graduates of the program received a brand new tool box filled with tools donated by the branch.