ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Two years ago, the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI), asked the FMI Corporation to begin research on a contractor growth initiative. Erik Emblem, executive director of NEMI, believed that the economy and market could be on its way to slowing down and flattening out. NEMI, along with its industry partners, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) and the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association (SMWIA), set out to find new market opportunities for union workers and contractors.

In its research, FMI zeroed in on three emerging markets that represent a combined $40 billion opportunity. They are: building commissioning and retro-commissioning, energy management, and indoor air quality.

NEMI announced that contractors and manufacturers will get their first look at the results of FMI research at the Contractor Growth Initiative for Emerging Markets workshop set to take place Oct. 19-21, 2003, in Phoenix.

"Our research will give HVAC contractors a competitive advantage in their respective markets," said FMI vice president John Hughes. "It will help them better understand how to evaluate opportunities within their local marketplace and how to discern whether their company is ready to tackle these new markets."

Jeff Chase, president of Cox Engineering and a member of NEMI's emerging markets task force, said the FMI research "identifies potential customers and users and creates name identification for our industry, for sheet metal workers. The research lets us know whether a new business opportunity is right for us, and if it is, gives us the tools to make it profitable."

For more information on the upcoming event, visit

Publication date: 10/13/2003