Many companies have turned to the educational programs and publications offered by the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), a subsidiary of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America Inc. (MCAA). These companies have been more than pleased with the results, and many have gone on to achieve recognition in the organization's MSCA STAR qualification program.
Educational ProgramsThe highlight of MSCA's education program is its annual educational conference. MSCA 2004 is scheduled for Oct. 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M. MSCA 2004 is designed to provide service contractors with the tools and ideas they need to continue their journey to success. The program includes conference seminars, special sessions, speakers, and events.
"Education sessions at MSCA 2004 are designed to provide contractors with a wealth of new ideas and creative strategies that are designed to become important tools on the journey to success," said Frank Norton, chairman of MSCA board of managers and president of Commonwealth Air Conditioning, Boston.
Topics to be covered at this year's conference include leadership, communication skills, interpersonal management skills, managing cash flow, hiring and termination, managing the risks of full-service contracts, joint labor/management initiatives, safety, and retro-commissioning.
In addition, contractors will have the opportunity to exchange information and ideas with fellow service contractors from around the country during topic-specific peer group discussions. They can also learn about the latest products and services during the exhibitor display.
1. The Service Managers Training Program - This is a four-day accelerated program intended to help service professionals immediately improve their management and leadership skills and effectively contribute to their organization. This training program will be offered Nov. 8-11 in Baltimore.
"I learned so much more in this class than in any other class for management I've taken," commented one attendee, James Vespe, Arista Air Conditioning Corp., Long Island City, N.Y.
2. The Selling Skills Training Program for the HVAC Industry - This is an intensive three-day program intended to help service sales professionals improve their sales effectiveness. This interactive, hands-on workshop is designed to give participants the fundamental sales and interpersonal skills they will need for being successful in selling mechanical service. The class is next being offered in 2005.
3. The Microbiological Management Plan for the HVAC Service Industry - This is a one-day seminar designed to provide contractors with the knowledge they need to handle indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns before they become major problems. Scheduling information is available through local MCAA affiliates.
PublicationsNot all training takes place at a meeting or seminar at MSCA. That is why the association also offers a variety of publications designed to help service contractors manage their businesses. Available titles include:
Training KitsThe organization also offers model safety programs on fall protection, hazard communication, lead, lockout/tagout, and respiratory protection. Each program includes a printed guidebook and a disk, which contractors can use to create a personalized program to help their companies comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
Safety training kits include a video, set of 20 pocket guides, and documentation system. Kit topics include aerial and scissors lifts, bloodborne pathogens, confined space entry, eye injury prevention, mechanical construction and service vehicles, personal protective equipment, and safety orientation.
For MSCA class schedule information, contact Sobeida Orantes at 301-869-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who are involved in mechanical construction can take advantage of a separate Microbiological Management Plan for the Construction Industry program. Meanwhile, brochures containing additional information on these programs are available online at www.msca.org. For more information about MSCA publications, visit www.mcaa.org/store.
Sidebar: The MSCA STAR QualificationIn an effort to recognize outstanding mechanical service contractors, MSCA introduced its MSCA STAR qualification last year. Twelve companies have earned the qualification since the program's debut at the 2003 MSCA annual educational conference, and five more are awaiting final approval.
As MSCA STAR qualified contractors, the association said these companies have shown the industry and the public "that they hold themselves to a higher standard of service, a stricter code of ethics, outstanding customer service, and a superior safety record."
Current MSCA STARS are Adrian Mechanical Services Co. (Adrian, Mich.); Air-Ex Air Conditioning Inc. (Pomona, Calif.); Airtech Air Conditioning (Miami); Cal-Air Inc. (Whittier, Calif.); Cal-Air Inc. (Sacramento, Calif.); Commercial Refrigeration Service Corp./Commercial Mechanical Services (Rockford, Ill.); D.P. Wolff Inc. (Hawthorne, N.Y.); ENTEC Services Inc. (Peoria, Ill.); The Enterprise Corporation (Twinsburg, Ohio); F.J. Murphy & Son Inc. (Springfield, Ill.); Indoor Environmental Services (Sacramento, Calif.); John E. Green Company Inc. (Lansing, Mich.); Mechanical Inc. (Freeport, Ill.); Hurst Industries (Belmont, Mich.); Soder Mechanical Inc. (Oklahoma City); Stroh Corp. (Des Moines, Iowa); Thermalair Inc. (Anaheim, Calif.); Thermodyne Mechanical Services (Northbrook, Ill.); and W.E. Bowers & Associates Inc. (Beltsville, Md.).
To apply for MSCA STAR qualification, contractors must complete a detailed application and submit copies of their safety program, safety record, inventory control system, education and training programs for employees, customer service program, and letters of recommendation.
The National ITC Corp. of Los Angeles performs an independent evaluation of the applications. Once companies have been qualified as MSCA STARS, they receive a complete packet of marketing materials, a certificate of recognition, and other promotional materials.
Current MSCA STARS will be recognized at a special ceremony during the MSCA's 2004 educational conference in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.
For more information about MSCA STAR qualification, visit www.mscastar.org.
Publication date: 09/27/2004