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A Seat at the Table

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I see inspirational quotes from famous and non-famous people on social media, in memes, and leadership training programs that I follow. Many of these quotes are nice to read but, the one quote that I live by as ACCA’s President and CEO is, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

ACCA is based in Washington, D.C., because contractors want a seat at the table where so many of the decisions impacting your business. ACCA’s mission is to make sure your priorities are understood by policy makers. And, based on your input ACCA’s top priority is to ensure that policy makers are focused on addressing the workforce challenges ACCA members face.

Based on conversations with ACCA members, three of which currently serve as Members of Congress, many contractors could double the size of their businesses if they could find enough employees to fill the open jobs. ACCA has taken this message to the highest levels of our government, and I’m proud to say we literally had a seat at the table…in the State Dining Room at the White House!

On July 25, ACCA participated in the 1-year anniversary of the Pledge to America’s Workers at the White House with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, and members of the Cabinet. ACCA was there because despite our size, our work on this issue has put us on the playing field with giants, like spoke with our nation’s decision makers about policies to help address contractors’ workforce constraints.

I was pleased to have join me, ACCA’s Chairman of the Board Eric Knaak, Vice President & General Manager of Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. (Rochester, NY) and Luis Serrano, one of Isaac Heating & Air’s technicians and field trainers, to the White House to mark this great event.

President Trump invited ACCA to the White House to take the Pledge to America’s Workers. ACCA pledged – on behalf of ACCA members – to hire and train 75,000 HVAC professionals in the next five years. Over the last year, more than 300 businesses and organizations, large and small, have joined ACCA and signed the Pledge to America’s Workers.

To help fulfill our commitment, ACCA has rolled out new resources for you. On, we have information to help you launch a school-to-career co-op program, get involved with school advisory boards, and have promotional materials ready for you to drop your logo in, to highlight rewarding careers in our industry.

I’m proud of ACCA’s work that has led to being able at the table with President Trump. He and his daughter Ivanka are a great allies for these efforts because they understand the skilled trades better than most policy makers.

I hope every ACCA member is proud that your national trade association has a seat at the table and are not sitting by on this issue you have told is priority one! Be sure to spread the word that ACCA is making a difference for our industry and invite your peers, suppliers, and manufacturing partners to get involved with ACCA. Invite them to our contracting events around the country or to be an ACCA member. If they’re not involved with ACCA, then they don’t have a seat at the table.


ACCA Corporate Partners – Investing in Contractors’ Success

ACCA’s corporate partners make a significant investment every year in ACCA contractor members’ success. Here are a list of the companies who are investing in you through ACCA, make sure you are thanking them and working with them when you can.


Federated Insurance

Wrightsoft (MiTek)


Adrian Steel








HP, Inc.








3C Connect

Blue Corona

Dividend Financial

Jackson Systems


Schedule Engine

Xoi Technologies

ACCA Contractor Locator

With ACCA’s Contractor Locator,, consumers — homeowners and building managers — have the tools to understand their indoor comfort system better. They can search for a nationally recognized HVAC contractor, as well as QA approved ENERGY STAR contractors for new home construction and existing home replacement. Only ACCA contractor members are listed on the ACCA Contractor Locator, to make sure that ACCA is driving customers to the best contractors in the country. Make sure you check your listing today!

Barton James

Posted In: ACCA Now, Opinion

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