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It’s Time To Reconnect

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It’s time to reconnect with ACCA’s Allied Contracting Organizations (ACOs) on the local and state levels – for the betterment of all contractors. 

At one point ACCA was a federation with local and state chapters all belonging together with ACCA. We had been a unified organization, all working together. The ACCA defederated in 2015, and we lost that connection with the state and local chapters. But this year we’re looking to rebuild those relationships with these ACOs to enhance membership benefits and services at all levels. 

Here in Ohio, I’ve been involved on the boards of both my local organization and the state organization – and I’ve seen the differences after the defederation, mainly around how effectively we communicate with one another. 

You can see it in the industry’s lobbying efforts – we’re not speaking with a unified voice now. ACCA has been conducting all the lobbying on the federal level for contractors, but local and state chapters can measurably help by adding their perspective. Likewise, ACCA needs to know what’s happening at the state and local levels, and together, we can determine what role ACCA can play in helping with local or state legislative issues. We also need to better coordinate our initiatives pertaining to codes and manuals. 

We could also enhance our education and certification programs by working more closely together, including cross promoting each other’s online classes  and webinars. We can share our best practices – for example, Ohio has a great apprenticeship program, and we could help groups in other states looking to develop their own apprenticeship programs. 

While thankfully the ACOs have already started communicating more in quarterly Zoom meetings that ACCA has set up, now we need to work more together. 

Collectively we can implement more programs, including more localized training programs within regions of ACOs. ACCA can also involve ACOs more in the programming of national conferences and other events. For instance, for the national conference in St. Louis next year, the local ACO there is going to be our host. They are also helping to plan some events, including giving members tours of local sites of interest. 

This helps the local ACOs feel more involved in the happenings at the national level. It’s also an opportunity for local groups to show other contractor members across the country what they have to offer across their state. 

Fortunately, defederation has given local and state groups an opportunity to demonstrate how valuable they are to their members. When we were a federation, contractors joining one level would pay one fee that would enable them to become a member at every level. Now, contractors pay separate fees to be members at different levels – and so we all have to better demonstrate how our members benefit from belonging to each group. 

In Ohio, we’ve been adding more benefits for members, such as working more with corporate partners like Careworks and Federated Insurance. Before, we would piggyback on the programs administered by ACCA, but now some of us at the state and local levels are forming those corporate partnerships ourselves. 

Let’s enhance the value of all levels by coordinating our activities – and giving all of our members more bang for their bucks in the process. We are all working towards the same goal, so why not share resources? 

Rebuilding relationships is critical, as we’re all fighting for the same thing. We should all be helping each other. Come be a part of the conversation now! 

Brian Stack
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Posted In: ACCA Now, Opinion

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