FALLS CHURCH, Va.  – When the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors¾National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation hosts its annual Plumbing Apprentice Contest at the PHCC national convention, it gives the next generation of plumbing contractors an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Not long after these talented contestants depart the stage and the Foundation leaves the host city, though, the impact of this event on future plumbing experts grows.

During the competition, a group of plumbing apprentices test their skills on actual plumbing products, including toilets and lavatories donated by Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath design and technology, and a sponsor of the event. After the contest, the PHCC Educational Foundation donates the products to a local apprentice school, high school or other plumbing training program that, in turn, uses the donated products to train students. “It’s a win-win,” says Merry Beth Hall, director of apprentice and journeyman training for the Foundation. “Not only is Kohler’s generous donation to the contest helping train and showcase today’s apprentices, but it’s exciting to realize that the ‘training life’ of these materials is going a long way to educate countless others interested in a future in plumbing.”

In fact, this past fall, the PHCC Educational Foundation donated the Kohler products to Edison High School and Dobbins High School, both inner-city schools in Philadelphia, the site of PHCC’s convention, called CONNECT 2012. In addition to being the lucky recipients of the materials used in the Apprentice Contest, plumbing and HVAC students from Edison toured CONNECT 2012’s Product and Technology Showcase exhibits, as well as got a first-hand look at the activity surrounding the apprentice contest. Steve Schagrin, plumbing teacher at Edison, is very grateful to PHCC and Kohler for the donations to his school. “Thank you for your support of our program,” he says. “The sinks and toilets will provide years of use and instruction to our programs.”

The plumbing class at Dobbins High School has been using the toilets and sinks as part of its 12th grade repair program, helping students learn the repair sequence. Later this year, students will be using them for bathroom roughs and other installation programs.

Adds Hall: “The PHCC Educational Foundation is always committed to advancing the next generation of plumbing and HVAC professionals, making it especially exciting to discover that the impact of this donation became so widespread, helping to train students outside of the PHCC fold, as well as within it.”

For more information on KOHLER Kitchen & Bath products, please visit www.kohler.com.