FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association Educational Foundation is supporting an enthusiastic team of young plumbing professionals as they head to Singapore next month to compete in the Water Innovation Challenge. Over three days, the team will compete to develop a series of real and innovative solutions for emerging water and sanitation problems in two developing countries: Nepal and Bangladesh.

The U.S. Team heads to the Challenge with generous financial support from the PHCC Educational Foundation, as well as from the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Mechanical Contracting Educational & Research Foundation, and WorldSkills USA.

“This is a prime example of industry groups working together for common good, and — in this case — global good,” said Roger Peugeot, chairman of PHCC’s Educational Foundation. “We embrace the opportunity to recognize the important role of plumbing professionals in protecting the health and well-being of all people and support the work of these young, up-and-coming professionals as they prove how their skills can really make a difference anywhere in the world.”

Leading the team of plumbers and engineers from the U.S. is former CONTRACTOR magazine Contractor of the Year William N. Erickson, chairman of C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co., Alsip, Ill.

“I am extremely excited about and encouraged by Team USA; we are in great shape,” said Erickson. “We have solid technicians with loads of experience in these types of competitions and plumbing in general.”

In fact, two of the members on Team USA are past winners of the SkillsUSA contest, offered every year to the nation’s best career and technical students to demonstrate their skills and leadership. Always committed to training and supporting the p-h-c industry’s next generation of workers, the PHCC Educational Foundation sponsors the SkillsUSA plumbing competition each year.

June’s Water Innovation Challenge puts those skills on a world stage to solve world problems. With a theme of “new water — ways in which to create and control water supplies in specific international community environments,” the WorldSkills Foundation Water Innovation Challenge aims to create water and sanitation solutions for two developing countries.

The winning team will implement its recommendations in the WorldSkills Foundation’s Nepal or Bangladesh “Sanitation Studio” program, a partnership between the Australian NGO Healthabitat and the WorldSkills Foundation.

The PHCC Educational Foundation, a partnership of contractors, manufacturers, and wholesalers, was founded in 1987 to serve the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by preparing contractors and their employees to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace. Additional information is available at www.phccfoundation.org.