Blog About Plumbing and Beyond 



Jill Shippy

For several years now there have been many, many stories about the labor shortage in the plumbing industry. We recently published a story on our blog by Richard Trethewey (Master Plumber on This Old House) that talked about this very subject.

The plumbing trade is complex; installation codes vary, piping materials change, and there are variances from state to state making effective and ongoing training even more critical.  And with plumbing needs evolving rapidly, training also needs to incorporate up-to-date technology, video software and online training.

Over the last few years Brasscraft Mfg. Co has participated in many initiatives to help develop the workforce.  Helmets to Hardhats® and Troops to Trades® are two organizations we partnered with to provide funding to help transition active-duty military service members with skilled training and a career in the trades. We have also partnered with various PHCC and ABC (American Builders & Contractors) chapters and UA offices providing scholarship funds for needy students.  Additionally, Brasscraft Mfg. Co., through the Masco Foundation, contributed to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation Generation NEXT program.

So, as a manufacturer what more can we do?  At Brasscraft Mfg. Co., we are continuing our support the plumbing industry with our scholarship program – the Brasscraft Manufacturing Company Zell Scholarship Program, named in honor of our founder, Robert Zell.  Since 2014 we have awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships.

The scholarship program offers up to $1,500.00 annually in tuition assistance to plumbing apprentices enrolled in accredited schools and who are employed by a licensed plumbing contractor.  We are trying to eliminate financial hardship as a cause that affects the start OR completion of an apprenticeship program.

Students apply online through our website

We are also supporting organizations like the Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors Assoc. (PHCC) with sponsorships and product for use in their training labs.  Brasscraft Mfg. Co. is also looking at organizations like Tools & Tiaras and Girls Build programs to see how we can support them.

At Brasscraft Mfg. Co. we are always looking at new and innovative product solutions that improve efficiency in product installation.  This allows plumbing contractors to train new workers more quickly and minimize installation errors, resulting in better efficiencies and more satisfied customers with fewer callbacks.

We encourage you to team up with high schools, community colleges and vocational or trade schools to talk about the industry and create career days where you can highlight the trades as an exciting future! And we encourage you to take on an apprentice, not only are you giving a young person an opportunity to begin an exciting new career, but their employment can have a positive effect on your business too.

  • It can help fill the gaps in your own business
  • It can help you develop your supervisory skills
  • It will help increase the overall workforce in your area
  • It can provide a positive impact on your businesses’ reputation

Questions?  Email me at

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