Javier is frustrated.
Business as a general contractor (GC) has been touch-and-go ever since the beginning of the pandemic. He always wonders when (or if!) the next contract will be signed.
He’s great at what he does — but feels like he lacks the conversational finesse needed to network and make connections.
Javier worries about losing out on bids — and even when he gets them, he’s afraid he won’t have the trained personnel to complete the job. Too often, help is unreliable or lacks the proper training. And he’s lost too many workers due to team conflict or resentment.
To top it off, other companies who are not so concerned about proper training and certification always seem to swoop in and snatch bids from conscientious builders like Javier.
The quality of his work speaks for itself, but his business needs:
- More exposure
- More business connections
- Training opportunities to attract and advance the careers of his employees
- Confidence to speak persuasively and build relationships
Money is tight, and Javier doesn’t want to spend it — if it’s not going to make a big difference for his business.
Not every contractor has the same needs.
But if you are like Javier, an EPAC membership is worth every penny.
What is an EPAC membership?
EPAC (El Paso Association of Contractors) is an organization dedicated to providing safety resources, apprenticeship training, networking opportunities, and issues management to member companies.
We provide a variety of trainings, networking events, and advancement opportunities throughout the year including:
- Free OSHA trainings,including OSHA 30 and 10 hour (included in the cost of membership)
- Department of Labor certified Apprenticeship training (over 20 trades available)
- Leadership training (communication and public speaking skills)
- Monthly networking events to build relationships
4 Reasons that an EPAC membership is worth the cost
For people like Javier, the cost of a membership must be justified.
Here are four reasons an EPAC membership is worth your time and money:
1. OSHA Trainings
In terms of safety training alone, EPAC members save money. Members gain access to free OSHA training sessions (normally $500-$700 per worker) conveniently offered throughout the year.
Taking advantage of these training sessions alone essentially pays for an EPAC membership — and makes it worth the cost!
2. Networking Opportunities and Brand Recognition
Like the old saying goes, sometimes “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Even if your work is impeccable, it’s hard to win contracts if people don’t recognize your name.
Brand recognition in the community is an important factor in establishing your reputation and winning bids. Building relationships is a great way to make people aware of your company.
EPAC offers monthly mixers for members at no additional cost. Not only are they fun, they also provide an avenue to get to know suppliers and other leaders in the industry.
Name and brand recognition in the community and opportunities to network, find new business partners, and build relationships make an EPAC membership worth the expense!
3. Leadership Training
Many GCs, like Javier, want to grow their leadership skills.
Let’s be honest — communication can be hard.
Contractors interact with a diverse group of employees, customers, and city officials — and good speaking and relationship skills are invaluable. An EPAC membership gives you access to outstanding leadership training opportunities that apply across your interactions.
Leading Your Team
As a manager, leadership skills can help your team be more efficient and satisfied at work. In the construction business, it is easy to be gruff. There is much to do, never enough time, and frustrations abound.
Learning to facilitate shorter, engaging meetings, to listen effectively, and to communicate clearly and respectfully builds strong relationships and improves efficiency.
This can save an employer money through reducing worker turnover and increasing productivity.
Communicating with Potential Customers
Many contractors struggle with confidence when it comes to speaking persuasively to win bids. Making small talk, impromptu situations, and thinking on your feet are all skills that can be cultivated to improve first impressions and build your confidence.
As EPAC leadership coach Ken Bradford puts it, “Every time we meet with an outside contact, that is a marketing event for the company. One person can cause the rise or fall of a company with a bad or good experience.”
This training consists of five four-hour sessions, offered every two weeks so that members don’t have to take too much time off — and have time to reflect and practice skills.
Honing your communication skills can help you make good impressions and build relationships that lead to contracts — another reason an EPAC membership gives you a lot of bang for your buck!
4. Apprenticeship Certification
Many GCs struggle with turnover of workers who leave seeking apprenticeship training.
To grow and succeed, contracting companies need a trained, qualified workforce. EPAC can help raise up a new generation in the industry by providing advancement opportunities — and give you access to trained employees.
In 2021, EPAC’s growing apprenticeship program graduated and certified 20 people in their trade. In 2022, we have 95 people enrolled. They will graduate with a Journeyman Certificate and the ability to use their new skills across the country.
An EPAC membership can help you attract (and keep!) motivated workers, and provide you with a well-trained workforce.
When is an EPAC membership not the best choice?
Although we may be biased, we think EPAC membership is well worth the cost. However, there are instances where membership might not be cost-effective for your company.
An EPAC membership might not be for you if:
- You have little financial stability or predictability in your business. *HOWEVER, even if business is unpredictable, the apprenticeship program might still justify the cost.
- If you or your contractors don’t want to network or make relationships
- If you’re a supplier and don’t maximize attendance to a networking event
- If you don’t attend the events
It might not be for everyone, but If you ask us (or our members), getting involved with EPAC is an investment worth making!
If you would like to find out more about EPAC membership, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We would love to connect your company with the resources you need to grow.