ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Mechanical Service Contractors of America said its new MSCA Star qualification program will assure building owners and facility managers that their contractors have the highest level of skill, quality, value and professionalism in the industry.

Contractors designated as MSCA Star-qualified have verified that they uphold a strict code of business ethics, employ the best-trained and most qualified work force, maintain a superior safety record, offer outstanding customer service and focus on continuing education and training for all employees, the association said.

To be qualified, contractors must be involved in the industry for at least five years, have a proven track record, have a documented service safety and health program, maintain an outstanding safety record compared to the industry average, provide ongoing educational training to employees, have an established truck and major-tool inventory control system, maintain the highest levels of customer service standards, and provide and require photo-indentifcation cards to be worn by all field personnel for security purposes

Contractors must provide documented proof of criteria to be considered by the association's Star review committee.

The first group of MSCA Stars will be announced in early 2004.