ACCA, PHCC work to help HVACR workers find jobs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America and other industry groups are mobilizing to help member companies and their employees affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Greg Leisgang, ACCA board chairman, recently announced a task force to oversee the efforts. The association has created a Web site, www.acca.org/katrina, to continually update the listing of contractors who are willing to provide temporary employment or relocation assistance to displaced HVAC workers.

An ACCA-sponsored charity is being set up specifically to help those displaced workers and families. The ACCA suggests that members ask employees to donate $10 each and match it. Donations can be made by credit card right on the Katrina Web page.

The ACCA will also compile a list of donated tools and equipment and post it on the Web site. The association is asking that those who can help send an e-mail to janet.pankow@acca.org.

The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association also set up a task force, which includes members from New Orleans. The task force is looking to find jobs for those who cannot go back to work in the hurricane-stricken areas.

The PHCC also created a fund to immediately provide $2,000 to any member in the hurricane-damaged areas who requests assistance. PHCC also agreed to waive two years of national dues for those members.

The association said that it is also working with other associations to develop the best response for this and other disasters.

"The World Plumbing Council has been deliberating on the best way to respond to world tragedies like the tsunami and this one in New Orleans," said PHCC President Mary Garvelink. "As the U.S. voting delegate to the WPC, I am aware of how precious water and proper sanitation are during these disasters. PHCC wants to do everything we can for our members and their families. We understand their immediate need is cash, so we are providing it to them from member donations. Since these donations are not tax deductible, this is a real contribution for our membership to their fellow members."