The Accredited Snow Contractors Association is a trade association with the purpose of advancing the professional snow and ice management industry and to promote its role in performing high-risk services to society including:
1. Providing educational programs and publications in all aspects of snow and ice management, finance, business management, marketing and other specialized areas of professional interest;
2. Conducting meetings and other programs designed to promote the exchange of ideas among members and to facilitate the conduct of their business;
3. Collecting and disseminating information pertaining to the snow and ice management industry, including statistical data and other statistical research;
4. Developing and maintaining professional accreditation programs to encourage high standards for snow and ice management professionals;
5. Advocating the interest of the snow and ice management industry to local, state/provincial, federal and international governmental bodies;
6. Advocating the interests of the snow and ice management industry to insurance companies and allied associations.
Everyone has problems, but it’s what we do about them that matters. The ASCA has been successful, largely due to its active membership. It’s comprised of contractors who’ve devoted themselves to building ASCA’s programs and driving industry change because they were sick and tired of being sick and tired about the status quo in the industry.
It started a few years ago with contractors volunteering their time to serve on committees. Industry Standards, which received American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation, were born from the hard work of one of those committees
They then developed SN 9001, an ANAB-accredited quality management system that works with ISO 9001. Together these quality management systems ensure contractors have the processes and procedures to ensure service quality, and have implemented Industry Standards.
As the industry educated itself on Industry Standards and ISO accreditation, many realized the operations audit was not as complex as they first made it out to be... in fact, many were already doing the things necessary for certification. As a result, more and more companies got involved with the program and, to date, 16 companies have earned their ISO 9001/SN9001 certifications. As a result, the main firm providing audits for ISO certification is adding bodies to support the increased activity in this program.
The ASCA’s other committees have been just as active. For example, the Education Committee developed the ASCA-C certification and develop the courses for the ASCA’s online Learning Center. They continue to guide processes and work with the ASCA to develop new courses. On the membership side, nearly 400 ASCA members have completed the coursework and earned their ASCA-C.
The Safety Committee has developed a safety manual for members. This manual is in the editing process and will be available to members in the coming months.
The Government Affairs Committee implemented our Government Affairs Strategy to kick off legislative initiatives. And most importantly, ASCA members have driven legislative initiatives at both the federal and state Levels. Prior to their involvement, many members had never met their elected representatives. Now, not only are they meeting with them, they are getting legislation introduced and passed.
For the past three years, your peers have traveled to Washington DC to lobby for the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act. As I announced a few weeks ago, that bill has passed in the House and now resides in the Senate.
The ASCA has created outreach tools to support this bill. ASCA members are communicating with their Senate offices to make sure this bill continues to move and is passed. This bill would change the Federal Rules of Civil procedure making it mandatory for federal Judges to impose sanctions on plaintiffs and their attorney’s if they are found to have filed a frivolous lawsuit. Thirty of your peers and I had 50 meetings with your Senate offices in July off this year to educate them on this bill.
Today, association members are in lobbying mode sending ASCA-prepared letters to these same Senate offices encouraging them to keep the bill moving.
And at the state level, we have had many individuals meetings with various state rep. As a result of these meeting we have legislation introduced in Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with commitments from Michigan, Alaska, and Massachusetts.
In short, the ASCA’s active membership is paving the way for positive change for this industry.
So my question to you is… why aren’t you involved?