Update from TACCA Executive Director
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Posted by: Devorah Jakubowsky
What an interesting few weeks it has been. The Coronavirus COVID-19 situation was rapidly evolving, resulting in new guidelines and recommendations that have affected all of us in our businesses, communities, and homes. My husband and I are sheltered in place with my daughter who is now taking classes online and home-schooling her four children, our 150-year old church has leaped into current technology to provide streaming worship services, and our neighbors and friends are doing drive-by birthday/celebration shoutouts almost daily, which is actually kind of cool. Someone in our section wanted to take her young son out for a bear hunt and within a few hours there were teddy bears in almost every window, and many families shared Easter and Passover celebrations virtually. I’m sure each of us has experienced something new, creative and amazing over the past few weeks.
When COVID-19 started to have an impact, TACCA quickly realized that the onslaught of information was going to be overwhelming and immediately saw the benefit of cutting through to the relevant and accurate information our members would need. If you are reading this, you have probably been keeping up with the communications going out from TACCA. Below is a summary, all the updates can be found here, and feel free to call or email if you have questions or want more information.
- Due to extended shelter in place orders TACCA have not been able to film the 2020 Continuing education course “Manual J Outcomes & Humidity Mgmt”. Our 2019 course expired on April 12 but fortunately for contractors, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) waived the CE requirement for licenses expiring in March, April and May.
- As of today, we have cancelled 12 classes from March 21 – May 3, including ten CE classes and two prep classes. Travis County recently extended its stay at home orders through May 8. If others follow suit, that could increase the number of classes that are cancelled.
- TACCA prepared two handouts and a resource guide to help members locate helpful resources.
- TACCA sent letters (prepared by ACCA) to help ensure HVAC contractors are treated as essential service providers and to support timely payment delivery of Payment Protection Program loans.
- TACCA has sent regular emails to members covering critical and developing information about essential workforce designation, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRSA), mandatory notice to employees, Small Business Administration loan info Paycheck Protection Program.
- Signed a letter in response to the American Society of Association Executives request that the economic stimulus package language include all 501(c) tax-exempt entities including 501(c)(6) trade and professional associations such as TACCA.
- Participated in TDLR online strategic planning sessions.
- Prior to the COVID-19 concerns, TACCA sent a letter to policymakers supporting HR 5339 Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow's Workforce Act. H.R. 5339 would amend the tax code to permit beneficiaries to use funds in 529 savings plans for expenses associated with obtaining or maintaining postsecondary credentials, which include professional certificates or certifications. Individuals would be able to use their 529 funds to pay for costs related to certification exams and certification maintenance, such as practice exams, test prep materials, exam fees, continuing education fees, and renewal dues.
We continue to monitor for news and information to help our contractors and industry partners. We have had positive response from our communications and are confident that once we are through to the other side of this crisis, we will be in a good position to continue to serve our members well. For now, I wish you and your families health, happiness and humor.
Devorah Jakubowsky, CAE