Photos courtesy of Johns Manville

The stimulus bill approved by Congress is intended to jolt the economy out of recession. The best forms of stimulus are ones that take effect quickly and bring a long-term payoff. Weatherization fits the bill and community action programs that will disburse the funds must look to the private sector to service its enormous needs. The Weatherization Assistance Program intends to weatherize two million homes over the next two years.


Our industry is community-based and we are a ready-to-work option across the U.S. Skilled insulation contractors are available nationwide to meet weatherization program needs. Insulation contractors live in the communities in which they work. Insulation contractors are a diverse population.

Also, private ownership provides relief to community agencies from investing in equipment. Insulation contractors own and properly maintain their own equipment (insulation blowing machines, vehicles) ensuring full access and reliability. Insulation contractors are experienced in handling the tools and materials needed to install insulation products efficiently, economically, and effectively.

To do government work for the trades (drywall, insulation, carpentry, etc.), contractors must know how to bid and comply with Davis-Bacon prevailing wage jobs. ICAA’s Davis-Bacon workshop at the ICAA Convention (October 1 through 3, in Tucson, Ariz.) will focus on the compliance details including:

How to bid

How to comply with Davis-Bacon provisions

How to factor fringe benefits into the wage decision

How to simplify certified payroll reporting

How to calculate overtime

In addition, contractors will learn what’s in the rule book, what to expect in a Department of Labor Davis-Bacon audit, how to bid jobs that extend over the longer term, and how to accommodate wage increases. Situations will arise where the workday will involve work in both prevailing and non-prevailing wage jobs. We will discuss how to record this appropriately and comply with the law. We will also take a look at apprenticeship programs and the wage classification. And we will have a presentation of an approved software program to report certified payrolls in an easy and reliable way.

OSHA Health & Safety. Insulation contractors are trained in health and safety practices and comply with OSHA regulations.

FTC Home Insulation Rule. Insulation contractors uphold federal requirements set forth in FTC Rule 460, which governs home insulation and protects homeowners.

The skill sets insulation contractors provide eliminate the need for large investments in training programs. Insulation contractors are skilled at identifying weatherization needs, and they know the fundamentals of insulating and air sealing. Insulation contractors are experienced in working in challenging locations, such as crawl spaces and attics. They are skilled in estimating time and costs for potential jobs and scheduling.


This event will be held from Thursday, October 1, to Saturday, October 3, at the Hotel El Conquistador in Tucson. The ICAA Convention and Trade Show is a pivotal business opportunity for suppliers and contractors from across the country.

Exhibitors at the Trade Show represent all the leading insulation manufacturers and suppliers as well as those businesses that complement insulation contracting or meet the special needs created by the stimulus plan and the weatherization program.

The ICAA Convention gives insulation contractors a chance to catch up on the state of the industry and meet face-to-face with the manufacturers and suppliers who influence their business.

A challenging business climate will be the background for the Convention and Trade Show. ICAA expects an enthusiastic participation by contractors who know that ICAA educational programs are essential resources in hard times.

This year’s theme is “Surviving the Recovery,” and programming will focus on arming insulators with the resources to participate fully and successfully in the stimulus opportunities that are unfolding. ICAA meetings will feature timely sessions on the new building energy codes, spray polyurethane foam, hybrid insulation systems, and new employment laws.

Business savvy is emphasized in sessions on managing cash flow, beefing up internal controls, and finding sources of credit. Insulators’ response to the stimulus plan will be covered in sessions, which focus on the weatherization program, marketing tax credits and state rebates, and the industry’s potential impact on public policy. Participants will be especially interested in a session on weatherization strategies and how retrofit installation techniques and marketing differ from that of new construction.

In addition to weatherization funding, there is a huge sum of money for building renovations and improvements. At the ICAA Convention, we will explore how contractors can capitalize on the stimulus bill. We will give straight-forward instructions to contractors to turn stimulus dollars into business.


By being present at this year’s convention and trade show, we have the opportunity to share stories and experiences with contractors from all over the country. No doubt we can learn a lot from each other but only if we get together and talk face-to-face.

This year-perhaps more than any previous year-is an opportunity for contractors to stand up for the importance of the trades as the most effective element in any stimulus program.

ICAA has remained a leader in the insulation industry in good times and in bad times. In bad times, the ICAA Convention and Trade Show is the foremost opportunity for contractors to get a handle on industry insights and opportunities. Come to Tucson to shop for the latest products and technologies, network with colleagues, and attend educational sessions that will help you do business better.

More detailed information on this event can be found W&C