The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Arlington, VA, has announced new resources for its members. ACCA DataTools[TM] are a series of benchmarking surveys and studies that contractors can use to compare their business performance to that of other contracting firms of similar size and type. "This summer, we conducted a health insurance survey of contractors to gather information on expenses associated with that particular benefit, and the response was overwhelming," says Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president & CEO. "We learned that contractors on average are paying 61% more for health insurance than they were in 1999, but we also gathered data on the average amounts paid by employees to participate in contractor health insurance plans, how much of overall expenses are made up of health insurance, and employment trends over the last four years." The publication of the final results from that study, 2002 Contractor Health Insurance Benefits Review, is the first resource offered through the ACCA DataTools program. It provides data and analysis of information provided by nearly 300 contracting businesses, with comparisons between contractors of similar size as well as geographic regions. Due to the response to the health insurance review, the association announced that the second in its series of ACCA DataTools will be a comprehensive contractor compensation and benefits study. The 2002 Contractor Compensation & Benefits Survey will gather information on such issues as wage and salary information for various kinds of employees, employee benefit costs and participations, overtime and hours worked, employment patterns, and other areas in which contractors can benchmark their own performance against the industry as a whole. For more information on ACCA DataTools, call ACCA's Membership Services department at 703/824-8845. ACCA has also announced a new series of programs designed to help HVACR contracting businesses expand their profits and control their costs. The ACCA MemberTools[TM] program will provide association members with specific resources and materials that can be used in their contracting businesses. ACCA MemberTools will incorporate a number of new resources into basic ACCA membership, providing ACCA member contractors with a number of innovative products they can begin using right away. The first three MemberTools resources are: • The Exchanger[TM], a quarterly newsletter designed for the employees of ACCA member contractors. Each issue features short, easy-to-read and useful articles on "soft" sales skills, general technical and troubleshooting issues, customer service tips and techniques, and positive articles on HVACR contracting. • ComforTools[TM], a series of sales-enhancing brochures and collateral materials aimed at consumers that can be offered to consumers by contracting technicians. These brochures will include such topics as indoor air quality, zoning, the value of proper load calculation, the value of duct testing and repair, humidity control, and other generic product-supporting issues. An accompanying website, ComforTools.com, will also be available for consumer information. • NewsTools[TM], a series of online tools contractor members can use to develop and customize press releases to send to their local press to promote their businesses. The MemberTools are designed to be personalized products, with basic costs included in ACCA membership dues, and will be sent to members via email in a format ready for printing. ACCA will also make an optional printing service available at a low affordable cost for convenience. For more information about ACCA MemberTools or ACCA membership, call 703/575-4477 or your local federated ACCA affiliate.