Construction Education Center

By Paul Fournier | September 28, 2010

A new resource for apprentice training, safety training and other construction professional development courses has been launched by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut Inc. (CT ABC).

The Construction Education Center Inc. is a nonprofit training center that provides training and education for apprentices and field employees. Approved as a private occupational school by the Connecticut Commissioner of Higher Education, the CEC was founded by CT ABC with the goal of advancing the construction industry of Connecticut by providing quality educational training for apprentices, journeypersons and supervisors of construction companies.

"The center is a resource for contractors and their employees to continue to meet the ever-challenging demands of running a profitable and professional construction company," said Patricia Torres-Lewis, the center's education director.

Due to its approval by the Connecticut Commissioner of Higher Education, the center can offer postsecondary training programs in Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Higher Education regulates and oversees private occupational schools licensed in Connecticut.

In addition, since the center is approved by Connecticut Department of Education Technical High School System, it meets all compliance requirements for the related instruction portion of the Connecticut Department of Labor Apprenticeship Training Program and the National Bureau of Apprenticeship Training.

Furthermore, the center is an accredited provider of the Contren Learning Series curriculum developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). This series offers standardized curriculum for over 30 construction trades.

All center courses are taught by qualified trades people, professionals and professors of construction management programs. In addition to apprenticeship in HVAC, Sheet Metal and Carpentry trades and safety courses, the center offers such professional development courses as Plan Reading, Site Layout, Site Estimating, Supervisory Training, and Planning and Scheduling. It is also an approved provider of Continuing Education Unit courses (CEUs) by the state of Connecticut for Licensed Plumbers and Electricians.

"Connecticut ABC's involvement in developing this organization is just one more way the trade association has proactively helped the industry tackle crucial issues," said Lelah Campo, CT ABC president.

"It is rewarding to see the center launched in Connecticut," said Paul Gray, chairman of the center's board of directors, and senior vice president at EMCOR Services/New England Mechanical in Vernon, Conn. "We have been very deliberate in how we organized the center, being sure to address today's pressing needs as well as to keep an eye on the future."

Other members of the board of directors are:

  • Paul Gray, chair, EMCOR/New England Mechanical Services, Inc.
  • Bruce Brown, vice chair, Cianbro Corporation
  • Ron Wuennemann, director, Konover Construction Corporation
  • Michael Novosel, treasurer, Kostin & Ruffkess & Co.
  • Jim Sabith, director, Kronenberger & Sons Restoration
  • Lelah Campo, ex-officio, Associated Builders & Contractors of Connecticut

Additional information can be obtained about the Construction Education Center by contacting Patricia Torres-Lewis at (860) 529-5886, or by visiting the website