Recruiting, training, re-training, and continuing education continue to be prime concerns of the construction industry. For proof, just ask the more than 100 chapter and member training and education directors who attended the first annual Associated General Contractors of America Training & Development Conference in Dallas in late October.
The purpose of the event was to bring together professionals in the industry who oversee training programs, to share best practices and to create a network of training professionals. During the event, officials raised a call to arms for the industry to get involved in career and technical education programs at the high school and university levels; to bring other industries and associations to the table; and to solve the work force shortage.
Here in the Midwest, many training, re-training and continuing education programs are available. The following is just a sampling:
Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) chapters in Digest's six-state area are committed to training present and future workers through apprenticeship, craft, management, and safety courses.
On a national level, ABC will conduct a Construction Education Conference, May 7–9 in Las Vegas, Nev., offering more than 50 topics in breakout and general sessions. Attendees expected to attend include presidents, project managers, safety directors, operation managers, estimators, supervisors, foreman, training professionals, and education directors.
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt recently toured the Construction Careers Center in St. Louis and praised the center's efforts to help prepare students for jobs in the construction industry and college.
"My administration is helping to lay the foundation for future prosperity by making education our highest priority," said Blunt. "I believe every Missouri child should have a chance for a world-class education to prepare them for future prosperity. The Construction Careers Center is providing a valuable resource to help students transition to the work force. Their leadership is helping young Missouri students succeed and inspiring others."
Founded by the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis and the St. Louis construction industry, the Construction Careers Center was established as the first charter high school in the country focused on preparing students for jobs in the construction industry.
The Ohio Operating Engineers Apprenticeship & Training Program is an industry-sponsored and funded registered apprenticeship training program with training facilities in Richfield, Cygnet, Logan, and Miamisburg. Sponsors include the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, the Ohio Contractors Association and the Ohio Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors. The Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training, U.S. Department of Labor, provides assistance and regulation.