Go Build Alabama Program Sets Example To Follow
As a workforce development professional in the construction industry, I am always excited to hear about new initiatives that support the skilled trades.
In 2009, Senator Wendell Mitchell and Senator Del Marsh co-sponsored Act 220 in the Alabama legislature that resulted in the creation of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute. The creation of the ACRI is significant for a couple of reasons. It is funded through a fee levied on employers based on wages paid to skilled construction workers on commercial and industrial jobs across the state, and it represents a united effort from the private and public sector.
The ACRI’s Go Build Alabama campaign is a full out effort to inform and educate the citizens of Alabama about the opportunities for great careers in construction. The campaign kicked off on Labor Day of 2010 and featured spokesperson Mike Rowe who is the creator, executive producer and host of the popular Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. The Go Build Alabama website offers information on the industry outlook, profiles of the various trades, links to training and apprenticeship opportunities, and a sign up page where readers can get assistance in navigating entry into the construction industry. The campaign seems to be aiming at and hitting the right demographics.
If we are truly serious about investing in our future workforce, we must seek out opportunities to re-create what one of my associates’ calls, “pockets of excellence”. In the coming months you will begin to hear more about this initiative and efforts at the national level to leverage resources and talent to begin making a significant impact in what will be a challenging time for us as construction rebounds and a large part of the workforce enters retirement. As Mike Rowe states on the Go Build website:
“There are opportunities in Alabama right now that most people don’t even know about in construction. These opportunities aren't alternatives to viable careers – they are viable careers.”