Are schools, organizations and media portraying the richness, variety and vitality of construction careers? Recruiting and renewing a sustainable work force means embracing a positive image for our industry, reinforcing it with our education and industry partners and fulfilling its promise through socially responsible industry practices.

The following article was written by Jennifer Woodruff, Marketing Director of ABC Houston, and originally published in ABC's BuildHoustonOnline

With the passage of House Bill 5 (HB5), there is a renewed emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The bill has been a much needed shot in the arm to re-energize the pursuit of Career and Technical Education (CTE) around the Gulf Coast region. However, with the increased demand on CTE programs comes higher material costs, subject matter expert/speaker needs, and basic equipment underwriting for ISD budgets that are already stretched thin. Currently, 22 area ISDs who represent 43 area high schools are partnered with Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF), using the NCCER curriculum to deliver accredited craft training. Students who attend these sponsored schools get a head start on their craft training so that they are ready to enter the industry as they graduate from high school.    Read more » about Local ISDs in Need of Industry Sponsorship, Consumables and Equipment

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced yesterday that more than 170 of the top construction apprentices and trainees in the country will compete in the 30th annual National Craft Championships, March 1-2 during ABC’s Workforce Week ’17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Competitors from 29 states will contend for gold, silver and bronze medals and a safety award in 13 competitions representing 11 crafts.  The two-day competition includes a written exam and a hands-on, practical test where competitors will demonstrate their high-level craftsmanship and best safety practices.

“The National Craft Championships is a great opportunity to show off the exceptionally skilled and well-trained craftsmen and women that work on Associated Builders and Contractors member jobsites,” said 2017 ABC National Chair Chuck Goodrich, president of Gaylor Electric Inc. Indianapolis.  “ABC looks forward to showing off the very best the merit shop construction industry has to offer, including six Gaylor Electric apprentices, and drawing needed attention to the terrific career opportunities available in the construction industry.”   Read more » about More Than 170 Top Construction Pros to Compete at ABC’s 2017 National Craft Championships

Amid high unemployment in areas like the Midwest where people have in almost no way been encouraged to retrain themselves and while there are calls for increases in the minimum wage for jobs in fast food, the construction industry is offering good paying jobs but hurting for workers in a big way.

There are a variety of reasons for this, naturally. The problem is especially bad in North Texas, reports the Dallas Morning News:

Dallas-Fort Worth leads the country in construction of both houses and apartments. The lack of skilled labor is adding months to construction timelines and helping to inflate property prices in Big D and beyond.    Read more » about Residential Construction Seeks a Million Workers

Emily Peiffer, the editor over at Construction Dive, recently posted a feature article titled 10 Construction Trends to Watch in 2017. Since hers is one of the first of 2017, I thought that we would share the list and give you the link so that you can take a deeper dive into the list at your leisure. Here is Emily’s provocative list.

  1. Collaborative project delivery methods will become more popular.
  2. The labor shortage will continue to plague the industry.
  3. The feeling of uncertainty will linger under the new administration.
  4. Offsite/modular construction will gain a stronger foothold in the market.
  5. Construction firms are cautiously optimistic for a future infrastructure-spending boost.
  6. Read more » about Construction Trends for 2017

A ceremony held at the recently completed C3 project for the Greater Houston Partnership in Partnership Tower has the potential to impact the construction workforce in the Houston region for decades to come.

The ceremony honored the inaugural class of 17 graduates of Generation Houston, a collaboration of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Upskill Houston, United Way, and Generation, a 501(c)(3) social initiative sponsored by McKinsey & Company and other major sponsors.

The four week, fast track program was aimed at individuals who express an interest in the construction industry as a career and offers them training in life, safety, social and career skills. The United Way Thrive program provides the candidates and the screening of the individuals who are eligible for the training. McKinsey’s Generation provides the instruction.   Read more » about Generation Houston Inaugural Graduation

Excitement filled the air on a cool, crisp, picture perfect day when 322 students with 38 teacher/administrator chaperones from Houston-Metropolitan Area high school campuses attended the 2016 Construction Careers Exposition on Thursday, October 27, at the Pasadena Municipal Fairgrounds.  These select students represented Aldine, Alvin, Barbers Hill, Channelview, Deer Park, Galena Park, Goose Creek Consolidated, Humble, Pasadena, Pearland, and Sheldon Independent School Districts.  185 volunteers representing 33 contractors, colleges, and suppliers joined with the Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston/Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) to sponsor and facilitate the Exposition – including the donation of resources, services, and time – to make this event happen.   Read more » about Area High School Students Experience Hands-On Activities at the 2016 Construction Careers Expo

The “private sector solution” to workforce challenges in the Houston area is growing by leaps and bounds, but there is an incredible amount of work yet to do. The Construction Career Collaborative, or C3, continues to pick up steam and more industry leaders are being asked to join what has been described as “a movement.”

During a breakfast hosted this month by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston, C3 Executive Director Chuck Gremillion told executives the best way to create an industry that’s attractive to young American workers is through better craft training, safety training, and a focus on the financial security, health and well-being of craft workers.

“We’re really a pretty simple organization,” Gremillion said. “We want to attract young people to a career.”

While the vast majority of construction companies understand the need for safety training, which is a great thing, Gremillion said it is regrettable there aren’t more firms with a focus on craft training.   Read more » about More Construction Leaders Are Needed to “Walk the Talk” on Workforce Solutions

Last week the Construction Education Foundation of North Texas (CEF) hosted 1500 students from 43 high schools at their sixth annual Build Your Future Career Day.  Industry leaders and educators work together each year to make this event a great way to grow the future workforce by promoting the many career opportunities in the construction industry.

The high school juniors and seniors from region 10 and 11 in the north Texas area were led in groups of 12-15 students throughout the CEF complex where they were exposed to different crafts, exhibits, and employment opportunities available in the construction industry.   Read more » about Build Your Future Career Day Invites Students to Explore Careers in Construction

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