Build Your Future is an initiative sponsored by NCCER with the mission to narrow the skills gap by guiding America’s youth and displaced workers into opportunities for advanced education and training, leading to long-term rewarding careers in construction.  BYI seeks to:

  • Make career and technical education a priority in secondary schools
  • Shift the public’s negative perception about careers in the construction industry to reflect the wide range of professions available
  • Provide a path from ambition, to training, to job placement as a craft professional


Construction companies in Indiana will need to hire more than 61,000 workers over the next two years.  This alarming statistic is why the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation partnered with Build Your Future (BYF) to create the Build Your Future Indiana campaign.  The campaign is used by a unique collaboration of employers, state agencies and industry associations all working together to encourage residents to learn about construction careers and training opportunities now emerging in the state.

To kick off the campaign, Build Your Future Indiana was launched earlier this year, and customized promotional materials – such as trading cards, posters, brochures, wristbands, sunglasses, stickers, cups, carpenter pencils, lanyards and bookmarks – were sent to more than 1,000 Indiana high schools.  Along with these materials, customized presentations, videos and career day resources were also created for Build Your Future Indiana to promote in schools, meetings, conferences and career days across the state.  While BYF resources are available for any organization, BYF partners have the ability to customize material with their own branding and information, which can contribute greatly to the success of their campaigns.

In the few short months since Build Your Future Indiana was created, over 1 million people have already viewed the TV commercials (see the three short videos below) that BYF customized for the partnership.   Read more » about Indiana Partners with Build Your Future to Close the State’s Construction Skills Gap

Who's responsible for erasing America's shortage of skilled workers?  That is the question posed by The Atlantic last month in a story on why our workforce suffers from unemployment and underemployment while businesses say there is a shortage of workers with the skills needed to fill thousands of jobs.

October is Careers in Construction Month, so let’s talk specifics about who will build the communities of the future.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics says we will need 1.6 million new construction workers by 2022.  Already about four in five members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) say there is a shortage of skilled labor, and a quarter of construction workers are expected to retire in the next ten years.

That’s a big challenge, but ABC is making headway in attracting talented people to construction.  Our members invest $1.1 billion annually in training – that’s billion with a “B”!   Read more » about The Race to 1.6 Million Construction Workers by 2022

According to recent data from the Construction Labor Market Analyzer, the construction industry will need 1.5 million additional craft professionals by 2019.  To highlight this shortage and create a sustainable pipeline of craft professionals, states are proclaiming October as Careers in Construction Month.

Alabama, Indiana, Nebraska and Mississippi already have proclamations signed by their state governors declaring October as Careers in Construction Month (CICM).  This nationwide campaign is designed to increase public awareness of the opportunities available in the construction industry.  Schools, contractors and organizations are encouraged to partner locally and host construction career events throughout the month.  In recent surveys conducted at local career fairs, 92 percent of the students attending these events stated the career fairs increased their interest in careers in construction.   Read more » about The Clock is Ticking; October is just Around the Corner

Each year, NCCER and Build Your Future (BYF) are proud to celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in February.  CTE Month celebrates the extraordinary achievements and contributions of CTE programs across America, which prepare students for careers in today's economy.

The Construction Labor Market Analyzer forecasts that more than 2 million new craft professionals will be needed in the construction industry by 2018.  The skilled trades continue to be the hardest jobs to fill in the U.S., resulting in plenty of career opportunities for CTE graduates.

CTE offers programs such as welding, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and carpentry to prepare students for high-paying, in-demand construction careers at both the high school level and in postsecondary programs.   Read more » about The Future of the Construction Industry is in Career and Technical Education

After more than thirty years in the construction industry, it’s time for me to step aside to make room for the next generation, and I must say I’m encouraged by what I see.

As I look back at my career in the industry, I’ve witnessed a lot of change.  In the 1980s, when I worked for one of the top engineering and construction firms in the nation, we didn’t have recruitment issues.  We had projects valued at more than $500 million with thousands of employees, and when we needed more pipefitters, welders or other craft professionals, we mailed notices to all those in our database who had ever worked for us.  We could expect that within days our employment offices would be full and our project workforce needs met.  During that time, employees went from contractor to contractor depending on where the work was.  The pay and benefits were good and the pool of employees seemed endless.   Read more » about Remembering the Past and Encouraged for the Future

As we reflect on Veterans Day this week, most of us think about the countless blessings we have because of the sacrifice and service of our country’s brave men and women.  There is no doubt that this holiday gives deserving recognition to those who have so gallantly served.  However, we can do more than simply recognize our veterans.  We must remember the words of John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Earlier this year, the construction industry committed to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.  In order to accomplish this, Build Your Future (BYF) partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to use an effective recruitment tool known as SkillBridge, an online, Twitter-based portal specifically for transitioning service members.

During the last 180 days of service, military personnel undergo a transition phase.  Transitioning into civilian life is a daunting challenge for many service members, and two out three veterans report having a difficult time during this process.  In addition, veterans listed the greatest challenge during the phase was finding a civilian job.   Read more » about What Veterans Day Means to Our Industry

Those of us in the construction industry are aware of the vast opportunities that exist for individuals who are willing to build.  October is Careers in Construction Month, and it’s the perfect time to spread the word about these opportunities.  According to new research from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International, 73 percent of high school seniors reported that they already know which career they want to pursue.  Research like this tells us that we need to start early when promoting careers in construction as we seek to recruit the next generation of craft professionals.

Informational resources are paramount to recruitment, and NCCER’s Build Your Future (BYF) initiative offers numerous resources to support the recruitment efforts of our industry’s next skilled workforce.   Read more » about Kicking Off Careers in Construction Month This October

Originally posted on

The Build Your Future (BYF) initiative along with various industry partners are excited to announce that they have teamed up in San Antonio to host a Construction Career Day event on April 9, 2014 at Freeman Coliseum's Expo Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We are anticipating over 600 students from 20 different schools from San Antonio and the surrounding areas, up from last year’s student attendance of around 350. These students will have an opportunity to watch equipment and welding demonstrations, speak with local employers in the construction industry, and visit booths representing various professions in construction.

The goal of this event is to encourage awareness to the different construction trades and lead students into long-term rewarding careers in construction.   Read more » about San Antonio High School Construction Career Expo - April 9, 2014