On the grow
Based on labor market statistics, construction and related careers such as facility maintenance, skilled labor for manufacturing, energy, and healthcare and other utilities will face a daunting worker shortage as skilled workers are aging out of the industry while construction in Northeast Ohio is facing a “boom” of new and rehabilitated public and private buildings estimated at $8-10 billion worth over a 10-year period. Kiplinger.com, in an August 2012 article, cited Construction Services as the #8 Best College Major for a lucrative career.
The Construction Employers Association is embarking on a variety of efforts at the national, state and local levels to identify programs which will engage youth and develop adults in construction management and trade careers and strategies to raise awareness of the construction industry, with increased career path choices for youth interested in lucrative careers with opportunities for growth in Northeast Ohio.
CEA, along with contractors, building owners, public sector, non profits and educational institutions, are continuing work to build a regional (Northeast Ohio) construction career pathways program that promotes career development for several targeted populations and with a focus on traditional, youth, minority, and women workforce concerns including:
• Future Workers/Youth (middle school, high school, college and non-traditional under 23 years of age): exposure, education and experience
• Incumbent Worker Training and Adult Workforce Development: education
• Entrepreneurs/Small Construction Business: align opportunities with capability for success
The Construction Industry Advancement Project addresses goals established by CEA and partners:
1) Develop curriculum and programs to engage youth and adults in a full range of Construction Career opportunities. We are working with partners such as the Ohio Department of Education, Career and Technical Division; community colleges and universities; the energy and manufacturing sectors, as well and the architectural and engineering community.
2) Further the establishment of construction program educational opportunities, with a focus on Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cuyahoga and Lorain community colleges, Cleveland State University, University of Akron and Kent State University, to include scholarships, internships, Associated General Contractors Student Chapters, experiential experiences and more.
3) Assist emerging and established contractors to strengthen and grow business and safety capacities.
In Northeast Ohio, contractors in partnership with CEA, Associated General Contractors, the Contractors Assistance Association (CAA) and others provide a mechanism to obtain feedback and participation from construction employers. The information needed to create a unique Construction Management Career Pathway begins with youth in middle school through high school and beyond.
To date, CEA has conducted pilot programs reaching 800 middle school youth via a Construction Career Awareness Program; provided nearly 40 high school and college students with instruction and internship placement in Construction Management careers; annually hosts 50 -70 college students in Constructor For A Day (shadowing program); works with Lorain Community College to increase construction programs, including the Get into Energy initiative and co-sponsors the Construction Trade Career Day with Cuyahoga Community College. We seek to design broader strategies that will engage an increased number of diverse youth in construction.
Our project focuses on construction pathway development/career awareness, incumbent workers, developing small businesses for success as well as increasing inclusion in the construction industry. BXM
Learning to build
How the industry is training
its future workforce
By Courtney Behm
The ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland is beginning its fifth year offering in-depth mentoring to local high school students interested in the fields of architecture, construction and engineering. Teams of industry professionals work with students over a period of 15 weeks during the school year providing hands-on activities, simulated project development and site tours to introduce disciplines such as design, construction management, civil, structural, mechanical/electrical and geotechnical engineering, and general trades.
Five teams totaling 100 students are in place at the John Hay School of Architecture & Design, James F. Rhodes High School and the New Tech Academies at East Tech and Max Hayes with more than 36 firms from the local design and construction community providing volunteer assistance. Among the current ACE team leadership and key supporters are University Hospitals, Gilbane Building Company, Regency Construction Services, Inc.,
Herschman Architects, Turner Construction, ThenDesign Architecture, Ltd., Kent State University, Cuyahoga Community College, and Cleveland State University.
There are multiple opportunities to provide support to ACE Cleveland including volunteering staff to work directly with the students in the classroom, conducting construction site tours or office visits, serving as a special guest speaker and providing internships for ACE alumni.
“The local industry volunteers spend valuable time with the ACE Cleveland students passing on what
they have learned throughout their careers in design and
construction. Their passion to give back and serve as role models leaves
a lasting impression with the students,” says Tom Laird, ACE Cleveland Board Chairman and EVP of Gilbane. BXM
Courtney Behm, senior sales services manager, Gilbane Building Company, and affiliate coordinator, ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland, email@example.com or 216.535.3000.
The other four-year degree
A partnership that increases value for apprenticeship training
By Robert Verhoff
the Other Four Year Degree” is a slogan for the Union Building and Construction Trades Apprenticeship training and attaining journey status in any construction craft. An Associate Degree and journeyperson status attainment is a reality at Cuyahoga County Community College (Tri-C) through its Joint Apprenticeship Training and Construction program (JATC). The JATC partnership with Apprenticeship Training programs offers college credit towards an Applied Industry Technical Science degree. The AIT degree is possible when the credits earned through apprenticeship training and 30 credit hours of General Education course work is successfully completed.
The JATC staff works with each partner apprenticeship program to identify specific trade training courses that will earn 30 college credit hours toward the AIT degree. Tri-C program managers enroll apprentices and journeypersons as Tri-C students
to assure college credit for their training, assists apprenticeship
programs with curriculum development, identifies and assists with IT resources, and offers instructor skill development.
Program managers also counsel apprenticeship students in course
completion, financial aid, and career goals.
Contractors not only have skilled construction workers available for their project work but also experience additional value when workers bring their skills and knowledge from college studies. The construction training programs have always valued lifelong learning and offer journey level upgrade training to stay current with workplace safety training and new technologies in construction. Proceeding toward an associate degree is consistent with the lifelong learning values.
Tri-C is excited about this partnership. In its
effort to encourage academic completion in the construction AIT programs, Tri-C also offers a Certificate of Proficiency when English 1010 is completed with the identified 30 hours of coursework is completed at the Apprenticeship Training Centers. Tri-C and construction training partners are working
together to prepare the construction workforce of the future. BXM
Robert Verhoff is director of Joint Apprentice training at Tri-C.