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Construction education programs need all the support they can get to provide high-quality craft, management, safety and leadership training to the existing and future workforce, and help is on the way. 

In July, Congress reauthorized the Perkins Act to fund billions of dollars in grants for career and technical education programs. Plus, trade associations and Fortune 500 companies alike are using the momentum of President Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers” to invest in apprenticeships, work-based learning, on-the-job training and reskilling.

For its part, Associated Builders and Contractors has pledged to educate and develop at least 500,000 construction workers during the next five years. Already, ABC member companies annually invest $1.1 billion on workforce development, and the association’s network of 70 chapters have set up more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety programs across the United States. 

New educational initiatives and updates to training spaces are always in the works as ABC chapters serve their communities’ specific needs. Read on for highlights of some of the exciting changes happening from coast to coast—each of which received financial support from ABC’s Trimmer Construction Education Fund (TCEF).

Filling a Void in Arkansas 

ABC of Arkansas is well on its way to achieving its mission of establishing the state’s premier workforce development training center in a Little Rock facility that houses the Arkansas Construction Trades Academy (ACTA) as well as ABC’s offices. The school got up and running last year in a 5,000-square-foot performance lab and is now finishing up the process of building out a 7,700-square-foot building with two classrooms seating 25 each and a conference room seating up to 60 people. Read More...

Taking Online Electrical Training Statewide in California

Five ABC chapters—Northern CaliforniaSouthern CaliforniaCentral CaliforniaSan Diego and LA/Ventura—are joining forces to implement a statewide electrical training virtual program (ETVP). The interactive online program is based on a state-approved NCCER curriculum and has required a significant amount of administrative coordination to ensure consistency of enrollment, attendance, grading and certification. Read More...

Expanding Training Operations in Ohio

For the 2017-2018 training year, ABC’s Central Ohio Chapter had more than 250 apprentices enrolled at seven different locations. Nearly 30 percent were first-year students compared to only 19 percent of students preparing to graduate. 

The organization’s primary facility in Columbus—which is home to the Ohio Construction Academy (a charter high school) during the day and four apprenticeship classes each evening—needed an upgrade to accommodate increased enrollment in electrical, plumbing and carpentry trades. Read More...

A New Hybrid Training Approach in Connecticut

For years, the ABC Connecticut Chapter’s nonprofit Construction Education Center (CEC) operated hybrid in-person and online apprenticeship training programs out of a one-classroom 4,000-square-foot building in Rocky Hill, Conn. This past February, the group had the opportunity to move into a brand new 8,000-square-foot building in Plainville, Conn., with two didactic training rooms, two hands-on training rooms and a conference room. 

When plumbing, carpentry and HVAC courses picked up in September, the hybrid approach became threefold: classroom, online and hands on. Read More... 

More Space + More Tech = More Skilled Workers

Several chapters of Associated Builders and Contractors are realizing the need for increased space and more advanced technology to train today's skilled laborers. Read More... 

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