AGC of Colorado Targets Workforce Development with 2018 New Board of Directors

DENVER AGC of Colorado appointed a new board of directors for 2018 with a focus on workforce recruitment, development, leadership, and mentoring. The seven-member management committee that leads the 550 AGC of Colorado construction members includes, Scott Van Deren from Drake-Williams Steel as the chairman and Kurt Klanderud from GH Phipps Construction Companies as the vice-chairman. The At-Large members are Byron Haselden from Haselden Construction, Sherri Lindsey from Concepts in Millwork, and Tom Horsting from Adolfson & Peterson Construction. David Lueders from Haselden Construction serves as the treasurer and Brian Laartz from Golden Triangle Construction is the immediate past chairman.

This concentration on workforce development success stems from the latest industry statistics that continue to indicate an expanding construction job market. As noted in the latest analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics by the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employment increased by 30,000 jobs in December 2017 to the highest level since September 2008. In Colorado alone, 3,300 construction jobs were added in December 2017 for a total of 164,900 jobs — a 5.5 percent increase from December 2016.

Scott Van Deren
Scott Van Deren

Looking forward into 2018, Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC of America’s chief executive officer, commented, “Most construction firms plan to add workers during 2018 as demand for all types of construction continues to expand. The biggest challenge they face will be finding qualified workers to hire as the labor market continues to tighten.”

To provide viable solutions to this workforce development challenge, AGC of Colorado’s 2018 strategic plan includes the following measures. To target the next generation of construction workers, the plan will bring Careers in Construction, an existing construction training model in Colorado Springs, to Denver. This collaboration between area high schools in Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak Community College provides construction education and training opportunities in local communities. Denver-metro area high schools will be linked to the Community Colleges of Aurora and Denver.

Another directive includes a call for AGC of Colorado members to grow the Colorado Construction Connection initiative. This program provides high school guidance counselors and teachers in the Denver area with information regarding various construction career pathways for their students. The program rolled out for the 2017-2018 academic year in 11 Denver-metro area schools, with expansion planned for 33 more high schools over two years to educate students and parents on the multiple pathways into worthwhile construction careers.

On the legislative side, the Board of Directors will work to seek approval of several additional state bills on Career Technical education (CTE) and workforce development and to continue to garner funding for construction training through the AGC Foundation. The strategic plan also includes a greater focus on existing programs such as for employment opportunities for mid-level construction employment and training and Construction Careers Now for those brand new to the construction industry.

Image: AGC of Colorado welcomes Scott Van Deren from Drake-Williams Steel as the new Chairman for the 2018 Board of Directors.


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