ConstructionEducation

Construction Careers Now Program Answers Gov. Polis’ Proclamation

Construction Careers Now (CCN), a construction pre-apprenticeship program, demonstrates solidarity with Governor Jared Polis’ latest proclamation for October as Careers in Construction Month with their four-week, industry sponsored program that trains participants in construction industry basics and includes a hiring fair with each program. This is the third year in a row a Governor of Colorado has issued this proclamation that is intended to “increase public awareness and appreciation of construction craft professions and the entire construction workforce.”

The CCN program supports Gov. Polis’ proclamation to “…narrow the skills gap by guiding America’s youth and displaced workers into opportunities that lead to long-term rewarding careers in construction.” Since its inaugural class in September 2016, CCN has exposed more than 1,100 students to the benefits of careers in construction and is now approaching nearly 700 graduates of the CCN program that are working in the construction industry. CCN program graduates represent a diverse background, with 20 percent of graduates being female, 33 percent of graduates are Hispanic and 22 percent of graduates are African American. The average age of CCN graduates is 32.

These results help augment the construction workforce needs for firms in Colorado, which continue to place undue burdens on the industry. According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s 2019 Workforce Survey in Colorado, 88 percent of construction firms are having a difficult time filling some or all positions, up from 80 percent of firms that reported this in 2018. The 2019 survey also highlights that 43 percent of Colorado construction firms reported it will become more difficult to hire hourly craft positions in the next twelve months.

CCN offers a more immediate solution to construction firms’ labor needs by inviting local construction firms to participate in the hiring fairs that conclude each four-week training program. Construction firms have the ability to meet face-to-face with the soon-to-be graduates at these hiring fairs and even offer jobs to potential candidates on-the-spot. Jayhawk Owens, project manager at Baker Concrete Construction commented, “We do like to come to the CCN hiring fairs, and we’ve hired some good people from them…it’s just not very easy to find a lot of young talent, especially in one place.”

The CCN program is made possible by funding and support through Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), and additional granting agencies including members of AGC of Colorado (AGC/C), Colorado Contractors Association (CCA), the Hispanic Contractors of Colorado (HCC), Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC), the Construction Workforce Foundation of Colorado, WORKNOW and the newly formed Construction Education Foundation (CEF). CEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to construction industry workforce development in Colorado. AGC of Colorado formed CEF with a mission to serve as an advocate for the construction industry by creating and administering programs to recruit, develop, and educate a diverse group of workers for today’s and tomorrow’s needs.

Instructors for CCN are provided by EGTC to teach an introduction to the construction trades with both classroom and hands-on learning opportunities. CCN students are also trained in safety regulations via Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) trained instructors so that CCN graduates can obtain their OSHA-10 cards.

CCN will continue to honor Gov. Polis’ proclamation well beyond the month of October to assist Coloradans in their efforts to embark on a career in construction and to help to meet construction labor needs. The latest estimates from the CDLE indicate that the Colorado construction industry will need 220,000 employees by 2027, up from the current 175,000 employees needed today.

For local contractors looking to take advantage of CCN’s workforce development efforts and follow in the footsteps of Gov. Polis’ proclamation, register for the upcoming hiring fair taking place November 6, 2019. https://www.buildcolorado.com/hiring-fair

Participants interested in the CCN program can register at https://www.buildcolorado.com/ccn 

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