Building a Bridge between Industry, Education and Community
This blog post was originally published on Breaking Ground: the NCCER Blog, and was re-posted with permission.
As the number of building permits increase across Nevada, the demand for commercial and residential construction is also on the rise. Thankfully, our governor is aware of our state’s workforce needs and is making it one of his primary focus points. In fact, the state recently proclaimed October as Careers in Construction Month as well as Careers in Manufacturing Month.
The proclamation process here in Nevada is clearly laid out on the state’s website, which made filing one fairly simple. Although I had several outsiders tell me that it was too late to file the paperwork for Careers in Construction Month because manufacturing had already received approval for the same proclamation, I did it anyway. I downloaded the sample proclamation from Build Your Future’s website at byf.org/resources and filled in the necessary information with an explanation of my motivation behind the request. Soon after I filed the proclamation, the governor’s office contacted me and asked for more details about NCCER’s Build Your Future initiative. After a short period of time, I held the proclamation in my hands.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a great team, including Aaron West and Pam Duxbury of Nevada Builders Alliance and Alex Kyzer from the Nevada Department of Education, to generate interest in construction careers among local high school career and technical education (CTE) programs, the construction industry and surrounding communities. Alex reached out to NCCER a few years ago about introducing the NCCER curriculum in Nevada’s high school CTE programs. NCCER spent almost a year working with him, and together they accomplished their goal of getting some of the larger programs to adopt the curriculum. Alex hopes to have every program in the state eventually adopt the curriculum because it is a good fit and provides relevant training procedures and measureable learning outcomes through a proven process.
The Careers in Construction Month proclamation from our governor’s office further verifies the value of NCCER within our state. Having an official proclamation from the governor shows the state’s support for the work our team is doing to support CTE and workforce development. By supporting Build Your Future and NCCER, Nevada Builders Alliance hopes to educate construction employers about the value of an NCCER credentialed employee and what it can mean for their businesses.
Throughout Careers in Construction Month, Western Nevada College will be hosting events to promote construction careers, including an open house for the community to tour and visit CTE programs on campus. Students will also design, build and present a float that promotes CTE for the Nevada Day celebration with Nevada Builders Alliance’s promotional truck pulling the float. The last objective for the month is visiting area high schools to promote construction training opportunities that are available through our Ramsdell Construction Academy. Beginning in fall of 2016, the Ramsdell Academy will offer fifteen college credits based on NCCER’s “Core Curriculum,” “Construction Technology I” and “Fundamentals of Crew Leadership,” along with a 30-hour OSHA training class for high school seniors and community members.
We encourage other community college programs across the country to adopt dual enrollment opportunities such as ours to build a better pipeline of new entrants into the construction industry.
This blog post was originally published on Breaking Ground: the NCCER Blog, and was reposted with permission.
About the Author
Bob Ford is a Senior Instructor at Western Nevada College. He received a bachelor’s degree in construction science and a Master of Science in training and development from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Bob has taught at University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Western Carolina University where he conducted research with Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors and NCCER. He has published articles, presented conference papers and sat on several committees. Bob is currently in the process of rebuilding the construction management program at Western Nevada College, which is the only source for such a degree within 500 miles.