CEF of North Texas stays on the cutting edge of training
This blog post was originally published on Breaking Ground: the NCCER Blog, and was re-posted with permission.
As one of the first craft training organizations to utilize NCCER craft training, the Construction Education Foundation of North Texas (CEF) pioneered many of NCCER’s early programs. Two decades later, CEF continues to deliver NCCER’s most advanced training, assessment, certification and career development system in the construction industry.
CEF is a nonprofit training organization that started out as an alliance between the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Dallas Chapter, AGC Fort Worth Chapter, Associated Builders and Contractors North Texas Chapter and the American Subcontractors Association. These associations joined forces to create a single training entity to better serve their members’ workforce development needs in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas of North Texas. As the first AGC chapter to gain NCCER sponsorship, CEF became an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor in 1993.
CEF currently operates out of a 60,000 square-foot facility located on the property of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The building includes 23 classrooms, an assembly room, two computer labs and 30,000 square feet of shop space. Today, nearly 1,500 students attend CEF each semester, and they are taught by some 50 NCCER-certified instructors.
Jane Hanna, CEF’s president and executive director, explained that CEF adopted NCCER’s training and certification system for a number of reasons. She said the modular format of NCCER curricula is ideal because it allows for flexibility when instructing craft trainees, who each have different levels of experience. Additionally, NCCER’s Registry System ensures that if craft professionals leave North Texas, their credentials can be verified by employers anywhere. Most importantly, said Hanna, NCCER’s training programs are industry driven, so CEF is confident that its students are mastering the skills most needed by employers.
In addition to providing world-class curricula, Hanna notes that NCCER closely supports some of the foundation’s other workforce development efforts. “NCCER is a true partner in workforce development,” said Hanna. “They partner with us to hold our Build Your Future Career Day, and if we need help with an issue, NCCER provides us with the experts and resources we need. For example, if there’s something going on at the state level and we need research or an expert to testify, NCCER ensures we have that backup and support.”
With technology rapidly evolving the ways in which craft training is delivered, Hanna trusts that NCCER will help CEF keep pace with these changes, enabling the foundation to offer the most modern and sophisticated instruction and assessment available.
“Some hands-on training is now being done using simulators for preliminary instruction prior to students being placed on actual equipment,” said Hanna. “Distance learning and online classes are also gaining in popularity. As a workforce development entity, it’s important that we seek out all avenues and technology to train our workforce now and in the future. In this regard, NCCER is constantly looking to make craft training as cutting edge as possible.”
About the Author
Amy King is the communications manager at NCCER. Her role includes being the managing editor of NCCER’s biannual magazine, The Cornerstone, and its weekly blog, Breaking Ground. Amy has 10 years of marketing and public relations experience, including email, social media and grassroots marketing, promotions, event planning and writing press releases and feature articles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida.