As many of you may be aware, the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) began in late 2009 when a small group of leaders met to discuss the ominous signs of a looming craft worker shortage. From that meeting, a vision was crafted that not only addressed the future workforce needs of our industry, but also included a plan that engaged all participants in the construction process, beginning with the construction owner.
Since that meeting, a lot has been done, and much is going on, but the real work is just beginning. A board of directors was formed. A mission and principles were adopted. Bylaws were written. Committees of volunteers, who enthusiastically endorsed the mission and principles of C3, were created and many great ideas were generated and developed. Beta projects were identified and then built.
Today, C3 has an executive director, has received its 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service and is now raising money, has launched its first two non-beta C3 projects (with at least three more on the boards for 2015). We are interviewing candidates to fill the position of operations manager, which will enable us to begin to conduct job site audits of safety credentials and payroll practices in the next few months and, along with providers such as community colleges and trade schools, begin the development of craft training for the trades, which currently do not have it. Further, C3 has two owners who have adopted C3 criteria, and we expect to add at least two more very prominent owners in the near future. Additionally, we now have 54 contractors and specialty contractors who subscribe to C3 principles and have been certified as Accredited Employers. In short, while there is still much work to be done, we have made great progress, and we are beginning to generate a return on investment for those organizations that support C3.
C3 envisions itself as being like LEED. While LEED faced resistance in its formative years, it overcame it and is now an expected practice. C3 is moving down the same path. If you believe in the C3 mission, which states “As an alliance of socially responsible Owners, Contractors and Specialty Contractors, we will positively affect the issues facing the craft worker for the commercial construction industry”, please join the cause. If you are an owner, please inquire about how your next project can be a C3 project. If you are a contractor or specialty contractor, please contact me about becoming a C3 Accredited Employer. As more and more owners, contractors and specialty contractors enlist with C3, the more we will accomplish at a faster and faster rate, which will enable us to generate the ultimate return on investment that our supporters expect, which is a sustainable craft workforce.