The Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF), an educational affiliate of ABC Greater Houston, hosted an open house yesterday at their Performance Verification Center in La Porte, Texas. CMEF contributors, ABC members, and guests were invited to tour the facility while enjoying some live music and barbeque.
At the event, industry leaders made new acquaintances and caught up with old friends under the sunny sky of a warm spring afternoon. Music was provided by Obsolete August, and CMEF members manned the barbeque smokers.
In response to a comment that he had not been seen in his office lately, Steven Horton, Schools Program Director at CMEF, told his friends, “You cannot grow a training facility by sitting in an office.”
At this training facility, people who wish to receive training in one of the offered skilled crafts come in either sponsored by the companies who have hired them or on their own. Courses are offered for NCCER Core Curriculum; Boilermaker; Carpentry; Concrete Finisher; Crane, Rigging, & Signal Person; Electrical; Instrumentation Fitter; Insulator; Millwright; Pipefitting; Rebar; Scaffold Building; Sheet Metal; and Welding. Some trainees are able to complete the classroom portion of each course at their high schools or colleges and then receive hands-on training performance evaluation for NCCER certification at the CMEF facility.
Curtis Brandon is an NCCER Pipefitting Instructor and Performance Evaluator at CMEF. I asked him how many trainees were currently enrolled in the pipefitting classes there. He said he currently has a total of 50 trainees enrolled in three different levels of pipefitting courses. Each trainee comes to class twice a week for 16 weeks for each of four skill levels from beginning to advanced, after which they may take the performance evaluation to qualify for NCCER certification. Those who pass the evaluation receive certifications which are transferred into the NCCER national registry, so potential employers can know what skills the craft professionals are qualified to do.
State Representative Mary Ann Perez, currently serving in the Texas Legislature was unable to attend but sent staff to tour the facilities. Debra Carrizal stated the Representative is a strong proponent of workforce development and understands the needs of the district and its importance to the economic development of the district, the municipalities and the state.
CMEF is a non-profit 501 (c3) solely devoted to servicing the workforce development needs of the contractor community through programs ranging from craft and safety training to management and leadership instruction. CMEF is accredited by the NCCER, and all courses are taught using the nationally standardized NCCER curriculum.