A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

C3 Makes a Trip to Atlanta

Recently, Construction Career Collaborative (C3) board chairman, Mike Holland, COO of MAREK, board members Jerry Lea, Executive Vice President of Hines, Jim Stevenson, immediate past board chair of C3 and President of the Houston Division of McCarthy Building Companies, and I, traveled to Atlanta at the invitation of the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) to address a meeting of its members and to tell the story of C3. What made this opportunity so attractive is that CEFGA sought C3 out because of the progress that we have made in leading the charge to improve workforce development in the craft trades in Houston. Creating a sustainable craft workforce is a problem shared by many companies in the construction industry across the United States and a number of Atlanta based construction companies.

I presented the history of C3, the principles upon which it was founded and a description of C3’s vision of the future of commercial construction as our program is adopted across the industry. Jerry then highlighted C3’s owner-driven strategy to achieve its goal of a safe, skilled and sustainable craft workforce, and the importance of providing owners with metrics that build a business case to demonstrate the value of a C3 Project. Jim spoke of the influence of the General Contractor with the owner and the importance of that relationship on the C3 process. Mike detailed the requirements to become a C3 Accredited Employer including the importance of an employer-employee relationship as it pertains to the provision of training and a career path. I concluded with details of C3’s safety initiative, specifically detailing the 12 safety modules and the safety metrics of C3 projects which demonstrably illustrate that C3 Projects are indeed safer than the construction industry as a whole across the nation. Our presentation concluded with a description of the critical importance of C3’s strategy to assist companies in the development of their respective craft training initiatives, while linking it to the career paths for their craft workers.

We fielded questions from those in the audience on a number of topics including assuring compliance with C3 principles and potential involvement with organizations such as Construction Industry Institute (CII), Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), Construction Owners Association of America (COAA), and the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER).

It was obvious to the four of us that there was a genuine thirst to learn first hand of C3’s strategy to achieve a safe, skilled and sustainable craft workforce, so much so that CEFGA is giving strong consideration to bringing the C3 concept to Georgia.