Certification has long been a subject of discussion in the construction industry. Discussions usually revolve around questions of “Who does the certifications? Whose courses do we use? What can we use as a standard for hiring new employees that will help ensure us that the prospective employee has the basic skills we need to get the job done safely?
Until today, each company has taken on the responsibility to train their new employees in the “onboarding” process with their own training designed to meet their specific needs. The construction industry has recognized the need for an industry wide certification that can be used to signify that a craftsperson and can be employed in multiple markets across the country.
Now two organizations have combined forces to create a certification based on those common skills needed to qualify for employment in the construction industry workforce. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and ACT recently announced that they are are partnering to build construction careers and are offering the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to address the basic skills necessary to qualify for jobs in the construction industry. Those skills fall into three areas critical to the industry even at the entry levels: Reading for Information, Locating information and Applied Mathematics. Further, the certifications are set up with four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each of those levels indicates a level of mastery for a given subject.
This collaboration provides the construction workforce with movable certification to match their mobility. It is also the first step in creating a foundation for the recruiting of a qualified workforce to meet the future demands of the industry as the economy rebounds.
While this new alliance might not be the ultimate answer to the creation of the workforce of the future, it is a great step in that process.