A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Workforce Development Programs Making a Difference: United Way THRIVE Women in Construction

In Construction Career Collaborative (C3)’s endeavors to create a safe, skilled and sustainable craft workforce, we encounter outstanding workforce programs that frequently fly under the radar of construction employers. One of those is United Way of Greater Houston’s THRIVE, which administers a construction workforce initiative entitled Women in Construction.

Before getting into the details of Women in Construction, it is important to understand THRIVE. THRIVE is a financial stability collaborative of more than 20 non-profit partners, community colleges, financial institutions and city and state agencies that teaches under-employed adults the skills necessary to succeed in a new career and in life. The graduates of THRIVE not only learn the skills required in order to be successful in a new profession, but it also teaches them life and financial skills such as developing and managing a budget. Now in its tenth year, THRIVE has helped to place 67,000 families on the path to financial stability.

Women in Construction is a subset of THRIVE that is focused on introducing women to the tremendous opportunities available in the craft trades of the construction industry. While THRIVE is now in its tenth year, Women in Construction is relatively new with just its fifth cohort launching this month.

Once THRIVE identifies a construction company that is seeking to hire new workers, it recruits and screens candidates for that employer to interview. A cohort, or class, of women is then placed through a twelve-week training program that includes the soft skills and craft skills necessary to be successful in life and in a construction career. Frequently, the employer is also eligible to have a major portion of their trainees’ wages paid by governmental agencies in their first several weeks of employment, which will be the subject of a future blog.

There have been two construction companies to date, TD Industries and S&B Engineers and Constructors, which have had cohorts of women graduate from the Women in Construction program. Both of these companies speak glowingly of their experiences with it.

If you are interested in learning more about how THRIVE and Women in Construction program can help your company achieve its recruiting goals, please contact Dorian Cockrell of the United Way of Greater Houston. Dorian can be reached via email at DCockrell@unitedwayhouston.org or by phone at 713.685.2761.