A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

... that the Construction Industry is a Great Career Choice; It Has to Be TrueSomeone I work with at Marek said this over two years ago in a strategic planning meeting held for the purpose of determining how we as construction users, contractors, specialty contractors, and other stakeholders might turn around the decline of the construction industry as an attractive career choice.Out of this meeting was born the Construction Career Collaborative (C3).  As a workforce professional, I was encouraged to hear that key stakeholders in our industry understood what the craft professionals and human resource and training and development folks have also understood.  We have to make this industry an attractive career choice before we can convince young people, parents, and guidance counselors to consider our industry as a desirable career path.
Katrina Kersch's picture
October 25, 2012
The Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) 6th Annual Training, Education & Development Conference (TED) is next week and I encourage you to attend.  There is still time to register.  General and specialty contractor staff and other professionals involved in workforce and professional development, education, human resources and training are invited to attend.  This year’s event is in San Antonio, a great venue.Workforce professionals value continuing education.  This event offers some extremely practical sessions for those tasked with providing training and development opportunities for your company.  A few highlights include:Informal Learning: Connecting, Learning and Relationships with PurposeDeveloping Effective Job AidsHow Defining Competencies Can Benefit Training, Task Analysis, Promotion, Compensation & Succession PlanningPerformance Problems in the Workplace: Diagnosing Root Causes and Possible SolutionsLiz Elvin, Senior Director of Workforce and Education Advancement for AGC, stated:
Katrina Kersch's picture
October 10, 2012
Last year I reported that Go Build has its roots in Alabama.  On January 17, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal announced the launch of the Go Build Georgia initiative.  The goal of the initiative is to address the shortage of workers for skilled trades.  Like Go Build Alabama, the initiative will focus on public outreach to educate the citizens of Georgia on the availability of career opportunities that exist today in construction.   In the following video, Governor Deal introduces the initiative.  He states:“Everyone knows that this is a difficult job market, but not as many know that Georgia is projected to create approximately 16,500 openings in skilled trades in the next year alone.  Go Build is about providing Georgians with the training that they need to fill these positions.”  
Katrina Kersch's picture
April 26, 2012
A few years ago we began conducting an annual goals workshop at my company.  In many ways this workshop is really about communication.  Our office has approximately 80 folks.  Having a meeting with 80 people can be a bit challenging.  But we persevere because we have our own goal: learning how to ask.“What do you think we should focus on in 2012?  What are the things that are keeping you from doing your job?  What can we do to help you achieve your goals?”The goal setting meeting affords us an opportunity to listen and learn.  This is not as easy as it sounds.  Our leadership team is comprised of folks who are used to getting things done.  No time to talk about why we “have always done it this way”.  But our goal setting meetings have changed that.I should clarify here that this process did not come quickly.  We still have a few folks that are uncomfortable being asked, and a few cynics who are hard to convince.  But again, we persevere because we know that
Katrina Kersch's picture
April 09, 2012
If you read my post about the Construction Education Foundation of North Texas, you might recall I recognized this organization as a pocket of excellence. In this post I would like inform you about a program that could provide a foundation for pockets of excellence across the country.Their website explains the mission:  “Build Your Future is an NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) program that is being enhanced to support the Choose Construction Initiative (CCI), which is a collaborative grassroots
Katrina Kersch's picture
January 03, 2012
Did you know that research indicates that by the year 2040, there will be 7,919,901 Texans who will be eligible for adult education services?  By the way, that is a 99%...
Katrina Kersch's picture
December 21, 2011
One of my mentors, Tim Johnson, has always said that it is it important for us to seek out quality workforce programs and recognize these “pockets of excellence”.  I agree.I recently attended a Construction Career Day held in Irving, Texas at the Construction Education Foundation of North Texas (CEF).  CEF was founded in 1981 and is supported by numerous industry partners and associations.  Through their agreement with North Lake College, students are able to receive college credit for their craft training classes.  Industry support for the foundation is broad based, and the foundation continues to offer quality craft training programs to the residents of North Texas.I toured their facilities during my visit and viewed students competing for a coveted spot in the ABC National Craft Championship Competition.  If you have never attended a craft championship competition, you want to correct that.  It‘s a great event.I enjoyed watching the high school students come and go and interact with craft competitors.
Katrina Kersch's picture
December 12, 2011
There has been a lot of conversation in the news and on the web about the burden on young people who graduate from college with crushing student loans.  I cannot help but think that one of the solutions to this problem is to stop selling a college education as the only path to success.The recent MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers reports that 76% of middle school students say that they plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher.  Although only about 28% of these students will actually enter a university or community college, it’s clear that the message that college is the preferred career path has reached our youth.  However, according to the book Workforce 2020: Work and Workers in the 21st Century by Richard Judy and Carol D’Amico, only 20% of jobs by 2020 will require a four year degree, while 65% will require an associate’s degree or advanced training.A college degree is indeed a worthy pursuit, but if there is no job at the end, then what?  Providing our
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November 15, 2011
A favorite quote among training professionals is one from Zig Ziglar, “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them?  Not training them and keeping them.”How appropriate for our industry!  The ManpowerGroup’s 2011 Talent Shortage Survey lists “skilled trades” as one of the top 10 in demand jobs and the most difficult to fill.  You can look back to previous surveys and one of the top 10 occupations listed every year is skilled trades workers.  (See chart below from page 6 of the report.)In addition, construction, manufacturing, retail and technology industries are all competing for the same workforce which makes training no longer up for discussion or debate if we want to stay competitive.  Quite simply, our survival depends upon it.  
Katrina Kersch's picture
October 25, 2011
In a previous post on Construction Citizen titled Strategic Realities, Pat Kiley wrote:"In light of these conditions, the prudent path for senior executives is to:Maintain a focus on costsStay close to your talentInvest in Business Development and MarketingBe a Learning Organization" Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly of the London School of Economics describes a learning organization as “one that is able to change its behavior and mind-sets as a result of experience.”  
Katrina Kersch's picture
June 09, 2011