Providing Real-World Construction Experience for Alabama Students
Developing a skilled workforce is one of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry. The issue is especially concerning in Alabama, which is one of four U.S. states with the highest construction unemployment rates, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC).
Partnering with the Academy of Craft Training
Eager to tackle this challenge, Eldeco’s Birmingham branch has partnered with the Academy of Craft Training (ACT). The Academy serves as a “public/private partnership between the construction industry and the State of Alabama’s K-12 education system,” and aims to prepare high school students with the skills needed to enter the construction workforce. This elite vocational program is supported and initiated by ABC and local Birmingham-area contractors, including Eldeco. Every $1.50 per hour goes back into the program.
During spring break 2017, Eldeco hired two high school students as interns. Their names are James Hollingsworth and Chris Hernandez, both students of Pelham High School. During their week-long employment at Eldeco, James and Chris worked at the University of Alabama Football Operations Center in downtown Birmingham.
In total, ACT employed 34 metro-area students at 14 construction-related companies throughout the Birmingham area this spring break. In order to be placed, students submitted applications and paperwork. Students and their families then went through an interviewing process to be selected. ACT instructors determined which students would fit best with which company, in order to give students the best possible chance at success. What makes this opportunity special is that students are able to witness what a real working environment is like.
Workforce Development for the Future of Construction
Eldeco recognizes the importance of developing the industry’s workforce. Our Birmingham team looks forward to seeing what the future holds for these ACT students. Thank you to the Academy of Craft Training for the chance to inspire these motivated students!