WORK Act Promotes HBA-CCI Skills Training Programs
Solving today’s labor needs and developing the workforce of tomorrow

Home Builders Association of Metro Denver (HBA) and Colorado Construction Institute (CCI) announced the award today of a WORK Act grant to fund a marketing and outreach campaign for jobs in the construction industry. Known as “Discover Building Careers,” HBA-CCI’s campaign will attract youth and adults from across the Denver Metro Area to existing training programs that equip participants for well-paying jobs in Colorado’s fast-growing construction industry. The WORK Act grant program was made possible by the 2015 WORK Act (HB15-1276) and managed through Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. 

A website, Discover Building Careers, will launch next month. This new online resource will allow potential employees the ability to explore jobs in the construction industry, view video testimonials of local construction professionals, and learn about HBA-CCI training programs available in their area. Discover Building Careers will become the public face of HBA’s Construction Skills Development Initiative in partnership with Colorado Construction Institute (CCI), a Denver-based nonprofit training organization.

“The labor needs of the construction industry are too great for just one training program or just one school to solve on its own,” said Craig Campbell, 2016 HBA President. “Through the various HBA-CCI training programs, we’re providing Coloradans, of any age, access to multiple pathways to get trained and to get employed in our industry, adding a trained work force to a much needed element of our industry.”

HBA-CCI are pushing the Construction Skills Development Initiative on two fronts: solving today’s labor needs and developing the workforce of tomorrow. Both youth and adults can enroll in one of the many HBA-CCI certificate-issuing training programs that prepare individuals for sustainable jobs in residential construction.

Adult participants can enroll in such programs as Construction Skills Boot Camps, a four-week training program that leads to immediate employment opportunities. Meanwhile, programs for youth include Denver YouthBuild, a year-long education and vocational training program for those that have dropped out of traditional high school and other disconnected young persons aged 16 to 24, and Building Pathways, an innovative career pathway education program for active high school students delivered in partnership with local high schools.

Funds from the WORK Act will, in particular, help expand outreach for Building Pathways. This program brings construction career training directly to high school campuses, deploying a project-based learning curriculum that engages students with hands-on learning while developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills. High school students can participate in up to two semesters of Building Pathways coursework, exploring the myriad careers in the construction industry and developing the vocational and professional skills necessary to secure employment.

Five schools, including Academy of Urban Learning, Endeavor Academy, Cherry Creek High School, Colorado High School Charter, and Wheat Ridge High School are already implementing Building Pathways. HBA-CCI expects to continue these programs, and is finalizing partnerships with three additional schools to implement programs in the coming school year. HBA-CCI is also pursuing an open educational resources model to bring Building Pathways to a broader audience as a free, online curriculum for any school to implement.

“Making Building Pathways an open educational resource is – plain and simple – the right thing to do. Construction vocational training is a very expensive endeavor,” said Michael Smith, CCI Executive Director. “We’re aiming to eliminate the cost barrier so any school can implement our innovative program, and providing it for free will help bridge the attainment gap. We know we can’t do this alone. We want to partner with any school that is ready to bring career pathways to their campus and just needs the tools to help teachers and students be successful.”

Campbell said, “The construction industry has long been a reliable path to sustainable, well-paying jobs. Thanks to the WORK Act, HBA-CCI is helping more Coloradans take the first step into great careers.”

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