Construction business
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Construction business
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Construction Education Boosts Employment, Industry Standards

Education –including professional development – is a focal point at Leon Williams Contractors as we work to tighten deadlines and streamline the overall building process for our clients.

With commercial construction industry forecasts indicating modest growth in the next year, contractors will focus on hiring the best of the best to increase quality and efficiency. Both new and time-tested initiatives are powering this push toward higher industry standards and helping to satisfy workforce demands for skilled workers.

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020 the United States will experience a shortage of 3 million workers with associates degrees or more advanced education and a shortage of 5 million workers with technical certificates. Addressing this issue means getting creative – and serious – about education options.

A Resurgence in Apprenticeships to Meet Demand

One way the industry is dealing with this shortage in skilled workers is by expanding the role and value of apprenticeships.

This system of on-the-job training has been around since the Middle Ages and is perhaps most heavily used in our country’s construction industry. What’s the status today? The U.S. Department of Labor reported that in 2013 nearly 164,000 individuals entered apprenticeship programs and more than 52,000 graduated from those respective programs.

The benefits of apprenticeships are clear: higher wages for workers, increased productivity for businesses and access to in-demand jobs and talent for both. There’s room for improvement, however, as support grows for nationally recognized standards rather than the current system of programs that differ across states and employers.

Formal Accreditation Distinguishes Higher Education Programs

In higher education, the mark of excellence among those earning associates, baccalaureate and masters degrees in construction is if the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) accredits the program being completed.

The goal of ACCE is to maintain standards and criteria for accreditation at colleges and universities across the country. The council also provides guidance to programs seeking the accreditation status and carries out the formal process. Programs with ACCE accreditation help students and employers understand that a specific education program has met stringent standards for content and quality.

What else does an AACE accreditation ensure?

1) Program graduates have been provided quality education that enables them to perform their professional responsibilities

2) The accredited programs undergo periodic self-evaluations to remain current with emerging technologies and construction industry requirements

3) Programs gain access to nationwide construction industry contacts

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