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Unique Partnership Aims to Fill Skills Gaps in Construction Trades

A traditional construction vocational trades training program has been announced between Boone County Public Schools, the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky (HBA) and Partners for a Competitive Workforce (PCW) in an effort to fill the skills gap in the construction trades.

“This project was a no-brainer for us as it addresses several critical challenges facing our current labor pool, the skills gap, an aging workforce and the lack of a talent pipeline for the construction industry. These students will be well equipped to become the next generation of construction workers and leaders in our region,” said Stephen Tucker, Director of Industry Partnerships with Partners for a Competitive Workforce.

The program will take 48 sophomores and juniors from the Boone County School system to the HBA facility, which houses the Enzweiler Building Institute. The Building Institute is a post-secondary evening trades education program for adults taught by industry trade professionals. The facility will be used to teach High School students a state-approved curriculum that will expose the students to a wide reach introduction to construction trades focused on licensure attainment and long term employment. 

After the first year is complete, students will participate in a co-op work program with the employer members of the HBA. After graduation the students are encouraged to attend the Enzweiler Building Institute to work towards their journeyman’s certificate and in specific trades attain licensure.

“We as a school system could not be more excited about this program,” said Jerry Gels, Director of Innovative Programs, Boone County Schools. “Having industry professionals educate our students is typically something a student isn’t able to access until their twenties. This is a paradigm shift in how we train and interest younger students in a field of work that will allow them to not just thrive but accumulate wealth and skills through their lifetime. We believe many other local school districts will follow our lead."

“The great recession has left us with a real workforce challenge,” said Brian Miller, Executive Vice President of the HBA. "The downturn simply dragged on so long that many trades people retired, closed shop or went on to retrain in other industries.  Employers are constantly calling us looking for good people to work today. This is a real chance to start a career that offers a true entrepreneur opportunity as the managers, and in many cases, company owners are facing retirement in the not too distant future. We not only need workers today but managers and owners in the coming years."

For more information about the 2016-2017 Enzweiler Building Institute’s school year visit or call Shawn Cox, Director of Professional Development, at 859-331-9500.

- Staff report/Image via Facebook