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Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board

Construction Career Pathways Collaborative

Community Challenge/Problem

Although the construction industry has not emerged from its protracted downturn, the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board (SWORWIB) recognized a need to make sure trained workers are ready for construction jobs when the freeze ends. “The construction industry in Greater Cincinnati will see a generational shift as baby boomers accelerate their retirement,” says Joseph Hummel, Executive Director of Allied Construction and a member of the SWORWIB board. “For several years we’ve been concerned that not enough young people are graduating from high school with the skills needed to enter the industry, which can offer very satisfying careers. In 2008, the SWORWIB began to address this issue. We’re pleased with the results we have seen to date.”

Board Solution/Innovation

The Construction Career Pathways Collaborative was formed between the SWORWIB, the SuperJobs Center, workforce partners, educational providers and the local construction industry to create a diverse pipeline of candidates as positions became available. The Collaborative connects initiatives at the middle school, high school, and adult level. Program highlights in 2010 included closely supervised hands-on experience for more than 100 middle school students, and emphasis on applied math, science, and diploma completion at the high school level. A group of training providers developed pre-apprenticeship training at the adult level, and SuperJobs assisted with assessments to qualify workers for union and non-union apprenticeship training programs.

Outcomes & Results

Almost 80 disadvantaged adults graduated from pre-apprenticeship training, and 53% were placed into apprenticeship programs or jobs. An infrastructure and construction services firm needed to hire about a dozen construction workers. SuperJobs pre-screened applicants and created a pool of 20 candidates, from which two supervisors and eight laborers were hired. Another prominent construction firm hired several laborers and carpenters after holding a job fair at the SuperJobs Center.

By listening to the needs of the construction industry, the Collaborative is serving both jobseekers and businesses by preparing the workforce for available openings as the economic recovery begins.

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