With billions of dollars in infrastructure funding slated for North Carolina and South Carolina via state and federal funding, Carolinas Associated General Contractors (CAGC) is ramping up ongoing efforts to draw workers into rewarding and well-paying construction careers in the Carolinas.
In North Carolina, for example, the General Assembly approved $5.5 million for the Carolinas AGC Foundation, including $3 million for a Contractor Business Academy for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) and $2.5 million for apprenticeships and construction training, the association said in a Dec. 20 statement.
“We also will work closely with the North Carolina Community Colleges and the North Carolina Trucking Association to support construction apprenticeships and the truck driver shortage,” the statement said.
CAGC “will put in place a new CAGC HUB Academy, similar to the successful program we offered about 12 years ago which graduated nearly two hundred participants,” the statement said. “In addition, CAGC this year helped secure $5 million from the North Carolina General Assembly for a Be Pro Be Proud initiative, a three-year mobile statewide workforce development pilot program similar to the effort we helped lead in South Carolina.”
In South Carolina, the association says it also helped secure $642,0000 this year to continue funding the Be Pro Be Proud SC mobile skilled trades workshop launched in 2020.
“The response has been so positive that the truck is booked through the end of 2023. In addition, we are collaborating closely with Gov. Henry McMaster’s office to support investment in the state’s workforce through the creation of the Workforce Scholarships for the Future pilot program. This will go a long way in addressing South Carolina’s labor shortage by providing scholarships to cover the cost of tuition and required fees for high demand career sections, including construction, at any technical college.”
For both North Carolina and South Carolina, CAGC says it has dozens of Ambassadors involved in its Build Your Career Program who provide school outreach and participate in career fairs. The CAGC Young Leaders will guide this effort in 2022. “The focused message here is that the commercial and industrial construction industry is an excellent and challenging career opportunity with average salaries in the Carolinas of about $60,000. the statement says.
“With a new staff position of grants and training director, CAGC and our CAGC Foundation are reaching out to private foundations and public agencies to secure grant funding for workforce development and other initiatives that will benefit the industry. Finally, our CAGC Foundation Board of Trustees is expanding with new members who bring creativity, innovation and the latest ideas to oversee the success of these exciting new programs,” the association says.
“We are looking forward to making the most of the billions of dollars that North Carolina and South Carolina will receive for infrastructure and other construction funding – thanks to great work done by lawmakers at the state and federal levels,” said CAGC’s president and CEO Dave Simpson.
“We also will continue doing everything we can to draw more people into excellent construction careers and to improve the quality of life here with badly needed infrastructure improvements for highway-heavy, building and utility construction.”