Associate Director, People Development, Compliance & Operations
The goal of all craft training is to build new knowledge, skills and abilities in our craft workforce. The best way to ensure this happens is to build programs that include both passive and active forms of learning activities. Passive learning occurs during lectures, videos, readings, and demonstrations. The learner is engaged with the content but only in a passive manner through observation. Passive instruction is a good way to deliver knowledge but doesn’t work on building skill or ability. Active learning, designed to build skill and competency, includes learning activities like group discussions, practice by doing, immediate use in real world simulation or application, and through the teaching of others.
When a skill is new, it is important to use passive instruction to introduce the knowledge of the subject and to pair that with active instruction to practice or implement the skill. Studies show that when passive and active learning are paired together, that retention goes up dramatically. When you compare retention of what workers are told in class and see in a demonstration what they do in simulation and teach to others in groups, after two weeks those doing simulation and teaching will retain 40% more than their counterparts who only learned passively. This data simply reinforces the need for quality on-the-job training programs.
A commercial construction company seeking to build a high quality and productive craft workforce should design craft training programs that couple classroom or jobsite instruction with immediate practice or implementation in the lab or field environment. When craft workers practice new skills and are asked to “teach back” the skills to mentors, supervisors or other craft workers, they more quickly gain skill competency. Want to build a program like this for your craft workforce? C3.is.how.
Construction Career Collaborative, C3, encourages commercial construction companies to standardize the on-the-job (OJT) training they already offer and supplement it with both passive instruction and formalized assessment. Construction has relied heavily on OJT. Formal and informal programs that follow this model couple classroom and OJT into apprenticeship-type learning programs. This produces competent workers who learn and retain what is given to them on the job. C3 offers consulting services and templates to help all C3 Accredited Employers create standardized competency modes and OJT programs for all accredited employers. To schedule a consulting session and begin the design process of your own blended OJT program, contact me at email@example.com or 713.999.1032.
Chuck Gremillion, C3 Executive Director
One of the challenges of establishing the credibility of the C3 formula for success has been the difficulty in collecting data that illustrates the value of craft training. When we began to collect the data that makes the case for craft training, we found an outstanding example from Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, one of the C3 Accredited Employers.
Art Canales, Chamberlin Vice President and a member of the C3 Craft Training Committee, is a huge advocate of craft training linked to a career path because it has proven to pay for itself many times over at Chamberlin as illustrated by the following example.
In 2007, Chamberlin experienced “call backs” to completed projects that cost $2 million that year alone. The sheer size of this expense prompted executives at Chamberlin to make the strategic decision to develop and implement a craft-training program for the Chamberlin craft workforce. In the ten years after they implemented their training program, 2008-2017, Chamberlin reduced the cost of “call backs” to $350,000, a savings of $1.65 million per year. During the same time period, Chamberlin’s business increased, and their revenue grew by 400%.
Another indicator of the value of the Chamberlin craft training program is that Chamberlin’s retention rate for its craft professionals who were trained in its 14-week apprentice program, as measured two years after program completion, is now 90%. As a result of this experience, Chamberlin has increased its investment in overall training and in its employee profit sharing program. I cannot imagine any greater testimony to the value of craft training than this.
All parties in the Houston commercial construction industry are learning about the benefits of safety and craft training. The building owner gets a safer better-built structure with lower maintenance costs and a longer building lifecycle. The construction company benefits from having skilled craft workers who are more productive and deliver higher quality work with far less rework. The skilled craft professionals themselves benefit from greater productivity and demand for their services, which naturally grows their wages through the law of supply and demand. That process of training and growing professionally enables them to earn a healthy living in a rewarding career in their chosen profession. The Houston commercial construction industry, in turn, benefits from having a sustainable craft workforce because young people will recognize the career opportunity and will be attracted to the craft trades to replace those skilled craft professionals who are retiring after a career in the industry.
If you are interested in learning more about how C3 can help your organization build a skilled and sustainable craft workforce that pays for itself many times over, as exemplified by the experience of Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, please contact me at 713.999.1218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Director, People Development, Compliance & Operations
The industry has been told that the current skilled labor shortages will get worse as the economy improves, a generation of aging skilled workers retires and a new generation enters the industry. Key to that recruitment of a new skilled workforce is a well-defined and executed training program.
To assist in training and development of high caliber training programs, the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) launched a Craft Training Endorsement Program in January 2018. The program encourages commercial construction companies to apply for C3 endorsement of their craft training programs. The C3 program has three levels of recognition and all C3 Accredited Employers must obtain and maintain at least Recognized level. However, for the best impact on workforce sustainability C3 recommends that all companies strive to reach Leader level.
The levels each correspond to specific criteria that demonstrate the maturity of the craft training program being offered by the Accredited Employer. The list below describes the elements required at each level.
All of the following:
Recognized” plus 3 of the following 4:
Leader” plus 2 of the following 3:
As the list suggests, Recognized is the basic level and demonstrates that a company is committed to offering craft training to all employees. The endorsement audit measures leadership commitment, training development, delivery and tracking. This development and delivery can be done in-house or by a 3rd party. The goal of the recognized endorsement is to demonstrate that training is taking place and being tracked.
Moving up from Recognized to Leader level endorsement is a large delta because it requires that a company must create a career path for each craft position at the company. The career path details a series of classes, assessments, OJT tasks or other learning opportunities designed to prepare a craft worker to move to the next level within the profession. Each career path must be documented and tracked.
Additionally, Leader companies provide 2 of the following 3 items:
Moving from Leader to Champion requires that a company focus on the culture and performance of the company in relation to craft training. Champion companies do all the things that Leader companies do as well as 2 of the following 3 items:
Companies can self-elect to enter the endorsement program at any level or may elect to enter as pre-program. Pre-program companies have no current training and agree to design and begin delivering craft training at the Recognized level within 18 months. For more information on the program and impact of training attend one of C3’s monthly town halls. If you are ready to jump into the program but need some personalized assistance, request a consulting session from C3’s craft training coach Angela Murphy at 713.999.1032.
Construction Industry Institute (CII)
Construction Users Roundtable (CURT)
National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)