Nick Guidry, MBA, M.Ed., SHRM-SCP
C3 Relationship Manager
In the highly competitive commercial construction industry, having a skilled and well-trained workforce is paramount to winning bids, forecasting staffing, and ensuring company sustainability. To meet the industry's demands and overcome the shortage of qualified workers, contractors must forge partnerships with skilled trade partners such as community colleges, trade schools, professional trade associations, and organizations like C3. Today, we will examine the benefits and advantages of these skilled trade partner collaborations in supporting and enhancing the current industry workforce and the commercial construction workforce of the future.
1. Skilled Trade Partner Relationships Increase Access to Diverse Talent Pools:
Partnering with training providers opens doors to a vast and diverse talent population of aspiring craft professionals. Community colleges and trade schools offer programs that equip students with the knowledge and practical skills needed for various roles in the construction industry from operations-focused professional staff to craft workers trained in the latest technical competencies.
By establishing relationships with these institutions, contractors gain access to a pipeline of potential employees who are eager to enter the workforce. This ensures a continuous supply of skilled workers to support ongoing and future projects, reducing the time and effort required for recruitment.
2. Partners allow you to Tailor your Training Programs:
Training providers are experts in developing curriculum and training programs; however, with the assistance of the contracting community serving in an advisory capacity, these programs and curriculum sets can be tailored to the needs of the construction industry. By collaborating with these institutions, commercial construction contractors can contribute to the design and implementation of specialized training programs that align with their specific specialties and anticipated industry needs. In this model, the industry becomes the skilled trade partner to the education system and curriculum developers.
This ensures that workers are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Contractors can actively participate in shaping the training curriculum, incorporating industry best practices, safety standards, and emerging technologies, resulting in a workforce that is well-prepared to tackle complex construction projects and reduce the need to upskill on the job site.
3. Develop Industry Insights and Networking:
Trade associations and industry-specific training providers offer more than just technical or professional education. They provide valuable industry insights, updates on regulatory changes, and networking opportunities. By partnering with these organizations, contractors gain access to a wealth of knowledge, trends, and advancements in the construction industry. They can stay informed about the latest technologies, materials, and construction techniques.
Additionally, networking events and conferences organized by these entities allow contractors to connect with industry professionals, fostering collaboration, sharing best practices, and staying ahead of the competition.
4. Partnering with Apprenticeship and Mentorship Programs:
Collaborating with training providers enables contractors to establish apprenticeship and mentorship programs. These initiatives provide a structured learning environment for aspiring craft professionals, combining classroom education with on-the-job training.
Contractors can recruit apprentices and provide them with hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced mentors. This not only helps fill the skills gap but also ensures the transfer of knowledge and expertise from seasoned professionals to the next generation of craft professionals. Such programs promote long-term loyalty, as highly skilled craft workers become loyal employees who contribute to the contractor's workforce success.
Partnerships between contractors and skilled trade training providers are a win-win situation for both parties. By collaborating with community colleges, trade schools, industry trade associations, and organizations like C3, contractors gain access to a pool of talented individuals, benefit from tailored training programs, tap into industry insights, and establish workforce initiatives. These partnerships create a skilled and well-prepared workforce that drives the success of commercial construction projects while addressing the industry's labor shortage.
Need help finding the right partners for your program? Reach out to C3 today for help!
Construction Industry Institute (CII)
Construction Users Roundtable (CURT)
National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)