Constructor - May/June 2015 - (Page 29)

Building Oregon's Workforce Infrastructure By COLeTTe eVeRS DIReCTOR OF SaFeTy anD eDuCaTIOn, OReGOn-COLuMBIa CHaPTeR in orEgon, thE construction industry employs approximately 80,000 people and accounts for nearly 5 percent of the state's workforce. Like other industries, we face a demographic challenge: 20 percent of our current workforce is over the age of 55 and will soon be retiring. When combined with the need to add more skilled workers, the Oregon Employment Department is predicting we will need 25,000 new skilled workers by 2020. The questions we now face are: 1) where are we going to recruit these new workers to fill these high-wage, highly skilled jobs; 2) what can we do to make construction more attractive; and 3) what do we need to do to attract the best and brightest? IT STARTS WITH SCHOOLS The Oregon-Columbia Chapter is leading the charge to bring career technical education (CTE) to the forefront of the education/employment discussion. The correlation between Oregon's dropout rate and the decline in vocational/CTE education is staggering. Over the years, more than 50 percent of Oregon's secondary CTE programs have been eliminated. Concurrently, Oregon's public high school graduation rate fell to only 68 percent, a full 12 percentage points below the national average. Portland Public Schools (PPS) has reported that with two or more CTE credits, student graduation rates jumped from 67 percent to an astounding 86 percent. Clearly CTE works! The Oregon-Columbia Chapter was instrumental in the passing of a CTE Revitalization Grant program funded by the Oregon Legislature in two consecutive sessions, and grants totaling $20 million were distributed to 140 schools, encompassing 22 districts and 90,000 students. Grant funds will benefit students, schools, and local employers around the state. This year we are looking to put in place permanent funding for programs that have been newly revitalized through the program. CONTRACTOR INVOLVEMENT Now that the CTE infrastructure is being developed, contractors are being asked to participate in outreach programs and on school advisory committees. A few notable examples: * PPS recently passed a record-breaking School Building Improvement Bond. With Oregon-Columbia Chapter support, regulations were included in the bond that require contractor/student outreach and activity. * The Portland Workforce Alliance (PWA), a local non-profit organization, sponsors an annual career expo. This year's "Construction Zone" featured 37 construction exhibitors, apprenticeship programs, and higher education. Over 6,700 students met individuals from both the trade and professional side of construction. * AGC, PPS, and PWA are developing a brand new pilot project. Trades Mentor Program is intended to provide hands-on student interaction and career exploration of trades. Apprenticeship trainers and contractors will serve as mentors for six weeks, while teams of students build structures and apply skills. CHAPTER EFFORTS In 2014 we awarded nearly $200,000 in workforce grant funding to organizations with programs focused on construction career awareness, industry outreach, technical skill development, construction education, and technology upgrades. Those impacted include at-risk youth, minorities and women, and schools. Oregon has the distinction of starting the first college student chapter in the nation, located at Oregon State University, and in 2014 we started the first high school student chapter. Our student chapters receive funding and support from AGC and our members, and students are included in events and meetings. The Oregon-Columbia Chapter launched Build-Oregon.com, a website designed to introduce construction to young people and students. The chapter site includes descriptions of different careers in the industry and local salary information, as well as videos and information for parents and educators. SUCCESS THROUGH PARTNERSHIP Success in building a strong future workforce is only possible when all parties involved work together. With the cooperation of state leaders, educational partners, assisting organizations, and the contractors themselves, we are beginning to see momentum in developing and recruiting our next generation of skilled workers. ◆ Photo courtesy of andersen of Portland comPany, Workforce Portland, oregon @Constr uctor Ma g Photo courtesy construction alliance Ma y / J u n e 2 0 1 5 | www.constructormagazine.com 29 http://www.Build-Oregon.com http://www.constructormagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - May/June 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
CEO’S LETTER
FLYING HIGH
2015 ALLIANT BUILD AMERICA AWARDS
THE MACHINERY OF CONSTRUCTION ECONOMICS
BUILDING OREGON’S WORKFORCE INFRASTRUCTURE
THE NORTHEAST WORKFORCE SHORTAGE REPORT
INSIDE AGC
CONSTRUCTION CORNER
SIMONSON SAYS
TECHNOLOGY TOOLBOX
MEMBER AND CHAPTER NEWS
EQUIPMENT GUIDE
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
FINAL INSPECTION

Constructor - May/June 2015

https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCWPaper
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0614
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0514
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0613
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0513
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NGCS0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NGCS0612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NGCS0512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NGCS0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NGCS0312
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com