CERN Meeting, April 2008: The Economics of Construction Training

The Economics of Construction Training Construction Economics Research Network

April 17th and 18th, 2008
Washington Hilton & Towers
The Conservatory

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

9:00 – 9:20

Pete Stafford, Executive Director,
CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Mark Ayers, President
Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO

9:20 – 11:45
Innovation in Apprenticeship and Post-Apprentice Training
Chair:  Cihan Bilginsoy, Professor
Economics Department, University of Utah

Description of Developments in the UA’s Apprenticeship Program
Mike Arndt, Training Director
United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada

Modular Training in Apprenticeships
John LeConche, Executive Director
Bernadette Rivera, Director of Operations
Laborers AGC Education and Training Fund

Teaching Acceptance of Diversity to Apprentices
Julie L. Brockman,
SLIR, Michigan State University

The Core Curriculum:
A Shared Curriculum for Apprenticeships

 Bob Pleasure, Director of Education
Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO

11:30 – 12:00
Bringing Human Resource Methods to Construction:  A Proposal for Improving Apprentice Selection in the Electrical Industry
Dale Belman and Ryan Petty
Michigan State University

1:00 – 3:30
The Public Role in Construction Training
Chair:  Dale Belman
Michigan State University

Construction Training in the Military
BUC Maurice Burnett
United States NAVY

Helmets to Hardhats
Darrell Roberts
Executive Director, Helmets to Hardhats

“The CHOICE Construction Technology Institute:
Florida’s model for construction education “
Matt Clark
Dean, Construction Technology Institute

Basic Skills Training as a Route into Construction
Rhandi Berth
Assoc. Director, Wisc. Reg. Training Partnership

4:00 – 5:00 
The Role of the Federal Government in Construction Training
John V. Ladd, Administrator
Ofc. of Apprenticeship Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

Friday, April 18th , 2008

9:00 – 11:30
Construction Training in the Open Shop
Chair:  Robert Glover, Research Scientist
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin 

Addressing the Skilled Workforce Shortage Crisis
Don Whyte, President
National Center for Construction Education and Research

An Electrical Apprenticeship Program
Kathy Steiler
President,  Reddinger Constructors

11:45 – 1:00    Discussion of Research on Training in Construction

The CERN meeting of April 17-18, 2008 explored the structure and dynamics of training in the construction industry. Participants included representatives of joint labor/management apprenticeship programs, employer programs, the DoL Office of Apprenticeship, Florida’s CHOICE program, the Seabees, Helmets to Hardhats, and a number of universities.

The first panel addressed innovations in apprenticeship and post-apprenticeship training in joint labor/management programs. Terry Urbanic of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Sprinkler Fitters  presented an overview of the training being provided in mechanical trades apprenticeship program and how this had changed over the last several decades. John LeConche, Executive Director and Bernadette Rivera, Director of  Operations of the Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund discussed the laborers modular apprenticeship program and particularly issues involved in training individuals who were not fluent in English. Bob Pleasure, Director of Education, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, presented material on the core cirriculum, a common cirriculum

on safety, math and other knowledge common to all of the trades. He also discussed how the core cirriculum was being taught in high schools and prepared students for entry into apprenticeship programs. Julie L.Brockman, Assistant Professor in the School of Labor and Industrial Relations *SLIR), Michigan State University, presented materials used in the IBEW apprenticeship program to

improve apprentices ability to interact in settings with a diverse workforce, recognize appropriate and inappropriate approaches to difficult situations, and handle difficult people.

Dale Belman and Ryan Petty, also from the SLIR,  presented an overview of a proposal to bring methods of screening applicants for employment developed for large firms to the construction industry.

The second panel looked at government support for training.BUC Maurice Burnett, United States Navy, provided background on the training and qualifications of members of the Seabees, a navel combat construction organization. Darryl Roberts, Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats, spoke about how this program connects individuals leaving the service to union construction and apprenticeship programs. Randi Berthe, Associate Director of the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, discussed how her program acts as an intermediary between community groups and employers which provides specific skills training needed for workers to be employable in skilled trades work. Finally, Matt Clark, Dean of the Construction Technology Institute in Okaloosa, Florida, spoke about how the construction program within the academy operates to provide students with fundamental and advanced knowledge of trades and white collar construction skills and, by giving students reasons for continuing their education, serves to keep them in school.

Dana Dougherty of the Office of Apprenticeship presented discussed the role of apprenticeship in workforce development, the coordination of the workforce development initiatives with apprenticeship programs, and the current revision of the apprenticeship regualtions.

The third panel, construction training in the open shop, included presentations by Don Whyte of the National Center for Construction Education and Research and a presentation by Kathy Steiler on running a single employer apprenticeship program. Don Whyte discussed NCCER’s emergent system of synthesizing task training into more complete training programs potentially leading to journeyman status and how NCCER accredited training providers, trained trainers and tested for skills.Kathy Steiler reported on the history of Reddington Constructors, the origins of its apprenticeship program, how the program was currentlybeing run, and some of the issues in running a single employer apprenticeship program in a heavily union organized area.