Barton Hacker



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In 2012, Associated Builders and Contractors Central Ohio (ABC) conducted informal surveys of its member companies’ workforce development needs of the local public career centers’ ability to meet them. Based on these surveys: 1.) ABC member companies expressed frustration in their ability to find local, young talent to enter the construction trades; 2.) Company owners and leaders believed that students were not encouraged to explore the possibility of careers in the construction industry; 3.) Career centers have discontinued many programs and enrollments have declined over the past two decades; 4.) More Career Center graduates attend college rather than enter the construction trades and apprenticeship training programs.

In response, ABC created a Blueprint to Success program by opening the public Ohio Construction Academy (OCA) in 2013 serving 9th-12th grade students. OCA is a tuition-free, fully accredited construction technology academy providing both a high school diploma and hands-on construction training. Matriculation agreements were created linking the ABC Apprenticeship Program with credit from OCA and to the two associated degrees offered at ABC in a unique partnership with Zane State College.

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Vocational Education

Construction Industry Workforce Development Initiative: From High School to High Rises