Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Greater Michigan Chapter’s training program, the Greater Michigan Construction Academy (GMCA), is spreading the word about skilled labor. With their Introduction to the Trades program, 60 young adults from the First Ward Community Services organization spent the day learning the trades from ABC member companies and ABC Greater Michigan staff.
The program was the second one of its kind and allowed participating students ages 16-19, who were part of the First Ward summer program, to tour the chapter’s training facilities and learn about carpentry, electrical, insulation and heavy equipment from member companies.
To kick off the day, the Great Lakes Safety & Training company spoke about the importance of safety on the jobsite. Then, four groups were formed to rotate throughout the different areas of construction that were being introduced every 45 minutes. The companies that were involved included Valley Electrical Contractors, G.E. Insulation, Graham Construction, Titan Equipment and Bierlein Environmental Services. Each group also had an ABC staff member there to answer questions. The event ended with nine students who showed a special interest, asked questions, and volunteered receiving a “Spotlight” award.
For many of the participants, this was their first time being exposed to the construction industry. By the end of the day, a handful of students asked staff how to stay in touch and continue learning with GMCA.
“One girl told ABC staff that the day had inspired her to become a carpenter and that she wanted to join the apprenticeship program in September,” said GMCA’s Manager of Admissions, Scholarships & Recruitment Stephanie Davis.
In the future, GMCA plans to bring the program to interested young adults to make training more accessible. They’ll be focusing on carpentry and electrical and students will receive OSHA certification and learn skills to help them get jobs in the industry.