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    Young Craft Professionals Speak at Construction Industry Institute’s Annual Conference

    For Immediate Release

    Alachua, Fla.— This year’s Construction Industry Institute (CII) Annual Conference was held July 20-23 in Indianapolis and was attended by more than 700 construction representatives. The Scramble for Skills Recruitment Drive and Golf Tournament kicked off the conference at Southern Dunes Golf Course. It was hosted by NCCER’s Build Your Future initiative and Back Tee Sports to benefit scholarships for new recruits entering the construction industry. The event brought out 85 golfers, representing more than 35 industry companies and organizations. Sponsors included NCCER, ProV, Fluor, Gaylor Electric Inc., Cianbro, Robins & Morton, ISN, North American Crane Bureau and Judgment Index.

    At the CII Conference, Build Your Future hosted the presentation, “Survey Says: Recruitment Requires Commitment,” which highlighted the construction industry’s growing opportunities, aging workforce and how to attract young people entering the workforce. CII attendees heard directly from four young craft professionals, who are part of the millennial generation that is the future of the industry’s workforce. These young craft professionals provided insight on their paths to success, their inspiration for joining the industry and how employers can recruit the new generation of skilled craft professionals.

    The first presenter was Pawel David, an electrician in the Gaylor Accelerated Superintendent Program for Gaylor Electric, Inc. He graduated from Ball State University in May 2009 with a degree in construction management and joined Gaylor Electric, Inc. in June 2009 as an electrical apprentice. David was enrolled in the ABC Electrical Apprenticeship Program but tested out of his first year. In his third year of the apprenticeship, he won both the state and national craft competition.

    The next presenter at the conference was Eli Ward, a third-year apprentice in ironworking. Ward graduated in 2009 from Northern High School in Calvert County, Md., and received welding training at the Calvert Career Center program. He was accepted into an apprenticeship program at the Ironworkers Local Union #5. Ward discussed his plans to compete in apprenticeship competitions during the remainder of his apprenticeship.

    Rajau Persad, a combination welder at Turner Industries Group, also presented at the CII Conference. From Gonzales, La., Persad graduated high school in 2013 and began his training in welding with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Pelican Chapter. He chose a career in construction to provide a steady income and support the family he wants.

    The last presenter was Chandler Forsythe, an architecture and construction student from Cleburne, Texas. Forsythe is attending the University of Texas this fall to obtain a degree in architecture and eventually a master’s degree in sciences of sustainability. He currently serves as an alumni member of SkillsUSA and was the previous Region IV Vice President for the organization.

    About NCCER — NCCER is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) education foundation created by the construction industry to develop standardized curriculum with portable credentials to help address the skilled, construction workforce shortage. NCCER is recognized by the industry as the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for the construction and maintenance craft professional. For more information, visit or contact NCCER customer service at 888.622.3720.

    About Build Your Future – Build Your Future (BYF) is NCCER’s national image enhancement and recruitment initiative for the construction industry. Its mission is to recruit the next generation of craft professionals by making career and technical education a priority in secondary schools, shifting negative public perception about careers in the construction industry and providing a path from ambition, to training, to job placement as a craft professional. BYF provides a number of resources to assist industry, education and military organizations in achieving these goals. For more information, visit

    About CII – The Construction Industry Institute (CII) is a consortium of more than 130 leading owner, engineering-contractor and supplier firms from both the public and private arenas. These organizations have joined together to enhance the business effectiveness and sustainability of the capital facility life cycle through CII research, related initiatives and industry alliances. A learning organization with a wealth of knowledge and information, CII is unique in the engineering and construction industry. For more information, visit

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