Build_your_future_coverBy Amy King, Communications Manager for NCCER Since 1997, NCCER’s Build Your Future (BYF) initiative has focused on promoting construction careers to communities throughout the country. What started as a satellite teleconference broadcasted to more than 300,000 students among nearly 4,000 schools has become the industry’s trusted source for career education, recruitment and image enhancement resources. As part of BYF’s efforts to recruit the next generation of craft professionals on the local, state and national levels, the initiative offers an array of resources that can be utilized by industry and educators. This includes support for local career day events, state partnerships and a nationwide scholarship program. In all, BYF has provided construction career education to over 35 million students since its inception. CONSTRUCTION CAREER DAY EVENTS Student on Crane Sim IMG_3169smallFor 11 years, NCCER and BYF have celebrated construction careers during the month October beginning with Careers in Construction Week from 2005-2012 and expanding to Careers in Construction Month in 2013. With the help of BYF, 19 governors proclaimed October as Careers in Construction Month in 2015, and industry and education hosted numerous events to promote construction’s career options to young people across America. The next goal for BYF is to have all 50 states proclaim October as Careers in Construction Month. In addition to promoting Careers in Construction Month, BYF also supports local career day events throughout the year by providing resources such as best practice profiles and guides to assist in planning a career day. In 2015, BYF promoted construction career opportunities at 11 career fairs throughout the country, reaching more than 14,000 students, teachers and parents. At the events, BYF surveyed over 1,000 students and discovered that 92 percent said the events increased their interest in construction careers, 69 percent said they view construction careers more favorable as a result of the events and 31 percent would like to pursue construction careers after attending the events. materials_clump_LA-2016smallSTATE PARTNERSHIPS Together with state partners, BYF has helped develop customized educational and promotional materials to spread the word about construction’s exciting and rewarding career opportunities in individual states. Through these partnerships, states can receive a subdomain, customized regional marketing collateral, Careers in Construction Month event promotion, career day planning assistance, logo and branding permissions and customized, broadcast-ready media – such as 30-second TV commercials and radio advertisements. BYF SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM The national BYF scholarship program was established in 2014 to provide individuals pursuing construction careers the same opportunities as those seeking a four-year degree. Currently, the BYF scholarship program has more than $350,000 in funds designated to be awarded over the course of five years. BYF funds the scholarship program through interest earnings from NCCER’s reserve fund and contributions from fundraising events. Last year, 54 students received $76,000 worth of BYF scholarships through Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Folds of Honor Foundation, Human Resources Construction Council, SkillsUSA and Southeastern Construction Owners and Associates Roundtable. Through the BYF scholarship program, $20,000 is donated annually for five years to ABC’s Trimmer Education Foundation, AGC’s Education and Research Foundation and Folds of Honor for scholarships to individuals pursuing careers opportunities in the construction industry. “The idea of providing scholarships to craft and technical students has created an opportunity to expand our scholarship program, which previously focused entirely on undergraduate and graduate students,” said Melinda Patrician, director of AGC’s Education and Research Foundation. “The BYF scholarship has given us a chance to hit the ground running and emphasize that we are part of the solution to the workforce shortage.” For nearly 20 years, BYF has remained committed to promoting construction careers at all levels. From local career fairs to statewide promotional campaigns to national scholarship programs, BYF is helping to build a sustainable pipeline of craft professionals into the construction industry. Cover1605For the rest of the story, read the full article in NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.