Alachua, Fla. — In 2011, the Harvard Graduate School of Education released a landmark report challenging America’s excessive focus on the four-year college pathway. The report, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century, argued that the American educational system must provide additional pathways that combine rigorous academics with strong technical education to equip the majority of young people with the skills and credentials to succeed in an increasingly challenging labor market. As a long-time supporter of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and collaboration between industry, educators and policymakers, NCCER has donated funds to support the goals of the project.

NCCER’s construction craft training programs are utilized in secondary and postsecondary schools around the country, providing students the opportunity to earn industry-recognized, portable credentials while also earning high school or college credit. In addition, NCCER’s Build Your Future recruitment and image enhancement initiative organizes construction career events and provides resources for students, parents, educators, industry and government to promote the rewarding careers available in the construction industry.

According to NCCER President Don Whyte, the synergies between NCCER’s mission and the goals of the Pathways Project made it an important cause for the organization to support. “NCCER has always recognized CTE as a valuable tool to combat the growing skills gap in our society and more specifically, the skilled workforce shortage in our industry,” said Whyte. “The Pathways report has brought more national attention to our society’s lack of emphasis on alternative pathways to success and achievement, and we are proud to represent the construction industry in supporting this important cause.”

In addition to financial support, NCCER will also represent the industry at the “Creating Pathways to Prosperity” conference next week in Boston, Ma. The invitation-only conference, organized by William C. Symonds, director of the Pathways to Prosperity Project, will bring together over 40 nationallyrecognized leaders and experts to discuss and examine key challenges in creating more effective pathways systems and the critical role that industry must play in the process. J. Doug Pruitt, retired president/CEO of Sundt Construction, Inc. and 2005 NCCER Chairman of the Board, will speak on behalf of the industry, and NCCER Vice President Steve Greene will be panelist at a workshop on designing and implementing industry-recognized credentials and certifications.