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.