The World of Concrete exhibit hall featured the debut of numerous innovations as well as showcases of technology that is making a difference, but numerous happening took place off the show floor. In a press conference organized by NCCER, President & CEO Boyd Worsham along with Chief Learning Officer Lisa Strite discussed the new Concrete Construction curriculum and NCCER's future initiatives.
Created in 1996 as The National Center for Construction Education and Research, NCCER offers more than 70 craft areas and a complete series of more than 70 assessments offered in over 4,000 NCCER-accredited training and assessment locations across the United States. The organization doesn’t provide the actual training, but their resources are utilized industry training programs, such as through contractors and associations, but also by high schools, community colleges and in K-12 schools throughout the country.
“What used to be shop class is now a career technical education and that’s something we’re proud to support with a standardized curriculum that is put together entirely by volunteer SME’s,” Worsham said.
Those efforts have fueled initiatives like “Build Your Future,” which was born out of a need to educate students about career opportunities in construction. This education process is one that never really stops though, regardless of whether it’s someone learning a craft in school or is a 30-year construction veteran that needs upskill or even for someone looking to change careers. Strite showed off what that actually looks like with the updated Concrete Construction curriculum.
This two-level curriculum covers a range of specific content such as the characteristics of concrete, using concrete as a building material and the process of curing concrete. It is designed to give trainees the full scope of tasks related to concrete on a construction site and offers the latest in developments in finishing, concrete repair and properties of concrete. It’s a resource that is connected to a core initiative of the organization as well as something Strite is specifically focused on.
“My mission is to create great products that get people to solve workforce development challenges,” said Strite.
NCCER is focused on solving these challenges while supporting a legacy that connects people and an entire industry. Their program resources allow users to move forward or define their career in whatever manner works best for them, which is a process that Worsham mentioned as being more important than any single project or building. It’s connected to a legacy that he believes needs to be showcased in a whole new way to help solve the workforce development challenges that the construction industry faces.
“As an industry, we haven’t properly expressed the incredible skill it takes to be make these projects happen,” Worsham said. “These craft professional skills are more necessary and in-demand than ever, and we need to make more people aware of the talent and opportunities that exist in the construction industry.”
You can watch Worsham’s full update on the status of the organization for NCCER in 2021 and beyond below. Stay tuned for more info about what it means for professionals to utilize NCCER training to upskill their talents as well as the importance of showcasing opportunities in the construction industry to a whole new generation.