A BLUEPRINT FOR CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION
Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spider’s spinning, buildings qualified by light, bred by native character to environment, married to the ground.
~~Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) Architect, Designer, Writer, & Educator
In today’s competitive building industry, beginning with a career blueprint, the right tools are essential for future success. Just as a pencil and a tape measure are the most basic tools, the real benchmark for career opportunity in construction lies in education. Nothing could be more valuable for aspiring construction industry workers or professional managers than preparedness through learning. After all, what could go wrong without a solid academic foundation?
With education and experience a lot went right for television personalities Chip and Joanna Gaines of 2013-2018 Fixer Upper fame. They earned degrees from Baylor University and their continuing education began with renovating their first home as newlyweds. Chip said, “It was far from Jo’s dreams” but “it ignited a real passion in both of us.” Continuing to fall in love with the challenges of the industry, their latest show is Fixer Upper: Welcome Home—The Castle. It premiered on their TV channel Magnolia Network in 2021. They purchased the 100-year-old Cottonland Castle in Waco, Texas, their hometown. During the three-year renovation, repairs were made, original pieces were kept, and historic replicas were used where necessary. These castle “royals” are certainly an inspiration to construction students with a desire to succeed.
The American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) offers several rungs on the ladder toward student success. Accreditation is a top benefit. This approval signifies superior quality in education and a dependable reputation for recognition within the construction industry. The core structure of the industry is built on many valuable tools necessary for career climbing.
Take the ACCE inventory of four precision tools among a well-equipped toolbox of others: 1) Students and Parents, 2) High School Counselors, 3) College Recruiters, and 4) Industry Organizations/Companies.
● Students and Parents: Students seeking accredited degree programs need look no further than all ACCE has to offer. Whether considering an associate, or a bachelor’s or master’s degree, various programs are taught by professional educators. They rely on a foundation of updated knowledge in the building trades and use the technology available to convey engaging lessons. In addition, apprenticeship programs convert class study into practical application under trained leaders in top construction trade companies.
Parents of young men and women are encouraged and invited to partner with their children in making choices that best suit their strengths. With family involvement, like a wooden doorway to advancement, the multitude of career opportunities can be planed down to a perfect fit. Will the student’s interest rest on the foundation of Construction Management or Environmental Engineering? Building Construction or Civil Engineering? Architecture or Design?
Students and parents alike anticipate the benefits of planning and the rewards of programs offered by ACCE.
● High School Counselors: Professional counselors in secondary education schools understand the dynamics of a student’s career search. To simplify an individual’s choice in the varied workforce landscape, the United States Chamber of Commerce has developed “Six Steps for Building Careers”.
It is broken down this way:
Step 1. Assessment: Young men and women can evaluate themselves with an assessment of interests, ability, and resources. They can solicit feedback from others who know them well. When a career coach is available, seek professional guidance.
Step 2. Investigation: Be aware of options and networking with pros in the field… (of construction, ACCE). All the while, keep an open mind for possibilities overlooked prior to discussions.
Step 3. Preparation: Once the student determines which profession, then the specific area of that choice can be nailed down. Next, build the necessary experience in that occupation in order to climb the employment ladder.
Step 4. Commitment: Have a specific action plan. Stay focused on the chosen career path.
Step 5. Retention: As a learned leader and experienced professional in the industry, capitalize on achievements. Continue to gain knowledge and experience. Don’t relax or stop trying to grow in the industry.
Step 6. Once an Expert: After going as high as possible in a position, figure out the next move. Consult professional advice and discuss with the company’s executives.
● College Recruiters: Industry college recruiters find the ACCE-accredited programs meet a high standard of excellence. Graduates with technical and interpersonal skills are in great demand by construction companies. For successful college and university students that acquire a highly sought-after skill set, possess technical and interpersonal skills, and are work-ready prior to job offers, opportunities abound.
● Industry Organizations/Companies: Recently the Council of Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) recognized ACCE with approval through 2029. In addition, Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) are focused on available on-the-job construction training. Experienced experts at employing construction companies survey the labor pool of well-qualified student/worker candidates. They understand that workers gain expertise when combined with classroom study. All the while, companies and workers alike expand as they build their future based on continuing education in the ever-evolving construction industry.
ACCE’s impressive group of corporate sponsors are invested in the betterment of the construction industry and workforce. A network of industry professionals come from across the United States. Corporate Organizations/Companies and can be identified on this page.
The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) holds an annual event for construction professionals. In 2023, ACCE’s Construction Education Consortium was held on February 14–18 in Dallas, Texas.
Professional educators at ACCE are available to answer questions. One may ask, “How long will it take to reach my specific goal?” “Are scholarships available?” “How can I get into an apprenticeship program?” Please note that many questions are addressed right here on this website. Whether from students, parents, counselors, recruiters, or industry organizations and companies, inquiries are invited.
Students and parents will find that ACCE’s instructors are not only well-qualified in their area of study, but their number one goal is that their students will have great success, both now and in the future. Counselors shed light on construction possibilities, and recruiters explore a desired landscape. Still, the winning bid goes to industry organizations and construction companies hiring prepared workers.
That trend is far from new. Following the Civil War and the building of railroads, the industry grew dramatically. Consider the 1930’s iconic photo of “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.” Eleven construction workers were dangling their legs from a crossbeam at 850 feet above New York City’s Rockefeller Center. The immigrant laborers had little safety gear, and yet, no sign of worry.
America’s construction industry today has changed in tons of ways, moving skyward for both men and women. Future building projects with state-of-the-art education, tools, technology, safety regulations, and dedicated professionals are projected to soar to even greater innovative heights.
Chip and Joanna Gaines can attest to the fact that construction opportunities abound today. After all, they went from a small house to a castle. Want to scale the ladder with this group of hard hats and top hats? The crowning first step may be the hardest, but ACCE is prepared to guide students firmly on the upward climb. To sign-up for our free resource newsletter, click here!
Enjoy the view!