ERLANGER – In an effort to fill the skills gap in the construction trades a partnership has emerged that will take steps to achieve a shared goal.

A traditional construction vocational trades training program is announced between Boone County Schools, the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky and Partners for a Competitive Workforce.

“This project was a no-brainer for us as it addresses several critical challenges facing our current labor pool, the skills gap, an aging workforce and the lack of a talent pipeline for the construction industry. These students will be well equipped to become the next generation of construction workers and leaders in our region,” Stephen Tucker, director of industry partnerships with Partners for a Competitive Workforce said in a press release.

“We as a school system could not be more excited about this program,” said Jerry Gels, director of innovative programs at Boone County Schools.

“Having industry professionals educate our students is typically something a student isn’t able to access until their 20s. This is a paradigm shift in how we train and interest younger students in a field of work that will allow them to not just thrive but accumulate wealth and skills through their lifetime. We believe many other local school districts will follow our lead,” Gels said.

The head of the Home Builders Association said the great recession left the construction industry with a “real workforce challenge.”

“The downturn simply dragged on so long that many trades people retired, closed shop or went on to retrain in other industries. Employers are constantly calling us looking for good people to work today,” said Brian Miller, the Home Builders executive vice president.

“This is a real chance to start a career that offers a true entrepreneur opportunity as the managers, and in many cases, company owners are facing retirement in the not too distant future. We not only need workers today but managers and owners in the coming years,” Miller said.

The program will take 48 sophomores and juniors from the Boone County School system to the Home Builders Association facility, which houses the Enzweiler Building Institute. The institute is a post-secondary evening trades education program for adults taught by industry trade professionals.

The facility will be used to teach high school students a state-approved curriculum that will expose students to a wide reach introduction to construction trades focused on licensure attainment and long-term employment. After the first year is complete students will participate in a co-op work program with the employer members of the HBA. After graduation the students are encouraged to attend the Enzweiler Building Institute to work toward their journeyman’s certificate and in specific trades attain licensure.

For more information about the 2016-2017 Enzweiler Building Institute’s school year visit or call Shawn Cox, director of professional development, at 859-331-9500.

Read or Share this story: