The demand for skilled labor has become a national crisis – without action to attract skilled workers to the construction industry we face severe problems in any effort to build and maintain our nation’s infrastructure. Since 2010, Go Build has been engaging young people and their “influencers” to inform and inspire the next generation of skilled workers. The program continues its recent momentum following the 2016 launch of Go Build Tennessee with the launch of Go Build California (website / Facebook / Twitter) on May 8, 2017 in partnership with Associated General Contractors (AGC) Construction Education Foundation.
“Go Build is the nation’s most comprehensive and effective workforce development initiative,” said Steve Sandherr (CEO of AGC of America; Go Build national board member).
“In developing the Go Build initiative, we realized that that only a sustained marketing and outreach effort would cause a paradigm shift in the public’s thinking about the skilled trades. Go Build’s unique, multi-platform approach is unmatched in it’s scope, strategy and measurable impact. We’re actively engaging and inspiring young people and offering a national rallying cry for our industry to coalesce around: Go Build,” said Bob Woods, CEO/President of Go Build.
America depends on skilled labor – but currently the average age of a construction worker is over 50 years old, and for every five workers who leave the industry, only one replaces them. Because of both misperceptions and misunderstandings about the skills, wages and career paths, students in junior high school through junior college seldom investigate these career possibilities. Worse, construction industry labor shortages were compounded by the national recession beginning around 2007.
As part of a robust, multi-year marketing campaign, Go Build deploys its message across a variety of mediums – including TV, print and digital advertising, social media channels, an engaging website, grassroots outreach, and educator tools, such as trade videos, classroom materials and more. The program is constantly evolving and adapting to new platforms and technologies to meet the needs of students, industry and educators.
“ABC has partnered with Go Build since Alabama’s launch in 2010 and was among industry associations that brought the program to Tennessee in 2016,” said Mike Bellaman (President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors; Go Build national board member). “Go Build’s continued success illustrates how ABC is working collaboratively to address this national problem and further expand the program.”
Go Build Alabama launched in 2010 with widespread industry support, and the program operated in Georgia from 2012–2017. In Tennessee, a statewide partnership between the Tennessee chapters of the Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, Road Builders Association and Home Builders Association garnered the support of Governor Haslam and the state Legislature to launch Go Build Tennessee in May of 2016. “Go Build is a game changer when it comes to how our industry communicates with younger generations” said Tommy Burleson (Go Build Tennessee; Life Director of AGC of America; CEO Burleson Construction Company, Inc). “In just the last year, we’ve repeatedly reached millions of Tennesseans through mass advertising, social media and grassroots outreach. We are already seeing real life examples of how these efforts have inspired students to choose careers in construction. Go Build’s new partnership in California and continued collaboration with AGC is incredibly important as our industry works to address a national problem in a unique and strategic way,” Burleson said.
“Go Build Alabama was a first of its kind program in the US – a revolutionary new approach to inspiring a new generation of trade professionals for the construction industry.” said Jason Phelps (Executive Director, Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute). “Since the launch of Go Build Alabama in 2010, we have made a real impact in changing the perception of the construction industry and helped guide Alabamians to layout their own blueprint to a rewarding career in the construction skilled trades. We are glad to welcome California to the Go Build family.” Go Build Alabama’s impact has been significant – career tech course enrollments have increased 24% and 3 out of 4 apprenticeships have experienced a substantial increase in applications since 2010. Even better, 51% of career tech students surveyed said they were influenced by Go Build’s outreach and advertisements to pursue a career in construction.
Go Build California is supported by the Associated General Contractors Construction Education Foundation (AGC CEF). Founded in 2000 by the association, it works to develop and strengthen the professionalism and effectiveness of individuals in the construction industry.“We are extremely proud to bring Go Build to California,” said Mike Mencarini (President of Unger Construction Company and 2017 AGC of California President). “The success seen in other state campaigns that have launched Go Build is tremendous. Partnering with Go Build advances our [AGC CEF] mission to another level.”
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About Go Build
Go Build is a comprehensive workforce development initiative that seeks to enhance the image of the construction industry and inform young people and their influencers about the long-term career opportunities in the skilled trades. Go Build, a 501(c)3 non-profit, was first launched in Alabama in 2010, and has since expanded into additional states including Georgia from 2012-2017, Tennessee in 2016 and California in 2017. The program has been endorsed by the United States Department of Labor, and national ABC, AGC, CURT, CII and the Trimmer Foundation organizations.