Go Build Alabama, an initiative of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute (ACRI), was recognized during the 2014 Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) Awards of Excellence Celebration in Houston, Texas for the campaign’s contributions to workforce development. Go Build was one of eight initiatives recognized at the national conference.
“It is an honor to receive national recognition for the success of Go Build Alabama,” said Jason Phelps, executive director of the ACRI. “Our campaign provides students with information about a viable career option in the construction industry. We see the need for a training pipeline to fill the future needs of our industry and are working ahead to get students into training in Alabama.”
Since the inception of Go Build Alabama in 2010, Go Build Alabama ambassadors have attended more than 200 college and career fairs across the state and reached over 256,000 students. The Alabama Department of Education reported a 51 percent increase in first-year career technical education (CTE) class enrollments in the 2013-14 school year. Out of that group, 33 percent of CTE students said Go Build played a direct role in their decision to enter the skilled trades.
Aside from grassroots activation, the campaign’s success is heavily dependent on advertising. From May 2013 to May 2014, the campaign aired 5,384 television and 736 radio spots and at the same time introduced one spot aimed at women in the construction industry and one at a younger demographic.
In 2014, Go Build Alabama also introduced an e-textbook, mobile app and website. The e-textbook – which provides students with knowledge of the trades and training in an interactive, entertaining way – was developed through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Education and funded by a grant from the Alabama Power Foundation. The mobile app has the capability to put students and job seekers in direct contact with representatives at training facilities, apprenticeship programs and community colleges across the state. And with the development and implementation of a new website, Go Build Alabama now presents its content in a simpler visual format and mobile-responsive design – and with a newly created educators’ portal filled with resources for the classroom.
“The fresh look and new additions to the Go Build Alabama campaign – coupled with the positive correlation in the campaign to the number of students enrolling in CTE classes – made the initiative an obvious choice to receive a recognition during the CURT Workforce Development Conference,” said Phelps.
ACRI launched the Go Build campaign in August of 2010 in effort to prepare for the anticipated shortage as older tradesmen leave the workforce. One third of all skilled tradesmen in the construction industry are over the age of 50. With their retirement on the horizon, training programs are not producing enough young workers to replace those exiting the industry. The Go Build campaign aims to recruit the next generation of skilled construction trade workers.
For more information on Go Build Alabama, please visit GoBuildAlabama.com.