January 12, 2009

Training centers, community colleges and high schools nationwide will have clearer guidelines to help train future construction workers thanks to a new "competency model" being released today by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Associated General Contractors of America. The framework will give educators a clearer picture of the skills required to succeed in construction careers.

"The best way to prepare tomorrow's construction workers is to improve today's training programs," said Steven Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. "We want to make sure that new workers have the complex mix of skills and expertise needed to thrive in the modern construction industry."

The competency model, which was developed by the AGC Workforce Development Committee and the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration, is needed to help ensure that new construction workers are adequately prepared for the demands of the jobs. Construction companies are growing increasingly concerned about how difficult it is to find qualified applicants to hire, Sandherr noted.

The new guidelines will make it easier for educational facilities like training centers, community colleges, and high schools to develop curricula that actually meet the needs of modern construction firms. According to the association's Sandherr, without the guidelines, many instructional programs can vary in content and quality.

"The better prepared the workforce, the easier it will be for construction companies to deliver high-quality, low-cost projects that will get our economy moving in the right direction," Sandherr said.

To view the new Heavy/Highway/Civil Construction Competency Model, go to


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