Two new programs launching in 2017

Creating more pathways to construction careers

The crane count is high, companies are busy, and the construction outlook is promising. This is all great news; yet, the anticipated shortage of construction workers continues to be a widespread challenge. The growing concern about the attraction and retention of the future workforce calls for swift action. Thanks to the generosity of our constituents and collaboration with partner organizations, we will be launching the following programs in 2017.

Support Services Fund for construction careers

Together with the Foundation, the Construction Center of Excellence has established a fund to alleviate various barriers-to-entry into the industry. Obstacles, such as transportation costs and entrance exam fees, can be overwhelming and limiting to those seeking construction careers. “The industry is in dire need of a skilled workforce,” said Shana Peschek, director of the Construction Center of Excellence. “Many challenges can prevent potential workers from securing careers in construction. Our intent is to provide resources and financial support to individuals facing barriers to construction education and employment.” Through a simple application, we will review requests and fund services through an expedited process.

Career-counseling services

Working with our state schools’ Career Technical Educators and industry partners, we will be offering individual career consultation to students at the high-school level and beyond, as well as others seeking entrance to and information about the construction industry. This service will function as another way for us to continue bridging the gap between schools, students, and the construction industry. One example of this is our partnership with industry mentors who will be available for individuals engaged in career counseling. Above, Marisol is introduced to her mentor, former scholarship recipient Salvador Arellanes, field engineer with Sellen Construction. Marisol was connected to the Foundation during her senior year in high school by the Seattle Rotary. She expressed an interest in a career in the construction industry, but lacked the resources and information to take the next steps. With assistance from the Foundation, she is now completing her first quarter in Renton Technical College’s Construction Management program. Jen Holm, Foundation Education and Career Counselor, identified Salvador as a professional resource for Marisol, and will continue to provide guidance as they work together.