Career Construction Academy Update

Earlier in the year, the Fond du Lac School District, along with a committee of numerous general contractors and local organizations, announced plans to build a 5,750 square-foot facility that would be uniquely designed to house hands-on training areas for all the trades. Currently, fundraising for this proposed $1,104,318 Career Construction Academy (CCA) is ongoing with 74% of the project costs secured through pledges and equipment donations.

The CCA Committee is focused on raising the remaining balance of the project cost so that construction can begin. Those interested in learning more about this proposed facility can email Bob Roehrig at County Materials Corporation, [email protected] or call 262-506-4577 or Pat Smith at C.D. Smith Construction, [email protected]

The Career Construction Academy has the full support of the Board of Education, which committed $500,000 to the project and numerous construction industry leaders in the Fond du Lac area.  “This structure will enable educators to teach students the fundamentals of several construction trades, from architecture and engineering to carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. This basic training will provide useful knowledge that students can utilize throughout their lifetime, including home maintenance projects and household repairs. The construction program will also help them to set their sights on a successful career if that is the direction that they choose to go,” stated Pat Smith of C.D. Smith Construction. Jim Jarvis, Executive Vice President of J.F. Ahern, adds, “Ahern values the opportunity to provide support to the teaching staff at Fondy High School. This will help to develop a curriculum that will give students first-hand experience working on classroom projects linked to many of the trades within our industry.  It provides us with a platform to showcase the excellent career opportunities in the construction field.”

The project’s initiative is in response to the industry-wide trend that indicates 75% of the construction firms in Wisconsin report they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions, and 78% of the state’s construction firms plan to expand their hiring of additional hourly craft workers. In Wisconsin, it is projected that the construction and extraction field will have the highest overall job growth of any industry with a 20.5% increase between 2012-2022. Given the worker shortage that is being experienced throughout a considerable cross-section of fields, it’s imperative that students be encouraged to explore opportunities as bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, etc.  It’s clear that the future construction workforce will need to be cultivated and developed by and within Fond du Lac’s “construction community.

The CCA Committee members include (alphabetically) Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Ahern-Gross Plumbing, Alliant Energy, Bray Architects, C.D. Smith Construction, Capelle Brothers & Diedrich, County Materials Corporation, Department of Workforce Development, Faith Technologies, Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, Fond du Lac School District, Fond du Lac/Dodge Home Builders Association, J.F. Ahern, Michels Corporation, Moraine Park Technical College, North Central Construction, Shea Electric, Specht Electric, Spies Painting, St. Mary’s Springs, MW Tighe Roofing, and Wright Built. Bob Roehrig, representing County Materials Corporation, shared, “Some of the largest construction companies in Fond du Lac County and the State of Wisconsin have committed to providing financial support for tools and supplies, as well as technical speakers and curriculum assistance for the Construction Academy. Students will learn from industry speakers, experience hands-on training in many fields, and graduate with employable skills preparing them to seek employment with construction companies.