Big Wins and Growing Momentum for C3

Bryant Black

Director, Workforce Development
Greater Houston Partnership

Construction Career Collaborative was the beneficiary of two big announcements last week by high profile, influential owners, which illustrate C3’s growing presence and impact in the Greater Houston region.  The first came through the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston from his emminence, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, who declared that its projects would require C3 participation from this point forward.  This is a huge win for C3 because the Archdiocese is one of the most active builders in the Houston region with as many as 10 new projects (all C3!) expected to begin in the near future.
The second significant announcement came from the Greater Houston Partnership, which issued a press release stating that the construction of its new offices would require C3 participation.  Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership stated, “Programs like C3 exemplify the approaches championed by UpSkill Houston.  We are committed to helping develop a sustainable skilled craft workforce. We hope other building owners, developers, construction companies and building managers will join us in this commitment and build future projects incorporating C3 standards.”  This commitment to make the build out of its new offices in the new Partnership Tower is an immense coup for C3 because of GHP’s broad reach within the business community in Houston as the champion of the region’s chambers of commerce.
To further describe C3’s growing impact and influence, just two years ago C3 had only 7 Accredited Employers on its roster and 6 beta projects. Today, C3 has progressed well beyond beta projects to include 104 Accredited Employers, 38 Project Participants, 7 projects under construction and 2 completed projects.  While these numbers illustrate marked progress, they also illustrate how far we must go in order to reach a tipping point for C3 accreditation to become an expectation of participation in the industry.  Candidly, C3 needs to triple or quadruple these numbers in order to have the impact and coverage it seeks to achieve.

While this information is proof that C3 is gaining serious traction, our other activities are every bit as important to our success.  These include our Craft Training Committee whose goal is develop standards for craft training that will accelerate the delivery of training across multiple trades and companies.  Also, the Safety Training Committee is considering a proposal to take its already developed safety-refresher training and break it up into 12 segments that can be delivered monthly as a toolbox talk at the jobsite or in the classroom on an perpetual basis.  Additionally, in October we launched the C3 Training Database, which confidentially houses the craft and safety credentials of each craft worker and tracks those workers assigned to a specific project, all of which enables C3 to provide compliance checks of safety credentials and proper pay practices thereby assuring that all construction companies compete on a level playing field for business.  Further, C3 now provides C3 Orientation for all workers on a C3 project in both Spanish and English to explain our purpose and our requirements of employers pertaining to safety and pay practices.  This orientation also explains in detail how to read and understand one’s paycheck.  Finally, C3 has participated in job fairs for seniors in high school, and will be doing more of these in the future, in order to evangelize the career opportunities that exist for young people in commercial construction today.  We welcome the opportunity to partner at these events with other workforce initiatives such as UpSkill Houston, and industry trade associations such as ABC, ASA and MCA, just to name a few.

If you are an owner, contractor or specialty contractor who believes that something must be done in order to attract and develop young people to a skilled craft workforce in the commercial construction industry, while ensuring that construction companies compete fairly for work, and you want to support that effort, please contact me today.  C3 is making a difference!

Chuck Gremillion
Executive Director, Construction Career Collaborative

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