C3.is.how. to train your workforce

Diane Aguilar

Marketing & Development Manager
Construction Career Collaborative

The industry has been told that the current skilled labor shortages will get worse as the economy improves, a generation of aging skilled workers retires and a new generation enters the industry. Key to that recruitment of a new skilled workforce is a well-defined and executed training program.
To assist in training and development of high caliber training programs, the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) launched a Craft Training Endorsement Program in January 2018. The program encourages commercial construction companies to apply for C3 endorsement of their craft training programs. The C3 program has three levels of recognition and all C3 Accredited Employers must obtain and maintain at least Recognized level. However, for the best impact on workforce sustainability C3 recommends that all companies strive to reach Leader level.
The levels each correspond to specific criteria that demonstrate the maturity of the craft training program being offered by the Accredited Employer. The list below describes the elements required at each level.


All of the following:

  • Complete the self-assessment questionnaire
  • Offers craft (skills) training
  • Tracks craft (skills) training


Recognized” plus 3 of the following 4:

  • Offers a defined career path for all craft positions
  • Offers a structured training program
  • Offers industry standard credentials for employees (if relevant)
  • Provides ongoing training for existing workforce


Leader” plus 2 of the following 3:

  • Learning and development programs link to performance management of workforce, company goals and/or metrics
  • Culture of people development, broad reach of development throughout all levels of craft workforce
  • Supports industry-wide workforce development


As the list suggests, Recognized is the basic level and demonstrates that a company is committed to offering craft training to all employees. The endorsement audit measures leadership commitment, training development, delivery and tracking. This development and delivery can be done in-house or by a 3rd party.  The goal of the recognized endorsement is to demonstrate that training is taking place and being tracked.


Moving up from Recognized to Leader level endorsement is a large delta because it requires that a company must create a career path for each craft position at the company. The career path details a series of classes, assessments, OJT tasks or other learning opportunities designed to prepare a craft worker to move to the next level within the profession. Each career path must be documented and tracked.
Additionally, Leader companies provide 2 of the following 3 items:

  • Structured training program – Internal company learning and development programs that have a process, documentation, communication plan, and other structural components to ensure functionality of craft training programs.
  • Industry standard credentials – Any recognized industry certification or licensure process, including but not limited to NCCER and DOL apprenticeship programs.
  • Ongoing training for the existing workforce – Training offered that is beyond the scope of an industry certification or career path.

Typically, the Leader company is identified by the strong commitment to growing their workforce internally through structured craft training programs that typically function like an apprenticeship program even though they may not be DOL approved or registered.


Moving from Leader to Champion requires that a company focus on the culture and performance of the company in relation to craft training. Champion companies do all the things that Leader companies do as well as 2 of the following 3 items:

  • Clearly link craft training to performance management or company goals/metrics.
  • Provides a culture of people development with broad reach throughout the entirety of the craft professional ranks.
  • Supports industry-wide workforce development specifically craft training.

The champion company is likely to have earned awards in relation to their craft training or be influencing the industry through leadership on workforce committees at trade associations or leading development programs with institutions of learning.

Getting Started

Companies can self-elect to enter the endorsement program at any level or may elect to enter as pre-program.  Pre-program companies have no current training and agree to design and begin delivering craft training at the Recognized level within 18 months.  For more information on the program and impact of training attend one of C3’s monthly town halls.  If you are ready to jump into the program but need some personalized assistance, request a consulting session from C3’s craft training coach Angela Murphy at 713.999.1032. 


Angela Murphy
Associate Director, People Development, Compliance & Operations

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