Training is Key

Bryant Black

Director, Workforce Development
Greater Houston Partnership

Training is a key element to success in the workplace.  Few of us would disagree with this statement.  We believe intuitively that a well-trained workforce is able to produce better quality products in less time and with fewer accidents.  The tricky piece is finding or creating this well-trained set of employees to deliver excellent work.
In the construction industry, there have been many historical factors that have contributed to a diminishing skilled craft workforce. So, we are presented with the challenge of creating recruiting and training programs to attract new employees and better skill our existing craft workers.  Starting with what we already have and developing training programs is a logical first step.
Craft training programs have been shown to do five things increase productivity, reduce rework, decrease absenteeism and turnover, and increase safety according to a joint study between Canadian and U.S. universities. Building a training program requires long term vision on the part of the company. Often the initial time and money investment to identify training needs, build training programs and send employees to training courses seems daunting.  When companies rise to the challenge it has been shown that the investment in craft training is able to generate a cost to benefit ratio of 1/1.5*.  This means for every dollar invested in craft training there is potential to see 150% return.  It is important to remember that the return on investment may not come in the form of easily measurable dollars but is evident in reduced project costs, increased productivity, and greater customer satisfaction.  Additionally, the investment in the workforce leads to workers that are safer, at work more often, higher morale, and less likely to leave the company.
The construction industry working collaboratively with companies like C3 can begin to bridge the gap between the unskilled craft worker in our current ranks to the sustainable craft workforce of tomorrow.  Programs like the C3 Craft Training Framework and Endorsement are built to allow for individual companies to flex to their personal craft worker training needs while moving the needle towards common skillsets for entry level workers.  C3’s training framework is a step toward investing for the future and creating a better today for the craft workers of Houston.  For more information, or to participate in a pilot of the Craft Training Program, contact Angela Murphy ([email protected]).*University of Texas study, 2010

Angela Murphy
People Development Program Managers


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