As the construction industry faces a workforce crisis with a projected need of nearly 3 million workers by 2028, quality, skilled construction workers are in high demand. Workforce development is AGC of East Tennessee's top priority and, as such, our chapter is exploring ways to increase the quantity and quality of our workforce by creating more awareness of career paths and opportunities in construction.
With this focus in mind we have been working with Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to develop pathways that will help build a better pipeline of skilled employees. The Executive Leadership of AGC supports the new proposed school budget primarily because it aligns with the Future Ready 2023 Strategic Plan with specific funding priorities that support future ready students.
Since Dr. Bryan Johnson took the reins as superintendent of the school system 18 months ago, we have seen seen innovation with intention that has led to exceptional progress, including a vigorous transformation in curriculum towards career-based learning to give students basic "career ready" skills and certifications by the time they graduate from high school. New work-based learning programs are now allowing students opportunities to apply their school work in real job environments.
Through the launch of the Future Ready Institutes, four high schools are now offering classes specifically centered around construction and engineering, offering more exposure and training for future industry workers. Future Ready Institutes are directly connecting private industry and employers with teachers to guide curriculum development, and with students to offer mentoring, training and stories of success.
This push towards career-based learning is critical to the success of our industry, and is providing students with an aptitude for 3-D spatial learning new opportunities to explore and use their gifts towards a rewarding career.
Equally important is HCDE’s shift in narrative that encourages students to follow their strengths instead of an obligatory push towards a 4-year degree, which has misled and isolated students with spatial learning strengths for decades.
The proposed budget increases will allow for:
Click here for more information about the proposed school budget.