Preserving Arlington Memorial Bridge

Ala. AGC Helping to Attract Newer Blood to Industry

Mon May 21, 2007 - Southeast Edition
CEG



The Alabama Associated General Contractors has begun a new program to provide potential employees an easy way to get into the construction industry.

The Alabama AGC Craftworker Affiliate program is designed to allow potential construction employees access to the companies throughout Alabama.

As part of the program, candidates will be able to meet at a central location, where contractors could offer potential employment.

Here’s how it works:

• Employment prospects visit an AGC office on a specified Saturday. There, they will have a brief orientation explaining the program and the construction industry and fill out a standard job application.

• Employment prospects will take a brief skills assessment test and a drug test. (If an employment prospect tests positive he or she may be retested at a certified lab at their expense.)

• If the employment prospect has not had an OSHA 10-Hour class, the AGC will provide one for free in English or Spanish.

• After completing the OSHA 10-Hour and having completed the other requirements, the employment prospect will be issued a picture identification card identifying them as an AGC Craftworker Affiliate. They will then be sent to contractors for job interviews.

In Birmingham, contractors will be on site to interview those who complete the course and become AGC Craftworker Affiliates. The AGC is also compiling a list of contractors interested in participating in the program.

In addition, the Alabama AGC will offer an inexpensive health insurance plan.

“This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in getting into this exciting industry with good pay and benefits,” said Henry T. Hagood Jr., Alabama AGC president. “Our companies are some of the best in the world and they offer excellent employment opportunities.”

The Alabama AGC reports that nationally 500,000 new construction jobs will be created in the next five years. It anticipates 50,000 of those jobs will be created in Alabama alone. The average skilled worker is 51 years old, so workers of all levels of skill are in demand.

A craft professional working as a journeyman — in one of many trades including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, masonry, painting, welding, pipefitting and others — can expect to make on average $800 a week. The non-residential construction industry also provides good work hours with paid vacation days and benefits including health insurance and retirement plans.

Also, many construction companies will pay for employees to attend classes to improve their skills and reach journeyman status.