Alliance Formed to Bolster Construction Industry in Alabama

Published 7:58 am Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Alabama Construction Workforce Alliance (ACWA) was created to bolster construction industry in the state.

The ACWA’s purpose is to work with the state to train perspective employees who will be credentialed and certified for employment in the construction industry.

ACWA Chairman Tim McCartney, formerly of McCartney Construction, said he understands the situation.

“Coming from the highway construction and roadbuilding business, I am well aware of the incredible need for highly-skilled workers in this sector,” McCartney said.  “The collaboration that has already been established and future plans put forth by ACWA is exactly what we need in this moment. This aligns perfectly with Governor Ivey’s attainment goal of adding 500,000 credentialed workers to the workforce by 2025 and our overall workforce development credentialing pipeline efforts.”

The Alabama Associated General Contractors, the Alabama Roadbuilders Association, the Alabama Workforce Council, the Alabama Construction Research Institute and Auburn University are part of the ACWA. They will work together, along with state education and workforce agencies to guide ACWA’s mission and the vision for the streamlined construction workforce.

Jorge Rueda, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Auburn and leading ACWA implementation efforts, said the state’s construction industry needs an upgrade.

“ACWA was developed as a response to concerns by the Alabama construction industry about the serious shortage of skilled labor and the need for improvements to the current construction workforce talent pipeline,” Rueda said.

“The proposed alliance is based on the premise that greater benefits are obtained when workforce development initiatives are implemented as a combined, coordinated effort by government, industry and education entities. ACWA is poised to integrate recruitment, retention and training efforts into an overall strategic plan tearing down the traditional workforce development silos.”

ACWA was picked as one of the five third-party intermediaries for the $17.8 million Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant awarded to assist workers displaced by COVID-19. The grant will be administered by the Alabama Department of Commerce and used to support the Alabama Workforce Stabilization Program.

The Alabama Community College System, Alabama Technology Network, and AIDT will help provide training programs for the grant and implement the new construction-focused training programs.