AGCVA Initiatives for Workforce Solutions

The critical workforce shortage our industry predicted some time ago is happening now, and AGC Virginia has taken the lead to address this issue. With the economy improving and the number of new projects increasing, AGC Virginia’s member firms are looking to us to help them fill immediate and future job openings.

As a result of this important member and industry need, workforce development is a primary focus area for our association at the local, state and national level. AGC Virginia embraces AGC of America’s viewpoint on “workforce development” as a broad umbrella encompassing two primary areas:

1. initiatives that encourage, educate and expose students, their parents, school administrators, counselors and teachers in elementary, middle or high school to the multitude of career opportunities in construction, and
2. initiatives that help prepare young people for the constructor of the future, either through craft training, technical school training, apprenticeship programs, or two and four-year college programs.

AGC Virginia will coordinate with other construction industry employers to work together with all the state government groups, including the Department of Education to continue to move these principles forward.

• Work toward having a coordinated statewide strategy
• Increase overall state funding to support Career, Technical & Agricultural Education initiatives
• Provide the highest Quality Training and Education in commercial construction
• Consistency of the graduates regardless of institution
• Align skills training with the job opportunities
• Support Work-Based Learning with employment opportunities
• Increase number of students directly transitioning from high school to the technical colleges

Build Your Future is an initiative that the AGCVA has recently partnered with for the purpose of a state-wide marketing campaign.  This effort is too big and too important for just one group.  We have formed a partnership with ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors), trade unions and other construction associations and hope to extend our partnership with other business associations and educations providers across Virginia.  BYF will create and execute a Virginia specific marketing plan that includes an interactive website, social media presence, videos, and more.  The intent is to provide a vision for the future including:  skillsets needed, high job salaries and a solid pathway on how any student in any town in Virginia must follow to get to the construction career of their choice. Website set to be finished in Spring 2018


NCCER is the National Center for Construction Education and Research.  They are the organization that provided most of the curriculum for CTE centers across the nation, as well as provide credentialing for classes and those exiting the military.  NCCER will help with other media efforts including, but not limited to

a.       Providing AGC with “Career Day” planning assistance, including customized marketing collateral (i.e. Save-the-Date, advertisements, t-shirt design, fliers, etc.)
a.      This may include billboard or other mass market media design if desired by BVP

b.      Providing AGC with custom design files of posters, brochures, fliers, trading card packs, t-shirts and career day resources; and

c.       Providing AGC with a “Career Day Starter Kit,” including: trading card packs, wristbands, bookmarks, influencer brochures, BYF posters, BYF hard hat decals and sunglasses.

Tradecrews is a platform for searching and connecting with other users, finding training opportunities, employment, apprenticeships, viewing business profiles and more…a “perpetual job fair”, if you will.  Paul Millefolie is an AGCVA member and the founder/creator of the site.  He is working with schools and associations to get his programs implemented across the state.

**Examples of TradeCrews Success:

– EMC Mechanical Services has made a hire through the system.

– Chesterfield County Adult Learning Program has 20 HVAC I and 20 Electrical I students creating profiles this month.

2018 Education Calendar has been mapped out with room for added classes based on member needs.  Some classes being offered include Project Management, Supervisory Training Program, Construction Quality Management, Young Construction Leaders Program, LEAN, LEED, etc.

AGCVA has fulfilled the requirements and is officially a Certified Testing Center for certifications such as LEAN and BIM

SkillsUSA Virginia is a leadership organization for students (secondary and post-secondary) in the skill trade industry.  Most CTE programs are members of SkillsUSA, as they provide guidance on curriculum and a platform for schools state and nation wide to work together.  There are district, state, and national completions to be involved in, as well as network of school administration.

**District Competition taking place at Blacksburg High School on February 7th

**State Leadership Conference (and Competition) taking place at Virginia Beach Convention Center on April 20th-21st


VATIE is the Virginia Association of Trade and Industrial Educators.  Their goal is to make sure our educators/trade instructors are qualified and equipped and to connect them to local area industry.

**AGCVA was invited (and attended) the annual conference in 2017, and will be attending again in 2018.  I lead a session on “Building a Bridge Between Education and Industry”


VACTEA is the Virginia Association of Career and Technical Education Administrators. They provide leadership in promoting the effectiveness of career and technical education as an integral part of the total education program for youth and adults in Virginia.


District Initiatives
Tidewater: AGCVA is involved in a Workforce Development Coalition made up of area businesses and associations.  The coalition is working with Tidewater Community College to create skill trade certification courses and connecting students to those involved in the Workforce Development group.


Peninsula:  AGCVA is working with New Horizons in Hampton Roads.  New Horizons is a high school level career academy.  Our members are partnering with the program to provide feedback on curriculum, material, etc in exchange for the opportunity to interview the students exiting the program.


Central:  CANstruction is a community built project that provides hunger relief in the Greater Lynchburg community.  Teams enter a competition that uses non-perishable packaged food to build structures that showcase their construction skills.  The food is then donated to the local food bank.  The AGCVA Central District YCL team and our Central District President through the local Go Center brought in over 10,000 pounds of food to donate to the nationally recognized charity.

Central has also taken the initiative to get members involved in many local career fairs, to show a student that construction is a viable career option.


Roanoke: AGCVA members are working directly with various schools to introduce and expose students to commercial construction methods and materials. Examples are involvement with a “Tiny House” project in Radford and a contract mentor program in Glenvar.


Valley:  Former Senator Russ Potts has raised the funds for a new CTE program in the Valley.  His goal is to replicate his program 20+ times across the state.  AGCVA is providing feedback on industry trade and soft skill needs.

The Valley district is looking at helping the students of Triplett Tech build a pavilion at Shenadoah Fairgrounds, similar to the pavilion students built several years ago at Rockingham Fairgrounds. Members of the exec committee are in conversations with the principal from the school and have provided the principal with drawings of the pavilion built at Rockingham to review.

The Valley has hosted a carpentry contest at the Rockingham fair for many years but is looking at stepping that up for the coming year; adding more than just the contest. More opportunity for members to interact with the students, instructors, and the parents of the students; perhaps booths for the members to provide information about their companies, employment opportunities, etc…


Piedmont:  AGCVA Workforce Committees are building relationships with local colleges to elevate trade programs and create a direct pathway from certification class to employment.

Fluvanna County High School is building a tiny house.  VCIEF (AGC’s Educational Foundation) will working with the high school to raise awareness and support.

Members of the District Officer Council met with Ed Dalrymple of Chemung Contracting who has successfully implemented an apprenticeship program with his company, the Virginia Asphalt Association, and Germanna Community College. This program was mainly funded by grants from state and federal government. The Piedmont district is considering implementing this program with the PVCC. The district is planning a dinner meeting for the AGCVA members where Ed Dalrymple and several others who are involved in the program with provide pertinent information as to how the program was implemented and to answer questions.

The Piedmont District sponsors the M Scott Bradshaw Memorial Scholarship which is available to AGCVA members who are primarily based in the Piedmont district and the children of the same. The funds for the scholarships are obtained from the district’s annual golf tournament which is typically held in June each year. Additional funds are provided from friends of Scott Bradshaw’s who hold a friendly tournament the day after Thanksgiving each year and offer a donation to the scholarship fund.


Richmond:  AGCVA members are working at the ground level of Goochland Career Academies in the area.  Members are building relationship directly with the School Board, administration, and instructors to create a pathway from graduate to employment opportunities.


Nova:  SkillsUSA National Headquarters, located in Leesburg, will be conducting a nationwide project in which teams of students across the states will come to build a Leadership Amphitheatre.  Schools will be partnered with local contracting company for this hands-on learning project.  This will be a 6 week program in the summer of 2018.