SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Associated General Contractors of California (AGC of California) is pleased to announce the AGC Construction Education Foundation’s (AGC CEF) workforce development program Build California received a $500,000 Equal Representation in Construction Apprenticeship (ERiCA) Grant for outreach and community building from the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). AGC CEF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit benefit corporation dedicated to inspiring, developing and equipping California’s current and future construction workforce.
The grant is the largest ever received by AGC CEF and/or Build California, a comprehensive workforce development initiative created to inspire, engage and activate the next generation of California’s construction workforce by shaping positive perceptions of the construction industry, informing young people and their influencers about the real career opportunities in construction and connecting them to local pre- apprenticeship, apprenticeship and other training programs.
Build California’s comprehensive outreach and community building program addresses perpetuated societal misconceptions about the construction industry’s wage-earning potential, safety and job variety and promotes access and positive exposure to girls/women, nonbinary people, former foster youth, and other underserved populations between the ages of 12-24. With a modern and popular “lifestyle brand” marketing, social and digital media forward approach coupled with career counseling support those who decide to pursue and apply for apprenticeship/pre-apprenticeship programs, Build California provides a sustainable and stable construction career pathway to millions of Golden State residents. In 2022 alone, the program reached over 28 million people through innovative social and digital media messaging and ads, school presentations, job/career fairs and other event activations.
“Build California plays a crucial role in building the California construction industry’s workforce pipeline to attract the next generation of construction workers,” said Peter Tateishi, chief executive officer of AGC of California. “Build California opens the door to present construction as a career of first choice with well-paying jobs to young people who might not otherwise consider this path due to ongoing misperceptions about who is welcome to work in construction.”
The ERiCA grant, administered through the DIR’s Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), will provide funding to Build California to dedicate to outreach and community building by improving access to training and employment opportunities for women, nonbinary and underserved populations within the building and construction trades. The funding will allow Build California to expand and develop new outreach, communication and programmatic efforts to reach over 10 million potential workers through targeted social media campaigns and over 10,000 young women/girls and other underserved individuals ages 12-24 through a minimum of 24 California high schools and community colleges partners.
Additionally, Build California will offer individual and customized career counseling services to underserved individuals statewide with a goal of placing 150 workers per year in partner pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship programs. The partner pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship program will also receive printed construction career outreach materials and other resources. Build California will also work with them to hold several contractor/employer “sponsor match” events statewide to ensure their program participants find placement in the next step of their construction career journey after graduation.
“Build California is incredibly honored and grateful to be one of the first recipients of the ERiCA grant, which will allow us to reach a far greater number of young people from underserved communities and afford them opportunities to learn about and pursue lucrative careers in construction,” said Erin Volk, executive director of AGC CEF, and senior vice president, workforce and community development at AGC of California. “Since the program’s launch in 2019, Build California’s intentional outreach strategy has aimed to increase awareness of and access to construction careers highlighting that careers in construction provide significant economic advancement and stability through well-paying jobs to people and communities historically underserved in construction – and the ERiCA grant will help Build California carry that message to a much wider audience in order to attract, develop and retain workers from diverse backgrounds.”
About the Associated General Contractors of California
Since 1920, the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC of California), based in Sacramento, California, has worked alongside members to provide advocacy, education, career development, and networking opportunities to experienced and next generation construction and contracting professionals. AGC of California advocates for contractors with state and local governments, while helping members connect with industry leaders through services, innovative programs and events. Learn more at agcofcabeta.wpengine.com.
About the AGC Construction Education Foundation
In 2001, the AGC Construction Education Foundation (AGC CEF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit benefit corporation, was created by construction industry leaders to address California’s future and current workforce needs and systemic barriers for underserved communities into the construction industry. The AGC CEF mission is to inspire, develop, and equip California’s current and future construction workforce. To pursue this mission, AGC CEF offers five programs: Build California, College Access & Success, Training and Education, Emerging Leaders and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Small Business initiatives. All AGC CEF programs work in tandem and are carefully designed to cultivate diverse student talent and empower young professionals and entrepreneurs to strengthen the construction industry to build a more prosperous California. In over 20 years of operation, the AGC CEF now directly serves thousands of diverse Californians annually, including over 5,000 high school and college students, more than 500 young professionals and 1,200 business owners.
About Build California
Build California, founded in 2019 and funded by the 501(c)3 non-profit benefit corporation AGC Construction Education Foundation (AGC CEF), is a comprehensive workforce development initiative created to inspire, engage and activate the next generation of California’s construction workforce. By shaping positive perceptions of the construction industry, informing young people and their influencers about the real career opportunities in construction and connecting them to local training programs, Build California authentically showcases diverse career and training pathways the modern industry offers. Through multiple platforms and targeted messaging, Build California presents a perspective that careers in construction are “cool” and creates a steady, motivated and skilled workforce pipeline for California’s construction industry. To learn more about Build California, please visit www.buildcalifornia.com.