Training the Next Generation
December 22, 2017
By Sundt Construction and Central Arizona College
An innovative partnership between Sundt Construction and Central Arizona College (CAC) is training the next generation of skilled trade workers.
In conjunction with Sundt, CAC is offering five pre-employment one-year certificates and one three-year academic apprenticeship program that will lead to certifications, certificates and degrees that prepare students for workforce needs including heavy equipment operator, structural welding, pipefitting, industrial construction and concrete construction technology. The first semester attracted more than 140 students.
“Sundt values our partnership with Central Arizona College in developing construction professionals and seeks to establish additional partnerships with schools that utilize NCCER curriculum in the markets we serve,” said Sundt Chief Administrative Officer and NCCER Board Member Dan Haag.
Before the Sundt partnership, CAC mainly focused on residential building. In order to meet the growing needs of commercial construction, administrators worked with Sundt leadership to develop craft trade pathways in structural welding, heavy equipment operations, industrial construction, pipefitting and concrete construction technology.
Sundt and CAC collaborated on the design of every aspect of the courses and programs. Sundt provides instructors for two of the pathways, and equipment and materials for pipefitting and welding. CAC furnishes on-site lab space and office space for Sundt personnel and instruction.
“We are pleased to have industry partnerships with companies such as Sundt Construction that lead to vibrant academic programs, increased college enrollments, and the ability to fill industry vacancies that put more individuals to work,” said CAC President Jacquelyn Elliott.
Programs matching the public and private sectors are important. The Associated General Contractors reported that 73 percent of construction companies surveyed expect to have trouble finding qualified help even as the industry’s needs are increasing.
The courses meet standards for the National Center for Construction Education and Research, American Welding Society and Occupational Safety and Health Administration 30-hour requirements. Students who complete the Associate of Applied Science can pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Industrial Technology Management at Northern Arizona University or a related degree at universities in Arizona.
The course costs $2,500 to complete. Any graduates hired by Sundt receive a $1,000 bonus from the company.
“Sundt has a longstanding history of partnering with and supporting education,” Haag said. “Whether they are with K-12, community colleges or universities, these partnerships are vital to our long-term success. There are win-win opportunities all around us with our education partners and, in the end, students get prepared for starting their careers and becoming contributors in their communities.”