The national labor shortage is hitting the construction industry with an especially hard punch, but South Florida’s Current Builders has developed a transformative program to help alleviate the crisis. CB University is a free, bilingual, in-house program that educates motivated workers who want to advance to the next level. The general contractor recently announced the addition of an NCCER Master Trainer and four NCCER Certified Teachers to their in-house program.

“There is much talk in the news of what has led to the construction shortage, including the demise of the unions, immigration issues, negative perception among students, but we need more focus on what can be done to prepare ambitious workers in their quest to succeed,” said Chip Reid, Current Builders’ CEO.

With estimates of 300,000 unfilled jobs and 80 percent of companies saying their growth has been hampered by the shortage, the construction industry has been searching for ways to attract new workers and create loyal employees. Current Builders has utilized many successful programs including the ACE Mentorship program for high school students, internships and scholarships through the University of Florida’s Rinker School of Construction Management and the active recruitment of women into the industry.

While this multi-pronged approach has been effective, the most progressive has been the success of CB University, which was launched about ten years ago and now has 150 employees taking classes each year with an 80 percent completion rate.

“We offer this program to any employee who wants to ascend to the next level. It is commitment on both our parts, but the rewards are tremendous,” continued Reid.

“It takes tremendous dedication to work all day and then take classes,” said Reid. “But watching hourly workers move up through the organizational structure to achieve high-paying superintendent salaries, is a very gratifying experience.”

Current Builders invests an average of .125 percent of their annual revenues towards training, as this is the recommended model. The company’s commitment to this program is further exemplified by the in-house employees who completed the rigorous NCCER training to achieve their certificates in order to provide the best possible curriculum for their students.