Makes recommendations to policymakers and investors about how to structure pre-apprenticeship programs to help low-income adults enter and advance in the construction industry and to train a skilled workforce that meets the needs of employers, based on findings from site visits to four promising programs.

“Construction jobs provide low-income adults opportunities to enter the middle class. However, the path to quality construction jobs, including apprenticeships, is often difficult for those unfamiliar with the industry. While some workers struggle to build the skills, experience and knowledge necessary to enter and advance in a construction career, industry representatives…must diversify and improve the skills of their workforce to meet current demand....

In many labor markets, construction pre-apprenticeship training programs – which train people for entry-level construction jobs and are often led by community-based organizations, community colleges, local government, industry groups, [and] unions…grapple with these challenges. [From 2009 to 2012, the authors] studied how construction pre-apprenticeship programs connect low-income adults to construction careers and help construction employers find [a] diverse, skilled workforce.…During [the authors’] most recent research, [they] conducted site visits to pre-apprenticeship programs in Baltimore, [Maryland]; Milwaukee, [Wisconsin]; Portland, [Oregon]; and Hartford, [Connecticut], to better understand how these…programs relate to and partner with industry and other public and private stakeholders in their regional economies” (p.iv).

The four programs were selected because the authors believe them to be unique among other pre-apprenticeship programs in having “connections to broader networks of construction employers in their regional labor market” (p.5), based on prior research. This prior research includes a “nationwide survey of construction pre-apprenticeship programs” in 2009 and telephone interviews with leaders of programs that reported higher than average placement rates for “hard-to-serve populations” (p.5).

“In this paper, [the authors].…describe the construction industry using…data about the four cities where [they] conducted in-depth site visits….From there, [they] discuss the types of challenges that construction workers face in the industry….[and] the types of outcomes that pre-apprenticeship programs target for their participants….The report then describes how the four profiled programs…build industry networks and knowledge to inform their work as well as how industry perceives the value of pre-apprenticeship programs’ services….[The report] conclude[s] with recommendations…about how to better build and support pre-apprenticeship efforts” (p.4).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)