Over 15 states in the past three years have declared October as Careers in Construction Month. This dedication has allowed companies like Build Your Future and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), to promote the construction trade and celebrate individuals who chose the vocational route for education.
For Skillpoint, our story began with the construction industry. In 1994, our organization (formerly known as the Capital Area Training Foundation) was created by the City of Austin to help train the workers who were to transform the Bergstrom Airforce Base into a civilian airport, now known as the Austin-Bergstrom Airport, completed in 1999.
The Capital Area Training Foundation focused its mission on Central Texas residents who were eager to join the workforce and contribute to a project that would have lasting impact on the community. Today, we still empower individuals to join the growing skilled trades industry under the same rapid-training model we started with as the CATF. However, Skillpoint Alliance staff has redeveloped day to day programming to incorporate an equally important gap in the workforce – soft skills; to ensure a higher success rate for every participant completing the Gateway Program.
In Central Texas alone, there are over 230,000 skilled trade jobs under construction and manufacturing (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). While several thousand of these positions sit unfilled due to lack of skills, Skillpoint’s Gateway Program determines which market is in most need and modifies certification offerings to match the industry demand.
Our Gateway HVAC, Electrical, Pipefitting/Plumbing, and Machine Operator programs have graduated 92 participants in the past year, with 65% having joined the workforce in the field of their certification. Currently 10 Skillpoint graduates are enrolled in the Apprenticeship program at the JATC – Electrical Union in Austin.