By Tom Demeroplis, Senior Staff Reporter, Cincinnati Business Courier
Four years ago, Allied Construction Industries, Spirit of Construction Foundation and Cincinnati Public Schools partnered on a new method of workforce development.
Thanks in part to a $104,000 grant from Impact 100, the partners were able to bring construction into the classrooms of Woodward Career Technical High School. The program, Construction Career Advocacy Program, has now had more than 2,500 students go through and get project experience in the construction industry.
Lydia Burns, Cincinnati's construction career advocate for ACI, said this program helps the construction industry improve its talent pipeline, provides additional support for educators and gives the students a career option many had not thought about.
"This is a different way of doing workforce development," Burns told me. "The hope is it's mutually beneficial for us and educators."
This is the fourth year of partnership with CPS, and the results are beginning to show.
The initial program had three deliverables:
- A community build project
- Certifying Woodward Career Technical High School as a recognized pre-apprenticeship program with the state of Ohio
- Developing a project-based learning curriculum to increase engagement and passage rates in algebra 1.
The build project — a residential project in Bond Hill with Habitat for Humanity — is now in progress, all of CPS is now certified and Math Applied in Construction now has projects available for math grades 5-8, algebra 1 and geometry with continued development in progress.