Story last updated at 12/17/2008 - 3:45 pm
The Alaska Construction Academy, a training program that helps place workers in the construction trades, has been named a national award-winner by the Construction Users Roundtable, or CURT.
CURT is an association of leading corporations in the United States and Canada that aims to promote cost-effective construction methods and recognizes the need for training and recruitment for workforce development.
The Alaska Construction Academy was one of three workforce awards given that recognizes extraordinary, exemplary and innovative training and education programs that lead others to a career in the construction industry.
Alaska's Construction Academy was formed in response to a critical shortage of skilled workers statewide. Industry officials say more than 1,000 workers are needed each year.
During its first year, more than 450 high school students enrolled in construction trade classes, held after the regular school day and during the summer.
In the second year, academies were expanded to six Alaska communities, where more than 1,500 students were trained.
In the adult portion of the program, more than 100 were trained in the first year, and over 300 during the second year.
Reports from the Alaska Department of Labor show that 70 percent of the adults trained are now working in construction jobs.
The academy is a partnership of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, Alaska Works Partnership, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaska Homebuilding Associations and local school districts.
Accepting the award was AGC's Construction Education Foundation Executive Director Richard Cattanach. Kathleen Castle heads the academy.