Local employers in the construction industry are invited to describe their needs during a session next week at Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus.
In collaboration with the employment offices in New Hanover and Pender counties and New Hanover and Pender County schools, CFCC is hosting the listening session 3 to 5 p.m. Monday.
“We always want to stay in touch with local employers and find out what their needs are,” said Erica Talbert, associate dean of continuing education at CFCC. “We hadn’t done an outreach like this and we just wanted to do that and get them all in a room and hear what their needs are so we can make sure we’re offering the classes and the programs that can benefit their employees.”
The need for skilled workers and workforce training has been a major concern for the construction industry in recent years, locally and nationally, said Cameron Moore, executive officer of the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association.
“I think for our industry it’s critical,” he said of Monday’s session. “I hear repeatedly from my members that just the labor force in general, whether it be laborers, whether it be superintendents, project managers, there’s certainly a lack thereof in our industry.”
The continuing education program at CFCC has the flexibility necessary to help employers fill those needs more quickly, Talbert said. For example, a masonry company has approached CFCC about creating a program that could produce a masonry assistant, she said.
“What we’re looking to do is kind of offer shorter classes for people who are either looking to get a job quickly in the construction trades industry or who work already for a company that wants to send them back for some quick training to help them do a better job,” Talbert said.
Moore said he’s glad to see CFCC “take that leadership role in the community because they’ve got everything at their fingertips, in my opinion and the HBA’s opinion, to hopefully make a dent and boost employment for the construction industry here at the local level.”
The event Monday will be held at the CFCC's new Advanced and Emerging Technology's Center on its North Campus, 4500 Blue Clay Road in Castle Hayne.