CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is building a workforce-development program that will provide information, training, apprenticeships and other resources to its students and community members.
It will focus on high-demand fields within the construction industry, including architecture, engineering, carpentry, marketing, interior design, HVAC, plumbing, landscaping and 3-D prototyping.
The effort is being led by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with construction firms and nonprofits. The program will complement the district’s existing Career & Technical Education pathways, strengthen community partnerships and support the workforce pipeline.
“We are excited to partner with our business community on providing a diverse and inclusive workforce to meet the growing needs in our community,” said Chiquitha Lloyd, CMS director of diversity and inclusion. “These opportunities will benefit not only our students who are our future workforce, but also, through our nonprofit partners like Goodwill and Urban League, the unemployed and underemployed citizens of our thriving community.”
As part of CMS’s 2017 bond projects, architects and construction management firms were required to include workforce development plans with their submittals. Each firm has agreed to provide students with speakers for career days, job shadowing, mentors or internships. Each construction firm will have hiring goals and provide a plan with the number of positions available, target audience and resource partners. Once that is determined, students will be made aware of the needs through CTE and the public will be informed through community meetings.
The first workforce-development project will be in partnership with the new West Charlotte and Olympic relief high school builders. Edifice, Rodgers Builders and Holt Brothers Construction are the companies contracted.
“This effort is important to lift up the communities we are fortunate to work in, but also critically important to the cultivation and sustainability of labor for our industry,” said Terrence Holt, president of Holt Brothers Construction.