STARTING POINT Initiative
Starting Point is ABC of Metro Washington’s first grant effort to develop a pipeline of skilled individuals for our members. The initiative addresses the skilled labor shortage by providing Construction Orientation Readiness Education (C.O.R.E.) to individuals, then the businesses providing 90-days labor/helper experience, and ending with the individual beginning an apprenticeship program after the 90 days, which the grant pays for the first year of classroom training. The grant focuses on HVAC, Plumbing, and Sheet Metal trades; other trades can be considered.
In 2019, six ABC of Metro Washington members committed to hire and provide apprenticeship opportunities: Kogok Corporation, JCM Associates, JRA & Associates Contracting, Fidelity Engineering, Shapiro & Duncan, and Mechanical Engineering & Construction Corporation (MEC2). During prescreening, individuals with murder and sexual offense convictions were disqualified from the pool of candidates. In October, members conducted additional screening and chose 15 individuals to enter training. C.O.R.E. started December 2, 2019 with 13 individuals. Along with C.O.R.E they received supplemental support. The gentlemen completed C.O.R.E on January 13, 2020, and are ready to begin their career. This group of men have demonstrated they are focused and determined to take advantage of the opportunity. They arrived 15-40 minutes before class each morning and maintained a GPA above 94%. They are motivated and enthusiastic about working for an ABC of Metro Washington member company. Eleven trainees completed and five of the individuals had previous construction experience or closely-related experience.