How Rives is building Alabama’s future construction workforce

Posted on January 13, 2023 by Rives Construction

January is National Mentoring Month, and Rives is training Alabama’s construction workforce through our support of Academy of Craft Training (ACT).

ACT is a public/private partnership between the commercial construction industry and Alabama’s K-12 education system that offers students educational and employment opportunities in the construction industry.

“The lack of skilled workers is one of the leading problems our industry is facing today. It is critical that we do everything in our power to hand down these trades to the next generation,” says Brad Avery, Senior Vice President of Rives Construction.

Rives began working with the ACT in 2017. After an interview process, we work with selected students over their holiday breaks throughout the year to give them hands-on experience on a construction site.

At the end of the school year, we interview our top candidates and make formal job offers for full-time positions.

National Mentoring Month

“By choosing to go straight to the workforce, these students or their parents do not have to take on the debt of student loans, living expenses, books, etc. Instead, they are spending those years developing a trade that no one will ever be able to take from them and getting paid to do it,” says Avery.

Rives currently has four full-time employees that came directly from the ACT and three to four students working on a part-time basis during school breaks.

Avery believes the experience the ACT offers these students is invaluable to their construction careers.

“The ACT is run like the students are already on a jobsite with no cell phone policies, wearing personal protective equipment, respecting their superiors, etc. Therefore, when the students graduate and go to work, they know exactly what to expect and how to be role models for others on a jobsite that might not have had the privilege of attending the ACT.”

With a labor shortage likely to continue, Rives is focused on evolving hiring efforts to ensure qualified candidates continue to enter the construction industry.

“Rives believes that the most healthy way to grow and promote is from within the company. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a young employee learn from a seasoned veteran.”

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