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BUILD Program Celebrates Latest Graduating Class

Nov 9, 2018

The Northeast Indiana Building Trades, Fort Wayne Urban League, Indiana Plan, Northeast Indiana Works, Ivy Tech and the city of Fort Wayne celebrated an 8-person graduating class of the BUILD program.

BUILD (Building Trades, Urban League, Indiana Plan, Local and Diversity) is a free, four-week pre-apprenticeship training program that prepares participants for a career in the skilled trades.  The program is designed to assist people in being job ready, as well as having a clear understanding of the 18 skilled trades in northeast Indiana.

BUILD helps fortify an industry that provides good-paying jobs for individuals looking for a career, not just a job.

“This program is a hand up, not a handout,” said Leroy Jackson, a 43-year skilled trades veteran.

Fort Wayne is projecting a record number of construction projects over the next five years, necessitating a growing need for more skilled labor. Region-wide, meanwhile, it is estimated job growth in the construction industry will be about 10 percent in the next decade. That job growth, plus filing positions left open through retirements, will mean the industry will have to hire an additional 6,700 workers by 2028, according to data provided by Northeast Indiana Works. Twenty percent of workers in the construction industry are currently at or near retirement age.

People who graduate from the program will have earned a construction industry certification, First Aid/CPR certification, a customer service credential, and completed OSHA 10 training. They will have an opportunity to enter an apprenticeship program in their chosen field.

BUILD is funded by Northeast Indiana Works, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the city of Fort Wayne. The Urban League, Building Trades and the Indiana Plan oversee the program.