How does Nunn support the local construction labor workforce? We are often asked this question, timeless in its relevance, both for our current projects and for the future work we pursue for our team. Careers in Construction Colorado (CICC) has always played a persistent role in our answer and with good reason; this nonprofit serves as a valuable ally, helping us connect with students interested in construction and skilled trades while benefitting their communities.
Getting started in any industry can be tough. Employers often look for experienced employees while employees, many newer to the workforce, seek workplaces to build that craved experience. Since their founding in 2015, CICC has been dedicated to bridging that divide. They provide training in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and OSHA 10 safety from volunteer industry professionals for students to develop the skills they need to turn that first step into a bounding leap forward into rewarding careers.
GROWING ACROSS COLORADO
During its first year, CICC started with 18 students at one school. In our February story about Career Technology Education programs, we mentioned CICC has since grown to 48 Colorado high schools. Since then, they have continued onboarding schools and participating students. Take a look at just some of their impressive statewide statistics:
- 8,057 students have been enrolled in CICC, with 2,773 enrolled for 2022-2023.
- 62 schools across Colorado have participated in CICC.
- CICC reported 2,773 students enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year, an increase of 1,169 more students from 2021-2022.
- More than 1,000 CICC students have been hired in the construction industry.
- 15% percent of CICC students identify as female, 5% higher than the national average of female construction workers.
RECRUITMENT STARTS LOCALLY
Nunn is honored to be a Bronze Donor for CICC. Vice President Phil LaSarre, who joined CICC in 2016, serves on the State Board and finance committee. He estimates Nunn hires approximately 20 CICC students every year, and we will continue hiring these students as we grow.
“One of the things I appreciate about CICC is how this organization not only gives students valuable opportunities, but it also involves them in their community,” said Phil. “They are giving back to the industry while they develop and refine valuable skills for their careers. CICC’s impact is lasting, and really becoming widespread, which has been exciting to see.”
Phil added, “It’s truly the best high school trades program in the country. There are now over 8,000 students enrolled in 62 schools across Colorado!”
He mentioned how the Colorado Springs community has benefitted from the CICC Home Build Program, which involves building a 1,200-square-foot modular home on school district property every school year. The program recently completed a home for the 2022-2023 school year at Coronado High School, in Colorado Springs School District 11, that will be sold and moved with all proceeds reinvested in the CICC program. For the 2023-2024 school year, seven high schools are building houses:
- The MiLL, Widefield School District 3
- Power Technical (PTEC), District 49 and James Irwin Charter Schools
- Liberty High School, Academy District 20
- Coronado High School, Colorado Springs School District 11
- Patriot High School, District 49
- Manitou Springs High School, Manitou Springs School District 14
- Lewis Palmer High School, Lewis-Palmer School District 38
KEEPING TEACHERS IN COLORADO
CICC is also involved in the Housing for Education Initiative with Habitat for Humanity and Widefield School District 3. Through this initiative, CICC plans to use their Home Build Program to provide affordable housing for Widefield residents and educators. With Colorado teachers typically able to afford only 1 in 5 homes in our state, the Housing for Education Initiative is a valuable tool geared to help teachers stay in Widefield School District 3 while also recruiting new talent. While the initiative’s details are currently still in progress, we are looking forward to updates on their steps to combat the statewide affordable housing crisis.
We owe everyone involved in CICC our thanks and appreciation: from the students learning a new trade, to their experienced professional mentors dedicated to teaching them while somehow also finding time for their day jobs, and the school districts signing up to get their schools involved in the program. All of them play pivotal roles in the future of Colorado’s construction workforce, and their educators and communities are rewarded from this organization’s continued growth and generosity. CICC makes possible a Colorado all of us at Nunn are proud to see and continue serving for another 40 years.