AGC of California's Construction Education Foundation Launches Go Build California Initiative


The demand for skilled labor has become a national crisis. Currently, the average age of a construction worker is over 50 years old, and for every five workers who leave the industry, only one replaces them. Without action to attract skilled workers to the construction industry we face severe problems in any effort to build or maintain our nation’s infrastructure.

In California, strengthening the state’s labor force has become an even higher priority with the recent passage of a 10 year, $52 billion transportation and infrastructure improvement plan. Recognizing the need for an industry-wide solution, Associated General Contractors of California’s Construction Education Foundation launched Go Build California ­ a comprehensive industry image enhancement and recruitment campaign to inform and inspire the next generation of skilled workers.

“We have been pursuing workforce development efforts for many years,” AGC of California’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Holsman said. “This latest endeavor with Go Build California will help overcome societal stigmas and get younger folks interested in construction.”

As part of a sustained outreach and messaging campaign, Go Build deploys its message across a variety of mediums – including TV, print and digital advertising, social media channels, an engaging website, grassroots outreach, and educator tools, such as trade videos, classroom materials and more. “Go Build is the nation’s most comprehensive and effective workforce development initiative,” AGC of America CEO and Go Build national board member Steve Sandherr said.

“In developing the Go Build initiative, we realized that only a sustained marketing and outreach effort would cause a paradigm shift in the public’s thinking about the skilled trades. Go Build’s unique, multi-platform approach is unmatched in its scope, strategy and measurable impact. We’re actively engaging and inspiring young people and offering a national rallying cry for our industry to coalesce around: Go Build,” said Bob Woods, CEO/President of Go Build.

Tommy Burleson (of Go Build Tennessee and AGC of America Life Director), calls Go Build’s strategic approach “a game changer when it comes to how our industry communicates with younger generations.” Go Build’s impact has been significant, where in Alabama career tech course enrollments have increased 24% and 3 out of 4 apprenticeships have experienced a substantial increase in applications. Even better, 51% of career tech students surveyed said they were influenced by Go Build Alabama’s outreach and advertisements to pursue a career in construction.

Since its founding in 2000, AGC of California’s Construction Education Foundation has worked to develop and strengthen the professionalism and effectiveness of individuals in the construction industry. “We are extremely proud to bring Go Build to California,” said Mike Mencarini, 2017 AGC of California President. “The success seen in other state campaigns that have launched Go Build is tremendous. Partnering with Go Build advances our [AGC CEF] mission to another level.”

This article originally appeared in AGC Constructor Magazine.

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