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Workforce Under Construction Part 6: Go Build


Launched in 2010, the Go Build campaign’s mission is to educate young people and others about the value of learning a construction trade, dispelling misconceptions about the industry and encouraging them to consider building a career as a skilled construction professional. Go Build promotes its message through outlets such as mass media and social media. At the grassroots level, the program focuses on attending high school career events—which includes anywhere from 50 to 80 events per year and puts the message in front of almost 100,000 students every year. “If we can inspire students or someone else and get them interested, we have a number of resources, including a website and mobile app, they can use to learn even more about the industry and begin to connect with construction training programs in the state,” said Jason Phelps, executive director of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute, which created and manages the campaign. “We are the front end of the recruitment piece, and we are working to get them to take those first steps. We empower them with the information needed to take the first steps.”

Now in its fifth year, Go Build’s messaging is having an effect. After experiencing the program’s message, students are two times more likely to refer friends and family to the industry and almost 20 percent more likely to consider going into the construction industry. In a survey conducted of high school career tech students in 2013, 33 percent said Go Build actually played a role in choosing a construction career. “During that same period, the Alabama Department of Education had a 30 percent increase in enrollment in construction classes that year,” Phelps added. “That’s a great correlation as far as students’ responses and an actual increases in classes around the state. We just finished up the 2015 survey, and this number has actually increased to approximately 50 percent who were influenced to go into construction because of Go Build.”

Going forward, the Go Build program will continue building on its foundational mission. Campaign leaders created new TV ads geared towards a younger audience and are developing more ads encouraging students and others to look at construction training opportunities that are available. Also being created are occupational videos, which are short videos that highlight specific tradespeople around the state. “These are short one to three minute videos that have someone talking about their career, why they made the decision to get into and why they like it,” Phelps said. “We’ve been doing these as often as possible and found they have been very effective in helping people learn about different career opportunities.”

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