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MT Contractors Association program receives national recognition

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News from the Montana Contractors Association

HELENA — The Montana Contractors Association (MCA) is thrilled to announce that the Build Montana education program is the recipient of the 2022 Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) National Chapter Workforce Development Award.

“Build Montana is helping young Montanans receive valuable hands-on training and preparing them for construction careers,” David Smith, MCA Executive Director, said. “We are excited about this national recognition and the potential for reaching more students.”

AGC recognizes a chapter for innovative and outstanding workforce development accomplishments each year. Build Montana was selected for the award from the 89 affiliate chapters. MCA will also present the Build Montana program to AGC Chapter Workforce Summit attendees in Phoenix in November.

Build Montana is a partnership between the MCA, the Montana Equipment Dealers’ Association, and the MCA Education Foundation, designed to generate excitement and promote careers in construction. The program helps students identify the education and training needed for various construction career paths and provides access to training, funding, and job placement resources.

This past year, high school students in Billings and Kalispell participated in Build Montana, completing three months of online and site-based experiential learning. Students learned about machine and job site safety as well as machine components and function, machine operation, and construction engineering and technology.

RDO Equipment Co., Knife River, COP Construction, Tractor & Equipment Co., and Tri-State Trucking and Equipment partnered with the program in Billings and Knife River, Schellinger Construction, and RDO Equipment Co. participated in Kalispell. Through these experiences, students toured job sites and got direct experiences with autonomous machine control, drone aerial mapping and surveying, and time inside heavy equipment cabs. The program will start in the Missoula Public Schools in January 2023.

“Build Montana has benefits beyond the students’ success,” Smith said. “As participants complete the program, construction companies have greater opportunity to hire skilled employees who are well prepared for the demands of the industry.”

Construction equipment operators earn an average of $26 hour (2021 reported). Most commercial contractors offer robust health and retirement benefits.

As the program continues to receive national recognition, MCA hopes to expand the program to other Montana schools allowing more students to explore careers in construction.

For more information about the Build Montana program, please visit:

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