Cape Fear Community College’s construction management technology program recently partnered with the NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT) to certify students with the American Concrete Institute (ACI), a certification that may help students land a job. Concrete technicians, who serve as a main point of contact in the building of bridges, parking decks, curbs and medians, are in great demand.
Eighteen NC DOT employees helped facilitate the certification process by evaluating students’ performances on a variety of tests including concrete density, air content, air pressure and curing. The NCDOT/ACI certification includes a total of seven hands-on tests and one oral exam. Each test in the certification process is crucial to ensuring a sample of concrete will withstand heavy weights and winds.
As many DOT professionals approach retirement age, community college and university programs are helping to supply new skilled workers. “This certification is the big driver’s license in the construction world,” said Bobby Watkins, a DOT Section Materials Specialist of over twenty years who was excited to work alongside the rising generation of construction workers. “There is a big gap of knowledge and experience between the retiring generation and the up and coming one. This program is filling that gap and I think it’s awesome.”
CFCC is the first community college in eastern North Carolina to provide this certification opportunity for students. Construction Management Lead Instructor Jonathan Begueworked with the DOT to organize this training and certification event to broaden the scope of career options for his students. The NCDOT provided support from its eastern offices. This program is result of a region-wide partnership with the future of construction at the forefront.
“This really is a unique situation for students. It’s a streamlined path to success – students have the opportunity to get the training and certification for a rewarding career that desperately needs workers. If we can help our students get a job right after finishing the program, that’s wonderful,” said Begue.
For more information about CFCC’s Construction Management Program and how to apply, visit www.cfcc.edu/voc/cmt.