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About the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation

Join a Partnership That Works

DC Students Construction Trades Foundation believes in the ability of every person to find success when pathways are offered to them. Our programs are designed to serve District residents at many levels:

  • We introduce middle school students to the broad range of careers in the building industry.
  • We engage high school students in hands-on learning experiences and positive peer interactions that build successful paths to graduation, careers and post-secondary education.
  • We help apprentices and their employers meet continuing education goals through instructor-led and directed study programs of related instruction.



Career and technical education had been around for decades. But, by 2000, lack of interest and low enrollment had caused District of Columbia schools to virtually abandon these vocational training classes.

Working with business and community partners, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation launched the Academy of Construction and Design in 2005. The Academy brought skilled trades courses back to public schools and generated new interest in career and technical education as a viable pathway to work, college and careers.

The Foundation launched the Build a House – Build a Future construction education program in 2010. Academy students completed more than 240 industry-accredited training modules as they helped build a 2,000 square-foot, single-family house in Northwest Washington. Each year, the program offers opportunities for high school CTE students to gain hands-on training at building and renovation sites. Academy students are currently building a micro- house at a site in Northeast Washington that is dedicated to teaching students and residents about energy-efficient design and sustainable living. These unique mentoring and training projects are made possible by the generous support and involvement of industry training partners and employers.

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D.C. Students Foundation
Academy of Construction & Design at Cardozo Senior High

Apprenticeship Academy