About the D.C. Students Construction Trades
Join a Partnership
The DC Students Construction Trades Foundation
works in partnership with District of Columbia Public Schools’
strategic goals to provide meaningful teaching and learning experiences
for students in the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo
Senior High School. We strive to support student achievement, offering
instructional excellence and access to internships, scholarships
and post-secondary education, job placement and career opportunities.
The Foundation and its partners also support
D.C. Public Schools facility improvement. Generous donors have contributed
financial, in-kind and volunteer hours to renovate the Academy’s
training facility at Cardozo Senior High School and to support building
improvements at numerous schools in the District.
We believe 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.
In 2002, a dedicated group of business, community,
school and faith-based leaders began seeking a solution to a serious
problem that negatively impacted residents and threatened long term
economic vitality in the District of Columbia.
The District was attracting new residents and
creating desirable urban neighborhoods through commercial and residential
redevelopment in blighted and long neglected areas of the city.
As the pace of development quickened, developers and construction
contractors faced even greater challenges than before in recruiting,
hiring and retaining skilled local employees. At the same time,
many District workers, particularly residents in communities with
chronically high rates of unemployment, remained virtually shut
out of the city’s economic growth due to lack of skills, training
or job readiness.
In response to these challenges, chief executives
of Miller & Long Co., Inc., Sigal Construction and MC Dean began
discussions with the JOBS Coalition and District of Columbia Public
Schools to find ways to strengthen the District’s job training
pipeline. Together, they established a public-private partnership
that launched the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo
Senior High School.
Taking a New Approach
Career and technical education had been around
for decades. But, by 2000, lack of interest and low enrollment had
caused D.C. Public Schools to virtually abandon these vocational
training classes. Working with business and community partners,
the D.C. Students Construction Trades Foundation began to host job
fairs and workforce forums throughout the District.
While these efforts achieved limited success
in helping local residents get and keep jobs, the Foundation and
its public-private partners knew the long term solution demanded
a new approach. Together, they launched the Academy of Construction
and Design to bring skilled construction trades courses back to
the District. As a result, these industry-accredited programs generated
renewed interest in specialized technical study as a viable pathway
to work, college and careers.
A Model for Change
The District of Columbia Students Construction
Trades Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization working in
partnership with D.C. Public Schools to support the Academy of Construction
and Design at Cardozo Senior High School and to extend the Academy’s
educational outreach programs to other District middle and high
schools. Students enrolled in the Academy acquire skills and proficiency
in technical courses that are integrated with the high school’s
academic class schedule.
The Foundation also sponsors adult education
at the Academy, offering apprenticeship instruction for employees
of construction firms and contractors registered with the D.C. Department
of Employment Services Office of Apprenticeship.