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About the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation

Join a Partnership That Works

The DC Students Construction Trades Foundation works in partnership with District of Columbia schools to provide meaningful teaching and learning experiences for students in the Academy of Construction and Design. 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 have also supported D.C. Public Schools facility improvement. Generous donors contributed financial, in-kind and volunteer hours to renovate the Academy’s initial training facility at Cardozo Education Campus and to support building improvements at numerous schools in the District.


Our Vision

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 Education Campus.


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. schools to support the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo Education Campus and to extend the Academy’s educational outreach to middle and high school students citywide. Students enrolled in the Academy acquire skills and proficiency in technical courses that are integrated with the high schools.

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.

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