Community Action of Allegan County Responds to Need for Affordable Housing and Skill Trades Workers

Community Action of Allegan County (CAAC) announces the launch of the Dual Community Development Program; a project to address the need for affordable housing and workforce development in Allegan County. Through this program, CAAC will connect high schools students and adult learners to career opportunities in building trades and construction; one of the fastest growing industries in the State of Michigan.

In February, through a partnership with CAAC, Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) will begin hosting Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training (PACT). PACT delivers core construction training, and provides advanced learning in eight skilled trades:

  • Weatherization
  • Carpentry
  • Maintenance
  • Plumbing
  • Masonry
  • Electrical
  • Landscaping
  • Painting

By receiving this training, students have the mobility to utilize their certificate in the area of construction that most interest them. Graduates from this 10 week Home Builders Institute (HBI) – licensed program will receive an industry-recognized and portable pre-apprenticeship credential. This credential is accepted by the Department of Labor and allows for entry-level employment as a Construction Laborer. Through partnerships with the local home building, industry and Michigan Works, CAAC will provide opportunities for graduates to find gainful employment and support services.

CAAC will run three training cohorts in 2018. The first training begins February 5th and runs through April 12th. Classes will be held on MCTI campus in Plainwell. Students will spend 75% of their time with hands-on project-based learning. This type of real-world training will address the need for healthy affordable housing in Allegan County, as students will be building energy efficient Structurally Insulated Panels (SIP) homes or remodeling existing homes to make them more livable.

Graduates of the training have the opportunity to earn up to $15.80/hour upon program completion. Michigan Works forecasts that nearly all roles in construction will increase at a rate greater than 5% through 2022. Construction laborer projects a 19.2% increase and a median annual pay of $35,713. From 2000 to 2009, Michigan lost 43% of its skilled trades workforce. This equates to roughly 60,000 workers exiting the industry without replacement. With these many roles left unfilled, there are numerous opportunities for entry-level and skilled individuals who are interested in the construction workforce.

The need for skilled trades is not going unnoticed at the state level. Governor Rick Snyder’s recent call for more workers trained in skilled trades and the state’s ongoing support for the home building industry confirm CAAC’s program comes at a time of critical need.

“We are excited to partner with Community Action of Allegan County in promoting the training that they are providing and the many opportunities available in the residential construction industry. “ Said Dawn Crandall, Executive Director for Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation, the nonprofit arm for the Home Builders Association of Michigan. “As companies, and people, move into the state of Michigan, the demand for housing increases. As the baby boomers begin to age out of the residential construction industry, demand for those who want a career in skilled trades increases.”

There are still openings for the February training and a waitlist is forming for other training classes that will be offered later in the year. Interested individuals should contact Christian Deuel at Community Action of Allegan County at (269) 673-5472 x269 for more information. Tuition is affordable and financial and transportation assistance is available based on eligibility.


Scroll to top