As part of its Phase II Facilities Master Plan, Southeast Community College is planning for a Construction Technology Center on its Milford Campus. This center will support construction-related programs, creating capacity to expand educational offerings and the number of students in these high-demand programs, including:
- Plumbing Technology
- Land Surveying/GIS/Civil Engineering Technology
- Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology
- Design & Drafting Technology Building Construction Technology Electrical Technology
- Concrete Construction
The new facility, estimated to cost $30 million, will allow SCC’s construction-related programs with space deficiencies to expand the number of graduates they produce on an annual basis and create opportunities for asymmetrical programing, including short-term programming, expedited retraining, and customized training.
These programs are designed to provide students:
- Adequate technical training in the areas of concrete, masonry, carpentry, drafting and estimating, cabinet making and house construction that will enable them to succeed at entry-level employment in the construction industry.
- An effective training program that meets the employment needs of the residential and commercial construction job markets.
- Proper training for the operation of concrete and masonry tools, carpentry tools and processes, drafting equipment, and wood fabrication equipment.
- A strong foundation of understanding in construction materials and construction principles and methods and hands-on experience with construction applications and processes that will allow them to succeed as an entry-level technician in the construction field.
The space will help SCC meet the workforce needs of its 15-county service area, greater Nebraska, and the region. The state of Nebraska is currently experiencing a significant workforce shortage in construction- related jobs. According to the 2021 Associated General Contractors of America annual workforce survey, 95% of Nebraska construction firms have open positions, with 90% reporting having difficulty filling some or all craft positions. Other findings from the study include:
- The majority of respondents said filling positions is challenging because there are not enough qualified candidates to work in the industry, with 43% of firms citing an increase in their annual number of employees in the past year.
- Further, 91% of responding firms note needing to increase pay rates to help fill open positions, and 87% expect to add new employees in 2022.
- Perhaps most important to their bottom lines, 73% of firms say a lack of skilled workers is causing delays on project completion times.