President Message 11.17.21

By: G. David Sload, President-CEO, ABC Keystone

As we move through November, we have many things within our industry that we are celebrating. This past October was designated as Careers in Construction Month, and that was certainly something to celebrate. We continue to thank and honor you, the great individuals that make your career in construction. Without you, our country grinds to a halt. Without you, there is no need for trade associations like ABC.

Each Careers in Construction Month, in addition to thanking and honoring our construction professionals, we seek to educate students, parents, and educators on the types of careers that can be achieved within the industry. We invited the public to see these careers in action at our annual local craft competition. This event determined which apprentice is the “best of the best” within each trade here at ABC Keystone. I am excited for the team that earned the opportunity to compete in ABC’s National Craft Competition in March 2022. The Keystone Chapter team will represent their trades, employers, and the Chapter very well.

For the fourth straight year, we hosted our fall session of Construction Wars during Careers in Construction Month. This middle school career exploration event saw over 150 students experience hands-on activities, and it was a great introduction to what our industry has to offer career-seekers. Construction Wars is made possible because of the many volunteers that not only assist during those days, but also share their real-life experiences to help these young minds gain a grasp on the many career paths that exist.

As we move through November, we celebrate National Apprenticeship week November 15-19. For those of you who don’t know, our founders saw fit to start the culture of apprenticeship training in 1968. We graduated our first class of apprentices in 1972, and we have graduated students every year since. This year, we celebrate our current 352 students in the program who have decided to make construction their career of choice. We thank the members that sponsor these young people and who have such a strong commitment to the industry.

Our apprenticeship program is expanding! I am pleased to announce that we received approval from the PA State Apprenticeship Council for a new trade program, Assembler–Pre-Engineered Metal Building. This new two-year program will bring ABC Keystone’s number of trades supported by apprenticeship to eleven.

Additionally, ABC Keystone has been asked to take on the registered apprenticeship that is needed by the Central PA Chapter. As a result, the Trust and the Apprenticeship Committee have begun strategic planning to make sure we continue to improve and meet our member’s needs and the needs of Central PA.

ABC Keystone is a leader in workforce development. That’s what Careers in Construction Month in October and National Apprenticeship Week in November are all about. We first must get individuals interested and engaged in the industry. Once you, our members, employ them, we need to provide the tools you need to advance your employees’ career paths.

Join me in celebrating and honoring these fine individuals that have decided to join our great industry.

G. David Sload
G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO

Posted November 17, 2021