Construction underway on Orion roller coaster at Kings Island

New Butler Tech program to prepare students for growing industry

The program will begin next fall for students in Butler Tech’s Landscape Design and Construction program, said school spokeswoman A.J. Huff. She said the program will accommodate up to 25 juniors and 25 seniors each school year.

The program supports jobs in a growing industry, said Patrick Jacomet, Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) executive director. His association’s members project hiring hundreds of new employees over the next two years, and thousands over the next five years, he said.

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“These factors, along with an aging workforce, makes now the right time to offer training that can lead to a long and successful career in the construction industry,” Jacomet said.

Jacomet said he believes this program is “groundbreaking” and is not aware of similar programs in other states.

He said combined with the asphalt, concrete and construction job outlook, “thousands of new, great-paying career opportunities will be available. MACC Tech credentialed graduates will have the knowledge and skills to immediately join this growing workforce. The career opportunities for these students in the areas of mining, road and bridge building, home building, new industrial construction and infrastructure are endless.”

Construction and extraction jobs are expected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s faster than the average for all occupations, a gain of about 704,000 new jobs, according to the BLS.

People in these jobs will be the ones building new buildings, roads and other structures.

The MACC curriculum will provide a broad base of knowledge, including the basics of aggregate production, building materials like asphalt and concrete, and construction equipment and techniques. Students will also learn about ancillary career paths associated with the construction and materials industry.

In Ohio, the construction and extraction industry employs 185,480 people earning an average of $48,740 a year, according to BLS.

The Ohio Department of Education approved the MACC Tech program this past July, which qualifies it as an Innovative Workforce Incentive Program.

Earning that qualification prompted the OAIMA, Ohio Contractors Association, Flexible Pavements of Ohio, and Ohio Concrete organizations to pledge $20,000 to support Butler Tech’s program, Huff said. She also said the funding will provide equipment, tools and training to implement the program.

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Jacomet said support for Butler Tech’s MACC Tech program was decided for several reasons, “not the least of which is their forward-thinking, dedicated and energetic administration and staff.”

“Butler Tech is uniquely positioned in the heart of Southwest Ohio where there is a great need for MACC Tech-skilled individuals due to the growing population, growing infrastructure needs, as well as the concentration of mining and construction companies in this area of the state,” he said.

He also said the school’s acquisition of the former Americana Amusement Park property allows for the future growth of MACC Tech, and other programs.

“Our goal is to offer MACC Tech statewide, and we are actively looking for partners in other areas of the state,” Jacomet said.

The Butler County technical school has schools and campuses in Liberty, Fairfield and West Chester townships, and cities of Hamilton, Middletown and Monroe.

Key industry associations and education partners recognized the need for quality trained and skilled workers in the construction and extraction occupations. Additional partnerships and support include: I Build America Ohio, SkillsUSA Ohio, Ohio University, University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University.

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