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HUD Funds Cost Estimator Training Program

The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) and Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Launch a Cost Estimator Training Program on May 5, 2009

A new Construction Cost Estimator Training Program, funded by HUD through the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center's Opportunity Downtown Program, will help men and women in the construction field upgrade their skills, increase their earning potential, and help diversify the construction industry. The training is geared to encourage minority, female, and veteran participation in the rebuilding effort downtown. The course provides technical skills training to prepare students for challenging careers in the construction industry. Nineteen students are already enrolled.

The Cost Estimator plays a crucial role in construction, by collecting and analyzing data to forecast the scope, duration or total cost of a project for their employers. Knowledge of the construction business, skill in mathematics, and critical thinking are part of the curriculum. The Cost Estimator evaluates tools, materials, labor costs, money, climate, and time to create the construction budget.

The Building Trades Employer's Association (BTEA), in its report "Build NYC: A Blueprint for the New New York," citing information drawn from a survey of its 800 members, has determined that "the [construction] industry as a whole may face a shortage of skilled labor, management personnel, and entry-level employees," at a time when the pace of construction in New York City, particularly lower Manhattan, is expected to increase considerably. In addition to addressing these shortage issues, this training collaboration will address concern about the low-level of minority and female participation in the construction sector by engaging in specific outreach efforts to solicit participation by members of ethnic minority groups, as well as women.

Edie Howell of Wantagh has 25 years of experience in electrical engineering, but has been out of work for a year. She said, "Every job interview I've been on, they asked if I had cost estimating experience. I felt my resume was missing education. I needed to get cutting edge experience and I hope to get a job out of this class."

Carole Jordan of the Bronx has been a unionized carpenter for 5 years. She said, "I'm taking this class because I need to advance in my career. This is the next logical step in my career."

Recruitment for students to participate in the program involved the support and participation of many organizations across the city, including the BMCC Alumni Office, Helmets to Hardhats, Non-traditional Employment for Women program (NEW), the Project Hire Pre-Apprenticeship Program at Bronx Community College, the Edward J. Malloy Construction Skills Program, the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc., and a wide array of Community Based Organizations.

Into the future, BMCC projects that the new Construction Cost Estimator training program will be conducted three times annually, with one session being conducted during the Winter, Summer and Fall Terms. A total of 60 men and women will have the opportunity to advance their skills and careers annually as a result of this collaboration.

Content Archived: March 07, 2011

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