PlanGrid Launches Education Program for Schools & Unions to Narrow Technology Skills Gap in Construction Industry

PlanGrid, recently acquired by Autodesk and a leader in construction productivity software, today announced PlanGrid for Schools & Unions, a program that serves to empower construction workers to be more capable in the field and more competitive in the job market. PlanGrid for Schools & Unions enables educators at academic institutions and labor unions around the world to train construction workers on PlanGrid’s leading productivity software, used globally on over one million projects. The program gives teachers PlanGrid licenses to provide to students, access to a hands-on training curriculum of PlanGrid’s mobile-first software and direct support from the company’s professional services team.

While construction demand around the world increases, builders are scrambling to keep up. In the United States, the latest Commercial Construction Index reveals nearly 90 percent of contractors are reporting a skilled labor shortage. In the United Kingdom, 38 percent of industry professionals surveyed see squeezed access to labor as the top concern for the construction industry in the next 12 months. To address these challenges, employers increasingly demand workers with technology skills that help improve jobsite productivity.

PlanGrid for Schools & Unions arms industry educators with the training and resources they need to cultivate technology skills in construction workers around the world and boost workforce development. The program provides educators with:

PlanGrid training in-person or online

Access to free PlanGrid licenses for hands-on software use in classrooms

PlanGrid’s latest training materials, including customizable curriculums for classrooms at any level – from new students to established professionals

Dedicated support chat

A user forum for discussing trade-specific training insights, such as how to teach blueprint reading for the electrical industry

Several labor unions including the San Mateo Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center (JATC) and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice and Training Program currently use PlanGrid for Schools & Unions to prepare workers for the next steps in their careers.

“The JATC provides education of the highest standard to the electrical construction industry workforce,” said Kathleen Barber, training director, San Mateo JATC. “We train on PlanGrid because we see it being utilized in the field on a daily basis. In our apprenticeship program, it’s perfect for introducing digital print reading and demonstrating the collaboration required for construction management. PlanGrid’s functionality and ease of use are also invaluable for educating existing journeymen on the technology skills they need to meet the changing environment of the electrical industry.”

Schools in the US such as Penn State University and University of Louisiana at Monroe’s School of Construction Management, along with a growing number of schools in the UK and APAC, are also using PlanGrid for Schools & Unions to teach students the technology used on global jobsites.

“Construction education has typically focused on traditional methodologies and siloed project management solutions,” said Dr. Kenneth Park, undergraduate construction program director, Aston University. “However, as my students prepare for their careers, they want to learn the advanced technologies and tools transforming the industry. In addition to teaching the technical skills, PlanGrid for Schools & Unions helps me introduce the future of construction to the next generation by demonstrating how our traditionally analog and siloed industry can manage processes and collaborate across disciplines with simple software.”

“Construction is at an inflection point, faced with increasing demand, a labor shortage and rapid digitization,” said Tracy Young, CEO of PlanGrid. “Technology can help the industry achieve growth, but dedicated resources will help ensure workers hit the field with the software skills they need to succeed. PlanGrid designed the Schools & Unions program to improve the industry’s job vacancy ratio and help drive construction growth across the map.”

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