Alachua, Florida (Oct. 16, 2019)—With a focus on empowering people to build their future, Build Your Future Arizona (BYF Arizona) was established through a private-sector, industry-driven campaign of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation in partnership with the national Build Your Future (BYF) initiative. BYF Arizona showcases the incredible opportunities available for people to find fulfilling, high-paying careers in the construction professions—careers that can be started right out of high school, with minimum training, and allow for earning money while you learn.

The campaign is led by a steering committee made up of representatives from the more than 35 construction businesses who have invested over 2 million dollars in the effort thus far. The initiative is supported by a number of community partners, including the American Subcontractors Association of Arizona (ASA), Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA), Arizona Masonry Council (AMC), Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona (AMCA), and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) - Valley of the Sun Chapter).

“To me, BYF Arizona is our industry’s effort to educate and inform the Greater Phoenix community about what many of us have known for quite some time: that individuals can make a great living and build a lifelong career in construction,” shares Mike Brewer, Steering Committee chair, chief executive officer (CEO) of Brewer Companies/Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

BYF Arizona aims to provide education about a great path to success that the community may not have known about. For those who do not believe 4-year colleges are a good fit, or who do not believe the debt is worth the value received, they can achieve their dreams via professional construction careers.

The first step is raising awareness about the high-potential careers available in the skilled crafts. In addition, BYF Arizona is working to increase applications to employers, decrease time to productivity and increase retention. 

“BYF Arizona will lead the way in educating people on how rewarding it is to be a craft professional and restore respect and pride to those wearing hard hats and building Arizona,” states Mike Bontrager, Steering Committee fundraising chair, southwest region president of Adolfson & Peterson Construction.

Despite positive trends and record levels of construction activity in the Greater Phoenix area, 93% of respondents in a 2016 survey said the labor shortage is preventing their business from growing. There are an estimated 155,000 additional openings projected in construction through September of 2022. The industry has come together to create solutions that ensure continued prosperity for individuals and economic growth for the Greater Phoenix region.

“Construction drives the economy in Arizona. As one of the fastest growing states, it is imperative that we have a construction workforce available to meet the relocation and expansion needs of our businesses. We have over 200 people moving to Phoenix daily, and they need a place to call home. We need a qualified workforce to build Arizona,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation.

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