McCarthy donates $75K for construction safety lab

Dive Brief:

  • McCarthy Building Cos. entered a five-year, $75,000 sponsorship of a construction safety lab at Collin College in McKinney, Texas, the contractor announced Tuesday during Construction Safety Week
  • The McCarthy Safety Lab, located at the college’s Technical Campus in Allen, Texas, will serve as a centerpiece of the school’s construction safety program, which Collin College said is the first of its kind in the country.  
  • The program is designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as entry-level construction safety officers by providing a wide variety of construction safety and management courses, according to a news release. The program gives students the opportunity to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree specific to the construction industry.

Dive Insight:

In addition to the funding, McCarthy personnel will provide guest lectures and demonstrations at the lab. The company’s gift will also support the recruiting of students nationwide and provide yearly scholarships via the Construction Management Excellence Fund, according to the release.

Safety classes are woven into Collin College’s broader construction management program which is a “two plus two” degree track, according to the release, where students earn an associate’s after their first two years with the option to continue to pursue a bachelor’s.

“Jobsite safety is the highest priority for McCarthy and we are thrilled to partner with Collin College on this endeavor,” said Nate Kowallis, senior vice president of operations for McCarthy’s Dallas office. “This safety lab will play a critical part in training and supporting our industry’s future workforce.”

McCarthy built the college’s Technical Campus, which opened in fall 2020 and specializes in high-demand technical workforce education. 

While ensuring that young people entering the workforce are trained in safety from the get-go, the program also addresses a larger issue: the labor crisis plaguing the construction industry. McCarthy is keenly aware of the issue — last year, Kristine Newman, McCarthy’s CFO, told Construction Dive that the labor shortage was the field’s biggest challenge.

“As an industry, I think we could have a more unified approach to the workforce shortage,” Newman told Construction Dive. “There’s a lot of great work going on in many different areas, but I think if we channel that into one unified approach, we might get to a solution sooner than later.”

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