N.J. college tackling training gap for ‘middle-skill’ jobs

February 02, 2016

GLASSBORO — Millions of "middle-skill" jobs are expected to be added to the workforce next year, meanwhile the lack of quality technical education could hinder the enrollment of many of these positions, representatives from North America's Building Trade Unions say.

To help bridge this "skills gap," Rowan University has teamed up with NABTU to launch a bachelor's degree program in construction management, giving a "viable pathway to the middle class for many American laborers," a statement from NABTU's office in Washington, D.C. said.

By next year, 2.5 million middle-skill jobs — which require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree — will be added to the country's workforce. In New Jersey, 53 percent of all jobs in 2012 were middle-skill, according to the National Skills Coalition's website.

"The program is a career-oriented, professional-degree completion program, and is designed for individuals who possess existing college credits as well as on-the-job experience in the building and construction trades," the statement said.

The program will consist of 120 credits and those admitted "will possess either an associate's degree or other earned college credits with at least five years of relevant working experience in the building construction industry, including the completion of a skilled craft registered apprenticeship program.

Dr. Tom Kriger, PhD, director of research and education at NABTU, said the NABTU is really proud to be partnering with Rowan.

"We suspect this program will grow," Kriger said, commending Rowan's outstanding reputation. "We suspect we will have hundreds within a few years."

The program — which will cost $400 per credit hour — is specifically designed for building trade members and it will be available online "with opportunities to connect with faculty face-to-face each week using software similar to Skype."

The New Jersey Higher Education Commission approved the program in October.

Courses associated with the program include:

  • Building Construction Systems and Codes

  • Building Energy Systems for Construction Managers

  • Fundamentals of the Construction Industry I

  • Fundamentals of the Construction Industry II

  • Project Administration

  • Construction Cost Accounting, Estimating & Finance

  • Project Building Systems

  • Construction Project Planning and Scheduling

  • Industrial Relations in the Construction Industry

  • Building Construction Systems and Codes

  • Building Energy Systems for Construction Managers

  • Construction Safety and Loss Prevention

  • Advanced Leadership and Communication

  • Capstone Course

Applications are being accepted for the summer 2016 semester; deadline to submit is April 1. For the fall semester, the deadline is July 1.

To apply, click here, or to contact the admissions office, call 877–787–6926.

For more information on the construction management program, visitwww.rowanu.com. To see a virtual campus tour, visit www.rowan.edu.