Congratulations to all three Workforce Training General Grant consortiums that concluded in 2022: Prellwitz Chilinski Associates and HMFH Architects; Gensler and Arup; and Payette Associates and Saam Architecture. These three grants represent approximately $510,000 grant dollars used to provide over 1,100 hours of training for 630 unique individuals in our industry. And the results were impressive.
Built Environment Plus (BE+) participates in the Commonwealth Corporation’s Workforce Training Fund General Grant Program to improve the continuing education opportunities available to building industry professionals. The General Grant Program awards approved consortiums (companies that partner to apply for the grant) the opportunity to take up to $250,000 worth of training over a two year period. BE+ partners with companies in the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) industry to develop a curriculum and apply for the grant and then we administer the grant once awarded.
In 2022, we administered four Workforce Training Fund General Grants, consisting of nine AEC firms who worked together in four consortiums. Three of the consortiums concluded their grant period in late 2022, and the fourth will complete their grant period in July of this year. Each of the three grants is made up of a consortium of two or three AEC firms of varying sizes.
As the grant administrator, BE+ curated a list of diverse trainings to enable the consortiums to develop their staffs’ skills in sustainability, leadership and management, and technology. By collaborating with instructors across 38 organizations, the training we provided for the three consortiums that concluded in 2022 covered topics ranging from green building rating systems and high performance building technologies to energy modeling, embodied carbon software, communication, and effective team building skills. All in all, 242 trainings were held with a total enrollment of 2,700.
The education provided through the grant courses advanced our teams’ knowledge and reinforced our firmwide culture of continuous improvement and learning. The courses offered real-world education that contributed to talent attraction and retention, project wins, and competitiveness in a changing marketplace.
“As a result of the trainings, Saam’s productivity and performance has improved in numerous areas. For example, staff utilization for construction administration on LEED projects increased by 50%. Additionally, many of the staff now use Excel in much more efficient and advanced ways, allowing us to produce report graphics at a higher level.”
BE+ would like to congratulate these firms for their successes and for all the hard work they completed over the past few years to offer training sessions to their staff. We look forward to collaborating with them in the future. Over the course of the grant, the consortiums tracked progress made at their individual firms in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Below are examples of achievements that firms were able to celebrate at the end of their two-year grant period:
- Completed 13 green building certified projects between 2020 and 2022.
- 10% improvement in pEUI (predicted energy use reduction) across projects firmwide.
- Increased the use of in-house energy modeling, daylighting, and sustainable material assessments on projects by 30%.
- 50% increase in LEED Accredited Professionals on staff
- 15% increase in the number of projects performing life-cycle assessments (LCAs).
- Increased the number of energy modelers on staff by 50%
- 35% increase in the number of projects using Revit
- Increased the project win rate by 11% due to improved project performance and client relationship building.
- Achieved a 25% increase in the win rate of public projects due to improved leadership and management skills
- Achieved a 50% increase in the staff utilization rate for construction administration on LEED projects.
BE+ would also like to thank all of the instructors we partner with who provide hours upon hours of high quality, informative, and engaging trainings. Needless to say, the past few years have been an adjustment for all of us, and we are proud to have worked through the challenges with all of our partner firms and instructors to be able to continue to provide trainings.
In 2023, we look forward to reporting back to you the results of a General Grant currently underway that ends in July, with a consortium consisting of DiMella Shaffer, Leers Weinzapfel Associates, and BR+A Consulting Engineers. We also look forward to announcing new General Grant consortium partners soon whose grant period will start later this spring, and we plan to submit two more General Grant applications later this year.
Participating in the General Grant Program is an effective way to provide valuable skills to your firm’s staff across all departments and experience levels. Additionally, BE+ offers public trainings which are open to anyone to take and are eligible for Workforce Training Fund Express Grant funding for Massachusetts firms. Review our Upcoming Course List and register for some trainings! Review our 2023 Training Priority List and complete the BE+ Training Interest Form to let us know which specific training(s) you are interested in taking. If you are interested in being considered for a future General Grant, you can let us know that too on this form.