Cadillac Asphalt is Michigan’s largest asphalt supplier, with the capacity to produce more than 4 million tons annually. It runs seven paving crews with 200 employees during the heart of construction season. However, with the growing economy, potential road funding increases and pending retirements, the company predicts it will need to double its size by 2020. Filling the skilled trades employment gap is the biggest issue in the construction and infrastructure industries today, especially in Detroit.
In the past, the industry relied on word-of-mouth, website postings, and cherry-picking seasoned employees from competitors. None of these strategies worked really well, and Detroit’s staggering under- and unemployed – approximately 300,000 city residents – kept staring us in the face. Cadillac Asphalt knew it had to do something innovative to reach them. Two years ago, it partnered with Michigan Laborers’ Union and developed a pre-apprenticeship program that benefits both them and the contractor and creates a pipeline of opportunities for our future employees. The union helps by setting up job fairs, and when Cadillac Asphalt finds someone with the right attitude, the desire to work, and who will fit in the demanding construction industry and company culture, they are hired into the Future Paving Professionals Program, or FP3.
Learn more about Growing Your Workforce With Pre-Apprenticeships