RCA Series Makes the Grade
In a collaborative effort that started more than four years ago, Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of NAHB, and educational publisher Thomson Delmar Learning continue to raise the bar in trades training through first-of-their-kind educational materials focused directly on the residential construction industry.
Based on skill standards developed by NAHB employer members and educators from across the country, the Residential Construction Academy (RCA) Series teaches carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and facilities maintenance. The national standards for the industry follow guidelines from the National Skills Standards Board Institute, and the process that was used to create the educational series met or exceeded American Psychological Association standards for occupational credentialing.
RCA Series textbooks and multi-media resources are geared for vocational and workforce development programs in high schools and post-secondary educational institutions such as community colleges.
As more and more home builders associations and members present the materials to their local schools to reinforce the industry’s commitment to promoting skilled labor in the trades, the RCA Series continues to receive a favorable response from educators:
- Travis McQueen, an assistant professor at Somerset Community College, says that the RCA Series includes “the best book hands-down for carpentry programs today.”
- “I particularly liked the way the material was presented and organized,” says Joe Moravek, a corporate training coordinator at Hunton Trane in Houston. “I would recommend this material for anyone that wants to learn the HVAC trade from the ground up.”
- “I do like the ‘Residential Construction Academy: Basic Principles’ book. The test generator is very helpful," says Tracy Carvell, an instructor at the Tennessee Technology Center at Pulaski. “I am credentialing my first students this quarter, and they seem happy with the extra recognition.”
In addition to quality instructional materials — including textbooks, videos, CD-ROMs and on-line resources — HBI provides industry credentialing for training and education programs that use the materials and skills standards and has compiled a national registry of students who have completed units of instruction.
National Testing, a newly released feature of the RCA Series, consists of a set of practice tests and final exams for each craft-skill area. Practice tests track student knowledge of the material as well as provide instructors with important information for curriculum planning. Final exams provide a measure for evaluation at the conclusion of each trade-based training program.
The unprecedented strength of the nation's home building industry continues to fuel the need for qualified trades people. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the construction industry needs 200,000 new workers each year to keep up with consumer demand and attrition. The RCA Series is one way in which the industry is attempting to address this shortage by increasing the professionalism of its workforce through national standards of excellence and quality teaching resources.
For more information on the RCA Series, e-mail Joseph Krinock at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8928.
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