Learn how Adaptive Construction Solutions is Supporting Veterans
Many states are using Registered Apprenticeship to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for businesses and to expand career opportunities for job seekers. Texas, for example, is committed to increasing veterans’ participation in apprenticeship. With over 1.7 million veterans, the State has the second largest veteran population in the nation. ApprenticeshipTexas has supported Adaptive Construction Solutions (ACS), a Houston-based, veteran-owned and -operated company, with developing and registering apprenticeship programs in 18 occupations, primarily in the skilled trades.
ACS is the largest veteran-focused apprenticeship program in Texas and includes female veterans, veterans with disabilities, and veterans who have been incarcerated. Eighty-five percent of the apprentices ACS serves have barriers to employment, and 68 percent are racial or ethnic minorities. Candidates are recruited through workforce system partners and social media promotions targeted to veterans. ACS screens candidates using pre-employment assessment tests and workplace behavior models, focusing on individuals’ abilities and identifying the best fit between employers and candidates.
ACS has a strong network of partners and leverages resources from federal, state, and local agencies and programs, ensuring that apprentices have the support they need throughout the program.
- Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions, the Houston/Galveston regional workforce investment agency, assists ACS with recruiting apprentices and screening applicants for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program eligibility.
- ACS is on the Texas Eligible Training Providers list, which ensures that eligible apprentices can access WIOA Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) to pay for the first year of their related instruction. ITAs are provided to approximately 90 percent of apprentices; the remaining 10 percent receive scholarships from the program for their related instruction costs.
- The workforce agency funds eligible apprentices’ tools and supplies, provides transportation stipends, and offers ongoing coaching to promote success.
- ACS has become a grantee of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, which allows them to assist homeless veterans entering the program with timely housing assistance.
Through its holistic approach to leveraging resources, ACS has also significantly reduced the initial training costs for participating employers. The program stipulates that employers contribute to program costs once the apprentices they employ have demonstrated success, typically in year two. ACS also manages on-the-job wage reimbursements for businesses and processes Work Opportunity Tax Credit applications for the veteran apprentices hired, which further offsets employers’ financial investments.
ACS recognizes that each of its partners has a significant role to play in ensuring the success of its programs. By focusing on businesses’ needs and promoting ongoing communication across all stakeholders, ACS has developed a successful and replicable model that meets the needs of its business customers and apprentices. Now in its third year, ACS has served more than 500 veterans, with a six-month retention rate of 82 percent. Strong business satisfaction with the program is evidenced by continued hiring of qualified veteran apprentices.