If there’s one thing we can do collectively to advance our industry, it is to ensure that we continue to attract and retain talented people to meet the nation’s ever-increasing construction needs. October is Careers in Construction Month, and ABC is highlighting programs that promote life-long learning experience—and national recognition based on achievement at every level.

ABC’s Trimmer Construction Education Foundation (TCEF) honors the best and the brightest by sponsoring annual competitions and awards as part of its mission to train and retain the construction industry workforce. And competition season is beginning to heat up. Here’s a rundown of the careers in construction award programs and deadlines to apply.

The Construction Management Competition (CMC) is a hallmark ABC competition that promotes careers in construction management. It features teams of four college and university students from ABC Student Chapters testing their construction knowledge, time management, organizational and presentation skills. Winners of the CMC will be honored during ABC's Leadership Week in San Diego Nov. 8-12. ABC also honors the Student Chapter of the Year at Leadership Week. The award recognizes accomplishments in programming, community service, communications/public relations and interaction with its sponsoring ABC Chapter during the academic year. But time is short: apply for CMC and Student Chapter of the Year by Oct. 16.

Next up, the Careers in Construction Awards reinforce construction as a meaningful career and celebrate the achievements of ABC members and chapters in areas related to outstanding workforce development initiatives during Workforce Week, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, March 1-4, 2016. ABC’s annual National Craft Championships (NCC) offers craft trainees from chapter and member firm training programs across the country the opportunity to come together to compete in 13 crafts in an intense two-day event at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center, March 3-4. File your Intent to Compete application by Dec. 1.

Two individual Careers in Construction Awards are presented annually during Workforce Week. ABC’s Craft Professional of the Year (CPOY) honors an individual who sets a high standard for professionals in their craft by exhibiting outstanding skills and leadership. The winner is a master of skills whose commitment to excellence makes them the ultimate example of merit shop success in the field. The Craft Instructor of the Year (CIOY) Award goes to an instructor who possesses outstanding creativity, a positive attitude, and the ability to transfer knowledge through good communications skills and innovative teaching to promote lifelong learning to our future workforce. The recipient of this national award best embodies the merit shop ideals through superior effort and talent. The deadline for applying for these awards is Jan. 11, 2016.

Even if you are not competing for any of these honors, you can play a role by using the checkoff box on your annual dues renewal form to contribute to TCEF, or make an individual contribution to this a non-profit charitable organization. By supporting Trimmer, you support the awards programs that recognize the best and the brightest in our industry.

For more information, contact Kirsten Krauer at (202) 595-1864 or krauer@abc.org.