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Dwana Grace and Stacia Brightmon, apprentices from ABC member S&B Engineers and Constructors, attended an event at the White House on Oct. 31 to highlight the Pledge to America’s Workers, which continues to gather commitments from the business community to expand workforce development. 
The event was hosted by President Trump, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and members of the administration. ABC pledged to educate and develop an additional 500,000 construction professionals through the initiative at a White House event earlier this year.  
“Following my career in the Marine Corps, I found myself unemployed, working a bunch of dead-end jobs,” said Brightmon at the event. “I was looking for something more than just a job when I agreed to enter the women’s apprenticeship program at S&B. Not only do I have a job now, I have a career.” 
S&B works to attract women to well-paying jobs in the skilled craft professions through its Women’s Training Program. Brightmon is the valedictorian of her pipe fitting class at the Houston-based company.
ABC members invest $1.1 billion on workforce development to educate more than 475,000 industry employees annually, and ABC chapters have set up more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety programs across the United States. Yet more than 80 percent of ABC members report they have trouble finding skilled labor, which impacts construction firms of all sizes.