- Westminster, Colorado-based building technology firm Trimble recently partnered with three universities to open labs for training students in the architecture, engineering and construction fields.
- Virginia Tech, located in Blacksburg, opened a Trimble Technology Lab on Sept. 28, the university announced. Ohio State University in Columbus opened two facilities that will serve construction and agricultural students — one at the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster on Oct. 5, and another at the Ohio State main campus on Oct. 6, Trimble representative Cori Keeton Pope told Construction Dive. A third location at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, will welcome students in early 2024, according to the school.
- The company currently operates 30 labs across the world, Amy Northcutt, the director of education and outreach for Trimble, told Construction Dive via email. Northcutt said the firm wants to open more training facilities as part of a multipronged program for education and outreach in the industry.
Trimble’s goal for the facilities is to train students in construction technology techniques, Northcutt said. The labs will feature high-end technology key to the industry, which educators can use to train students. Purdue’s, for example, contains a broad range of Trimble’s geospatial and construction products and software solutions.
Getting college students interested in construction technology is key to keeping projects staffed. Construction’s labor needs are dire — a February analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors found that the industry would need to hire 546,000 workers to match demand in 2023. ABC also predicts that demand for labor increases by 3,620 jobs for every $1 billion in new spending.
“Developing young workers who want to enter jobs in construction is a key part of overcoming those labor challenges,” Northcutt wrote.
U.S. contractors are turning to younger generations as they look to fill open positions. Students are banking on those opportunities, as more apply to construction and technology programs to get a head start on their careers.
“We want to make sure we continue to give the next generation hands-on experience with the latest technology available so they can enter the job market with the knowledge and skill sets needed to land a great job where they can continue to move the industry forward,” Northcutt said.