CCDI was founded by Clayco in 2015 in response to the aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri to provide a program for selected young adults in North County to help them overcome barriers to success, pair them in long-term one-on-one mentorship, offer financial support, and create opportunities for job placement. Clayco’s vision and ultimate goal with CCDI was to support workforce diversity and bridge the gap in workforce development. Clayco realized this task could not be completed alone and over the past 5 years CCDI has grown beyond the walls of Clayco to include many partnerships in the St. Louis community with school districts, local leaders and general contractors and subcontractors.
CCDI’s mission is to bring diversity to the Design and Construction industry by mentoring and exposing minority, underrepresented and underserved students to career development in construction. Our guiding principles include: One-on-one mentorship, raising awareness for construction opportunities, spread knowledge about the industry and provide life skills training needed to succeed, assist with job placement, and encourage young adults to be lifelong learners.
Nationwide the construction industry is thriving, but as baby boomers continue to retire, the gap in finding qualified workers to hire continues to increase. Over the past few decades, our society has moved away from the idea of going into a skilled trade as a successful career path as the rise in higher education has become a more popular choice. One of our many goals within CCDI is to help change the stigma of skilled trade careers by cultivating renewed interest in apprenticeship programs and vocational schools with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.
CCDI works closely with high schools in underserved communities in the St. Louis area. Our vision is that through these educational relationships, CCDI students will learn about design and construction, receive exposure to job opportunities in the industry, create career paths for themselves and opportunities for college scholarships and promising futures. CCDI currently has 70 active students who attend monthly events and 40 students who participate in our one-to-one mentorship program. We also closely work with North Technical High School’s Construction program. Each year we host a spring hiring event to help connect these graduating seniors to full-time careers in the industry, as well as place junior students in summer internships. CCDI has helped place over 75 students into full-time positions in the construction industry since 2015.
CCDI’s annual Build Our Future Scholarship is awarded to top-qualifying high school seniors who exhibit a desire to pursue employment in the construction industry through the fields of engineering, architecture or construction/project management. CCDI has awarded this scholarship since our infancy in 2015. We have assisted over 25 students with scholarships to pursue higher education. Our program has partnerships with UMSL Wash U Joint Engineering Program, Missouri Science and Technology, Missouri Western and Ranken, to name a few. In addition to financial assistance, CCDI offers guidance, tutoring and mentorship throughout our students’ collegiate journey from job shadowing to internships to career placement. The Build Our Future Scholarship is not just for 4-year bound college students. We have several apprentice scholars who work full-time in the field and attend college classes in the evenings. These students aspire to work their way up the industry pipeline while obtaining valuable on the job training.