Hmong American Nonprofit Creates Pathways To Construction Careers For St. Paul Hmong Community

By Barbara Hall

 

 

 

ACTx Construction Training Program offers construction training, industry certification and placement in good paying union jobs, and future opportunities in construction business ownership.

The Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA) has launched ACTx, a new job training program to help Hmong American and other St Paul community members get jobs and build lasting careers in the Building Trades. With a building boom, St. Paul and the Twin Cities region are in dire need of skilled construction workers. In many cities across Minnesota, the shortage of construction works is delaying projects and driving up costs that are passed on to consumers. ACTx is helping to prepare Hmong and other community member to fill these jobs and benefit from the good pay, health care insurance, and retirement packages offered by union and non-union employers. Community members learn the ins and outs of the construction industry and process and, for those interested in being entrepreneurs, are also prepared and connected to support and resources needed to start and own their own construction company in the future.

Certified by the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER), ACTx provides participants a well-rounded understanding of basic construction practices and prepares them for hard hat pre-apprentice and apprentice jobs ranging from laborer, electrician, sheet metal worker, and many more that can lead to career advancement as professional journeymen, foremen, project estimators, and project managers. AEDA is working with Hmong and other small construction companies to provide hands-on paid work experience and connections to a network of builders seeking skilled workers. Program participants earn $15 an hour as they develop the skills at AEDA’s Maplewood training center which will position them to earn as much as $30 – $60 per hour depending on the occupation of skilled building trades.

ABOUT AEDA

Founded in 2009, AEDA is a St Paul, MN-based community development organization founded and still led by Hmong Americans and other Asians. AEDA is most known for its Little Mekong Night Market (Littlemekong.com), an annual art and culture summer street festival which drew 40,000 people to enjoy delicious Southeast Asian inspired and other foods, performances, and fun family-friendly activities offered by mostly Twin Cities Asian vendors. The organization supports Asian and other entrepreneurs with starting and growing small businesses, including many construction companies in need of skilled workers.