Ohio’s aggregate producers have long struggled to find qualified applicants for a growing workforce. And with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a faster-than-average Construction and Extraction Industry employment growth rate of 11%—equating to over 747,600 new jobs—through 2026, that need has never been greater.
Today, a focused professional-development program is providing long-anticipated optimism. The Mining, Aggregate, Concrete & Construction Technology (MACC Tech) Program is a two-year/three phase, 332-hour curriculum designed to provide students with practical knowledge of aggregate production, asphalt and concrete production, and construction equipment and techniques. “MACC Tech is a groundbreaking program, not only for the aggregate industry but also for asphalt, concrete and the construction industries who recognize the need to provide educational opportunities, and to expose people to the careers we offer,” said Pat Jacomet, Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) executive director.
Initiated by OAIMA in 2018 and supported by Flexible Pavements of Ohio, Ohio Concrete and Ohio Contractors Association shortly thereafter, the MACC Tech Program has garnered universal support from Ohio’s vested industrial organizations, municipal entities and educational institutions. “Everyone I’ve talked to wants to help this program,” said Jacomet. “We are really excited and the membership support has been overwhelming. Our members are ready to roll.”
Networking is another key advantage of the program. “There are so many opportunities for members to participate and help teach,” explained Jacomet. “This exposes MACC Tech students to our industry’s professionals. They are going to want to be a part of it, so we have maximized those points of contact for the students and our members. That is what really wraps MACC Tech up in a bow. When these young people graduate, they are hired by someone in our industry. That networking is key and is what will drive this program moving forward.”
The Ohio Department of Education approved the program as a state-recognized education credential in 2019.
The Ohio Department of Education approved the program as a state-recognized education credential in 2019. What’s next? Jacomet said the plan is to roll out the program to Career Technical Centers (CTCs) across Ohio and then regionally. While the pandemic slowed roll out, Butler Tech in Southwestern Ohio is currently onboarding the program and other CTCs are showing interest. Jacomet states that interest is strong and growing both regionally and nationally. “While COVID has slowed roll out, many schools are utilizing our on-line training offerings such at the Ohio Level 1 Aggregate Technician Training. MACC Tech has served to introduce students to career opportunities in our industry. As the program is fully implemented and schools return to normal operations, the program will continue to gain momentum.”
Another long-term objective is for the program to partner with CTCs with overlapping programming in associated industries and to become a sustainable entity. Jacomet anticipates also adding adult and veteran program segments to the program. “Because the program will be housed at Career Technical Centers across the state of Ohio, it will be an easy transition to include adult education and veteran training,” he added.
Materially contributing to Ohio’s, and the region’s, industry employment dynamic for decades to come is, of course, the ultimate objective.
If you share in the vision and want to support the MACC Tech Program and your industry’s future by assisting with development of industry-specific topics within the curriculum, or hiring of program graduates into your business … contact Pat Jacomet today at (614) 428-7954 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director, Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association
Pat is a familiar face to many in the industry, accruing over 30 years of experience in the aggregates, construction materials and testing industry. After obtaining a master’s degree from Ball State University, Pat spent 15 years in the work force before joining the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association in 1999. Today, he serves as executive director, working across the board with state and federal agencies to ensure Ohio’s mining industry remains a safe, environmentally-conscious and community-friendly contributor to Ohio’s economy.
Pat resides in Troy, Ohio with his wife Terri. They have five children and seven grandchildren.