Academy prepares students for trades careers


ABC Commercial Construction Prep Academy’s mission is to fill the local employment gap in commercial construction trades. 

ABC Commercial Construction Prep Academy launched its Hamilton County site at Ivy Tech in Noblesville in 2018 and recently moved to Fishers at 11837 Technology Lane. There are three other ABC Commercial Construction Prep Academy campuses in Indiana. They are in New Albany, Flora and Fort Wayne. 

“The Prep Academy moved from the Ivy Tech campus in Noblesville to a large stand-alone facility in Fishers due to rapid and continuing growth,” said Robert Kneberg, the organization’s direcdtor. “Currently, there is (500,000) commercial construction worker shortage nationwide. The Prep Academy helps to fill that gap in central Indiana by serving as a vital pipeline to the commercial construction workforce in central Indiana.” 

ABC Commercial Construction Prep Academy is a hands-on, two-year program designed to introduce high school juniors and seniors to commercial construction trades. It also offers further education and apprenticeships. First-year students can earn industry-recognized certifications such as OSHA 10, first aid/CPR/AED, fall protection, skid loader, forklift and other vocations. Second-year students are dua- enrolled in the first year of an adult apprenticeship of their choice. They can earn certificates such as NCCER Level 1.

“This means that students can complete the first year of their typically four-year adult apprenticeship while still in high school,” said Kneberg, a Greenfield resident. “Everything we do is designed to develop skilled and employable individuals and serve as an effective pipeline to aligned summer internships, employment and ABC apprenticeship opportunities leading to essential careers in the construction trades.” 

Fifth students are enrolled at the Fishers campus. Next year, Kneberg expects to have 75 students.

“The commercial construction trades provide people the opportunity to earn a good living with benefits and job security in an industry that cannot be outsourced and is pandemic- and economic downturn-resistant,” Kneberg said. “During the pandemic, the restaurant sector just got hammered really bad. But in commercial construction, electricity needs to stay on, HVAC still needs to work, plumbing – all these things, they are resistant to a pandemic. Even in an economic downturn, these are essential things for the community, for the state and the nation. They can’t be outsourced, which is great.”

For membership questions, email Angela Kenmir at [email protected]

or call her at 317-596-4950, extension 103. 

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