In 2005, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation launched the Academy of Construction and Design, rejuvenating career and technical education in DC. A-CAD offers a hands-on curriculum that builds skills (math, carpentry, mechanical drawing, blueprint reading), encourages academic success (94% of seniors graduate), and prepares students for college and careers (with seminars on topics like interviewing, writing college essays, and career networking). Each year, students test their knowledge at real building sites in the city; partnerships with local construction firms offer internships, mentoring, and job placement opportunities. These experiences set Academy graduates apart from their peers – whether entering the workforce or continuing their education. The Foundation also provides adults with fully-certified apprenticeship training, offering evening classes to help balance career-enhancing coursework with home life and employment. The Academy builds promising futures. So can you.
COVID-19 Update: The Foundation worked closely with high school partners and sponsoring employers to help keep students engaged and help apprentice trainees progress toward licensing, certification, and graduation in June. It adapted its program to comply with social distancing guidelines and offered paid summer jobs to help youth and their families. At the request of DCPS, virtual learning best practices are being replicated to support students in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, and introductory construction and engineering classes at Phelps High School. Students will come together in small, socially distanced groups to resume hands-on building projects when reopening and recovery plans allow.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 3
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 7; Sponsoring citywide career and technical education programs.
Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students
Schools They Work In: Our ACAD BUILDS Internship program engages students from public and public charter high schools throughout Washington, DC.
- High school graduation rate of Academy students:
- Number of students we encourage to succeed in school annually:
More than 150
- Number of CTE graduates who enter skilled trade jobs and apprenticeships after high school:
- Number of CTE graduates who apply to attend 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.:
Awards & Recognition
DC Students Construction Trades Foundation is building an outdoor classroom pavilion at Jefferson Middle School Academy on Maine Avenue SW, across from The Wharf. The project is a joint effort of the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and District of Columbia Public Schools, highlighting career and technical education in Phelps ACE High School and STEM learning at Jefferson Middle School Academy. The project also supports paid internships for juniors and seniors from the District’s NAF Career Academy high schools. As construction nears completion, plans are underway for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early 2023. Follow our students' progress on Instagram: DCstudentsCTF
Through our Build a House – Build a Future construction education and internship programs, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation connects local youth with industry employers and work-based learning in carpentry, electrical, HVAC and other technical specialties. Nearly 100 students, community residents, faith-based leaders, school administrators, building industry executives and District government officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony on our first student-built house in Northwest Washington. DC Students Construction Trades Foundation owns a bank of properties for future projects, including our home building site on East Capitol Street in Northeast Washington, that will be active in 2023. Proceeds from the sale of finished homes are reinvested in this training program to help D.C. youth access building industry careers.
Washington Post Real Estate featured the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and the tiny house design-build completed by students in the Academy of Construction and Design. The article highlights the Academy's role in bringing skilled trades classes back to District of Columbia schools when it opened in 2005.
Construction Executive Magazine Careers in Construction spotlights the Academy of Construction and Design as one training program bringing skilled trades education and training to underserved youth and people from all walks of life. Academy trainees have been featured in national cover stories.
WHUT Public Television American Graduate Day broadcast recognized the Academy of Construction and Design, with its accredited sponsor, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation, as a local partner delivering innovative solutions that encourage high school students, including at-risk youth, to stay in school and graduate with skills and certifications for college and careers.
The Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy has given its coveted seal of approval to DC Students Construction Trades Foundation since 2011. The Foundation is honored to be a featured nonprofit in the area of Youth Education and Enrichment, offering programs that put District of Columbia high school graduates on paths to jobs, college, and careers.
The Washington Business Journal’s Greater Washington Green Business Awards honored John McMahon, chairman of Miller & Long Concrete Construction, Inc., for his leadership in establishing the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation. High school CTE students participating in the Foundation’s innovative Build a House – Build a Future training initiative were featured and recognized during the awards ceremony attended by business and community leaders.
The District of Columbia Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Awards recognized the Academy of Construction and Design, in partnership with the Green Builders Council of DC and Miller & Long Co., Inc., as the education and training site for the first green building curriculum approved for use in District of Columbia Public Schools Career and Technical Education pathways.
DC Students Construction Trades Foundation was honored to receive a community impact grant from Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., Metro Washington Chapter in honor of the industry association’s 50th anniversary of service to construction industry firms and contractors in Greater Washington.
The D.C. Building Industry Association presented its Achievement Award to founding members and advisors on the board of directors for the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation in recognition of their visionary leadership in creating the Academy of Construction and Design, which was launched at Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, DC, in 2005.
- $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- The current budget for District of Columbia Students Construction Trades Foundation is: $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
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