The PHCC National Association and the National Center for Construction Education and Research, known as NCCER, have combined forces to begin creating a new and improved curriculum and textbook for the PHCC apprenticeship program. A committee comprised of members from both groups met from June 17-20 to commence on their mission, which was to review, critique and makes changes to the currently used NCCER first year apprenticeship curriculum and deliver the new version to the publisher by October. The committee began the 3-day meeting in Washington, D.C. by reviewing the objectives of the entire 4-year apprenticeship curriculum.

By infusing ideas from both organizations the goal is to create one superior curriculum. “It was a lot of work, I was exhausted,” says Tom LeDuc, “and this was just the beginning.” The committee will meet 5 more times over the next 2 yeas to overhaul each of the 4 years included in the curriculum. The entire curriculum will be finalized by the fall of 2005. The first year apprenticeship textbook should be available in April or May of next year.

By combining the two groups into one publication the PHCC takes advantage of the publishing benefits that come with the higher number of books printed. “We will double the number of books sold and spend less money,” explains LeDuc, “Because of the printing quota we will exceed, the textbook will be 4-color instead of black and white, like we had, at no extra charge.” The textbooks will be published by Prentice Hall.

The NCCER approached the PHCC to form this partnership. “They wanted to update the curriculum and they wanted to know what the PHCC thought it should include,” says LeDuc, a PHCC Master Apprenticeship Committee Member, who was invited to participate, “I’m the only person on this committee who’s not a teacher.” The seven committee members are a combination of apprenticeship teachers and Kirk Alter, a professor from Purdue University, whom LeDuc previously worked with on a PHCC National Foundation program.

The committee will use conference calls and a Yahoo Group Internet format to share curriculum text and changes that are being made as the process unfolds. One other bit of news that Tom LeDuc received at the meeting was, “After this project is completed, the journey level assessment project will begin in February of 2005.”