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Stephen Mitchell, CPC, is an AIC Board Member

Stephen Mitchell Interview: Why Certification Supports Construction

The construction industry depends on competent, well-trained, and certified professionals to execute construction projects. The industry gains strength when workers can validate their skills, knowledge, and training through certifications.

Unfortunately, not every professional in the industry has the necessary education and training to successfully participate in the industry. AIC is working hard to close that gap by working closely with educators, the business community, project owners, and other industry partners to support the individual constructor.

The more that stakeholders buy into the value of education and training, the more workers will be prepared to receive professional certification in the industry. Certification then becomes the standard by which all professionals are measured.

To accentuate the importance of certification, we recently sat down with AIC board member Stephen Mitchell, CPC, to discuss this critical topic.

Stephen Mitchell Shares Perspective on Professional Certification

Stephen Mitchell is a Sr. Project Manager for Lambert Construction in Oklahoma. Stephen was recently named by the Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma (AGCOK) as the Project Manager of the Year, a high honor given to an individual constructor.

As an industry leader in construction, Stephen understands the importance of a high-quality workforce to execute project scope for owners. He also works for a company that is building a competent talent pipeline by establishing clear requirements for incoming professionals.

Lambert Construction requires graduates of Construction Management degree programs to complete our CAC Level I certification exam, enabling students to validate their knowledge and skills before entering the workforce.

“We started requiring all of the seniors, as part of their capstone course, to take at a minimum level, the CAC examination from AIC,” says Stephen. “And then they are encouraged to continue on and take the CPC exam.”

Professionals can sit for our CPC Level II exam after amassing significant experience in the construction industry. We appreciate that Stephen’s company is committed to our certification process and supporting workers well after receiving the initial certification.

There are tangible benefits when companies buy into the entire certification process to help their workforce advance from Level I to Level II certification.

“AIC is a very good organization that allows people to associate with other people that have the same values and type of education. There is also a lot of knowledge from the Fellows and the experienced people who have been in AIC and around construction for many years,” says Stephen.

“There are people who have experienced different things. It’s good to be able to associate with them and have conversations with them about an issue you’re not familiar with. You can visit with people who have experienced, get connected, and find answers or direction to help you with your projects.”

Clearly, the quality of work in the industry improves when companies commit to helping their workforce receive professional certification, advance in their career, and learn from other constructors who have already walked the path. The result is a more competent and capable workforce ready to accelerate constructor excellence.

The Future of the Construction Industry Depends on New Talent 

One of the challenges for the construction industry is building up future workers who can replace experienced constructors aging out of the workforce.

Stephen Mitchell recognizes the importance of aspiring construction managers participating in AIC at a ground-floor level as they progress toward certification.

“Getting involved is very helpful for the younger generation to learn and hear things from people who have experienced projects. It’s a very good education,” says Stephen.

We appreciate Stephen’s insights from his video interview about the importance of certification to ensure that qualified professionals lead, guide, support, and execute construction projects.

Moving forward, AIC will remain focused on growing the industry through a robust certification process for current and incoming professionals. Whether you are a contractor, individual constructor, or stakeholder in the industry, we encourage you to take an active position in supporting the growth of our industry:

  • Contractors: require your workers to receive professional certification through AIC.
  • Individuals: sit for the CAC Level I or CPC Level II exam according to your experience, skills, and knowledge.
  • Owners: encourage contractors to utilize certified professionals on your jobs.

When everyone buys into the value of certification, the industry can flourish. Have questions about whether you can become an active participant in our industry? Contact us today to discuss opportunities to get involved.

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