The Construction Trades Education Curriculum was formed in 2014 when city officials and private businesses recognized the need to have qualified applicants to fill a rapidly aging building and construction trade workforce. During those discussions, the urgency of finding those qualified applicants was highlighted. Soon after the initial meetings, Lake Land College and the area school districts were involved, participating or advising the CTEC Board in some capacity.

A CTEC advisory board was created consisting of city officials, private business representatives and school district representatives. This board charged itself to build a curriculum, find students and create a program that is beneficial not only to the students but also the businesses that will potentially hire those students.

The CTEC Board decided to base their program on the successful CEO Class program already in the area. The students would be pre-screened via an application and interview process. The CTEC class itself would be a non-traditional, hands-on classroom where students are encouraged to take "ownership" of the learning process. The CTEC curriculum was created from the business community with advice from school officials and would allow for students to learn the basics of a multitude of building and construction trades while allowing time for in-field and / or hands-on training. The overall instruction uses the NCCER textbook allowing for certification of the students.

As with any program, the biggest issue faced is funding. To that end, the CTEC Board petitioned the City of Effingham to provide the seed money to begin the program with the goal of the program to become self-sufficient through support from the private sector. The initial $75,000 grant from the City of Effingham allowed CTEC to purchase necessary items like textbooks and equipment.

Next, the CTEC Board turned its attention to finding an instructor or "facilitator" for the program. The Board knew that the individual hired needed to be a person who did not think of school or teaching in the traditional manner and had to be able to relate to the students as well. The Board also had to find a way to ensure the requirements for the State of Illinois were followed in order for the school districts to recognize the class and curriculum. Effingham Unit 40 agreed to be the avenue for obtaining the required certifications and accreditations for the both the class and the facilitator.

By Spring 2015, all the pieces were in place to launch our CTEC program with the ultimate goal of finding each one of our students an opportunity to work within the building and construction trade fields.