Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Matthew J. Basham


AbstractConversations about workforce development in the construction industry are centered around improving the construction trade skills of displaced workers or other unskilled or untrained individuals. Rarely will that conversation focus on the administrative skills necessary for contractor success, particularly in public works construction where administrative oversight is a challenge for the minority, women-owned, and local business enterprise (MWLBE) community. Anecdotal data indicated that MWLBE contractors are skilled at their trades and have little or no problem accessing a skilled labor force. Where these contractors tend to fall short is in the administrative requirements of government contracts. The purpose of this qualitative evaluation study was to determine whether the training provided by the Opportunity Academy prepares workers to provide effective administrative support to construction contractors in the MWLBE community. Deweyan pragmatism provided the framework for the study. Data were gathered from 14 students who participated in the program and MWLBE contractors with whom the students were placed in their internships. Data were analyzed to focus on the efficacy of the training. Findings indicated the students believed the training prepared them for internships. The contractors reported that the students were adequately trained in some areas and inadequately trained in others. Findings may be used to improve the business success of MWLBE contractors and the employment outlook for construction contract administrators in the local area.