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Building and Construction Trades Program Summary

This program provides resources that equip students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies that prepare them for postsecondary education and/or career entry into various careers in the building and construction trades.


The Building and Construction Trades (BCT) Industry Sector is a California Department of Education (CDE) program designed to identify and develop model curriculum standards, instructional resources, and assessment strategies for teachers, guidance personnel, curriculum planners, and administrators. Leadership in the BCT sector is fostered through partnerships with a variety of building and construction business and industry partners along with key representatives from the CDE, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California.

The program provides tools, resources, strategies, activities, and model curriculum standards to ensure that students are offered relevant and challenging academic and career-related experiences. Through on-going implementation of high quality, standards-based programs, students may access a wide range of sequential courses of study developing skills in various BCT career pathways, as well as a focused, in-depth study of specific BCT careers.


Services provided by the CDE Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office (CTELISO) staff include:

  • Technical assistance and monitoring of the work of industry sector grant recipients to ensure compliance to federal laws and regulations.
  • Creation of instructional resources such as Career Path Guides and Model Curriculum Standards.
  • The establishment of statewide BCT working groups and advisory committees.
  • Review of the regional and statewide data collected from the BCT project leads.
  • Promotion of the integration of academic disciplines and industry-based standards into new and existing BCT curriculum.
  • Technical assistance and support for BCT project leads for project operation, funding, and leadership direction.
  • Promotion of the development of sector Web sites and related links.
  • Promotion of the development and implementation of BCT staff development activities through resources in the form of grants for teacher professional development programs and services.
  • Promotion of the inclusion and expansion of BCT activities in SkillsUSA California.
  • Statewide leadership for teacher preparation and resource acquisition for the “Green Construction Initiative.”
  • Coordination of efforts of secondary and post-secondary education providers to ensure student success.


Local school-based BCT instructional programs are a part of the overall educational experience in high school. Currently, there are over 2,385 BCT courses available statewide. In addition to the variety of training options provided by California Community Colleges and Regional Occupational Programs, some private postsecondary institutions, as well as the University of California and California State University systems, currently list at least 16 BCT courses statewide that satisfy a–g requirements for university admission. Efforts are currently underway to increase that number.

Raising the quality of discipline-specific instruction by including, where possible, the Common Core and academic subjects' content standards and the BCT Content Standards with the recently adopted state Career Technical Education BCT Standards results in the following:

  • Providing new and existing resources, strategies, and activities, including standards-aligned curricula, to ensure that students are offered relevant and challenging academic and career-related experiences.
  • Providing students with an awareness of the many career opportunities available within the sector.
  • Establishing learning opportunities and partnerships that increase career guidance and educational relevance leading to improved student involvement, achievement, and preparation for continued education and careers in the BCT sector.
  • Integrating BCT curriculum that includes industry-based standards.
  • Identifying and supporting the development of BCT digital resources and related links to careers and educational opportunities within the sector.


BCT courses and broad-based programs are supported by a variety of state, federal, and private funding streams, including California Partnership Academy Grants, Specialized Secondary Programs Grants, and Carl D. Perkins Grant funds. Certain BCT pathway programs are also supported by the Career Pathways Trust Grants as part of local or regional collaborations. Additional funds for leadership development in this industry sector are also provided through federal Carl D. Perkins funds. The BCT Industry Sector Lead in the CTELISO is assigned to oversee and monitor projects and activities supporting the BCT Industry Sector programs.

Students Served

The BCT Industry Sector curriculum programs serve more than 46,900 students statewide in grades seven through adult. BCT programs exist in a variety of delivery models, including District Career Technical Education Programs, Linked Learning, California Partnership Academies, Regional Occupational Programs, and articulated Community College programs.

Contact Information

The Building and Contruction Trades Industry Sector Program is administered by:

Wendy St.Clair, Education Programs Assistant

Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

Questions: Wendy St.Clair | | 916-445-6217 
Last Reviewed: Monday, January 30, 2017