The Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) announced the hire of Kimberly Kahl as the next director of workforce development and apprenticeship to oversee the ABA/AGC Education Trust apprenticeship program and workforce development efforts.
In the new role, Kahl will be responsible for leading workforce development efforts and apprenticeship programs on behalf of the ABA and its more than 300-member companies across the state. ABA President Tom Dunn describes her as “a great fit for the ABA,” adding she stood out because of her exceptional career experience, positive outlook and ability to bring people together.
“Her career accomplishments with respect to developing and leading apprenticeship programs will bring even more value and quality to the commercial construction industry,” Dunn said. “Demand for construction professionals has never been higher and Kimberly’s career emphasis on workforce development through marketing and outreach efforts will make a difference.”
Kahl began her association career with the Mason Contractors Association of America where she served as the director of education and was responsible for national masonry workforce development. She developed recruiting tools for contractors and training materials for masonry apprenticeships as well as the Masonry Skills Challenge, which is a national championship for masonry apprentices.
She later moved to Arizona to become executive director of the Arizona Masonry Contractors Association, overseeing the group’s three-year apprenticeship program. Kahl also served as chair of the National Masonry Technical Committee for SkillsUSA and was actively involved with the National Masonry Instructors Association, assisting with educational and workforce development efforts. In 2003, Masonry Construction magazine named Kahl the “Industry Leader of the Year” for being a leader on masonry workforce development nationwide.
“My experience has prepared me for this new role because not only am I familiar with apprenticeships, I am passionate about developing a workforce for the construction industry,” Kahl said. “Our workforce is aging, and I am excited to recruit young people who are looking for an excellent career path in construction.”
As director, Kahl would like to focus on marketing and see more contractors participating in the program to attract more people to the industry, particularly those who do not plan to attend college.
“I understand that finishing college can be hard, expensive and time-consuming for someone who is married with a family,” Kahl said. “Apprenticeships allow people to learn a trade, find a great career, and earn money to support their family.”
In addition to the electrical and heavy equipment apprenticeship programs already underway at the ABA, Kahl will oversee the certification and administration of other apprentice programs for ABA-member contractors including pipefitting, HVAC and more. She will also attend career days and fairs across the state as well as work with government agencies and veteran groups to educate, train and employ future skilled laborers.
“They can earn while they learn with no student loan debt and make as much if not more than someone with a four-year college degree,” she said.
Outside of work, Kahl enjoys traveling with her husband and 14-year-old son. She’s visited all 50 states and multiple countries including several in Europe and Africa.