Education
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Western New York's Source for Construction Learning

The Construction Exchange provides educational programs for members that are tailored for the construction industry. Offerings range from eight-week workshops to hour-long seminars.

Please visit the Calendar of Events for upcoming courses.

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Workshops and Seminars

Full Courses

Choose a course below for full details and to register.

Introduction to Blueprint Reading


The Introduction to Blueprint Reading course is geared for those with limited or no blueprint reading experience. Both field and office personnel are invited to participate. Upon completion of the six-week course, participants will:

  • be able to interpret line conventions, abbreviations and symbols
  • understand the different scales used on drawings and be able to tell the difference between architect’s scale and engineer’s scale drawings
  • be able to recognize the various types of drawings included in a “released for construction” set of drawings
  • be able to read basic construction drawings including plan views, elevations, sections and details
  • perform coordination exercises using several drawings, for example, architectural and structure coordination
  • be able to interpret the notes and schedules located on drawing

This course consists of 15 hours of classroom training held over six weeks, with class one night a week. There is a fall course starting October 3, 2016 and a spring course starting April 10, 2017. The course instructor, Cheryl McBride, has 35 years of experience in the construction industry and 14 years of experience teaching construction courses. The cost for the program is $200 and includes a textbook.

Construction Industry Technician Course 

The CIT course was developed by the National Association of Women in Construction Education Foundation (NEF) and at one time was only offered to NAWIC members. Today, the CIT course is available to all members of the construction industry. This course presents an overview of the construction industry and covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Types of construction such as residential, commercial, civil
  • Construction trade associations, professional societies, and institutes
  • Forms of business ownership such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation
  • Types of construction agreements and contracts such as negotiated, competitive bid, cost-plus
  • Construction documents such as project manual, specification sections, types of drawings
  • Construction process requirements such as pre-planning, permitting, project closeout
  • Construction insurance and bonding
The target participant for the CIT course is someone who:
  • is brand new to the construction industry and requires an overall introduction to the industry
  • has limited general knowledge of the industry
  • has a support staff role and requires deeper knowledge for career advancement
  • is a technician or tradesperson with aspirations to advance to a field or office management position
  • has a desire to learn as much as possible about the construction industry
Each CIT course participant will receive a text book to be used during the course and which can be kept for future reference. Upon completion of the course, participants will have the option to take the NEF CIT examination. There is a separate fee that must be paid directly to NEF in order to take the exam. When the participant successfully completes the exam, NEF will issue a Construction Industry Technician Certification. This certification acknowledges the accomplishment of attaining a higher professional level in the construction industry.
The CIT course will be offered in October 2017 and the class will meet once per week for four weeks. The course instructor is Cheryl McBride, who also teaches our Introduction to Blueprint Reading and Introduction to Quantity Takeoff & Estimating courses.
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Education Committee

The Construction Exchange Education Committee meets periodically to discuss the educational needs of the membership. The committee decides which courses to offer and helps to choose instructors. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Joe Benedict at (716) 874-3435.

Education Committee Members:

Karen Antonelli, Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner

Gary Bichler (Chair), R&P Oak Hill Building Company

Earl Cantwell, Hurwitz & Fine

Dave Guido, Encompass Management

Don Hahn, Hahn Training

Brendan Kelly, M&T Bank

Joe Marchitte,  MKS Plumbing

Andrew McLellan,  UNYSE

Drew Miller, Webster Szanyi

Byron Nakagawa, Bison Scaffold & Mason’s Supply

Greg Schober, Huber Construction

Shannon Seipel, Lafarge

Tim Toole, Lawley Insurance