Founded in 1967, the Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc. (CAF) is a regional construction industry trade association with over 500 affiliated contractor companies. The CAF serves professional contractors working in Lake, Porter, La Porte, Newton, Starke, and Jasper Counties in Indiana. Contractors affiliated with the CAF work primarily in the industrial, commercial, public works, and institutional markets of the construction industry. The mission of the CAF is to serve the professional construction industry of Northwest Indiana by enhancing quality through safety, professional development, cooperation, and by advancing the economic environment and public policies which affect CAF contributors. To fulfill this mission, the CAF works on a broad range of program areas including safety training, supervisory/management training, workforce development, legislative advocacy, and labor-management relations.
Reflecting the commitment its affiliated contractors have to safety in the workplace, the CAF operates and aggressive and comprehensive safety training program. Annually, the CAF provides over 20,000 man-hours of safety training to professional contractors and skilled craftsmen. CAF’s training covers all OSHA-required training topics. With its relationship with the OSHA Training Institute, the CAF is able to issue OSHA certificates of completion for a variety of safety course work that is completed at our facility. CAF offers a Site Safety Certificate which was developed under an OSHA Susan Harwood Grant program offering 8 classes to develop skills to become a leader in construction safety. The CAF’s professional safety staff works with individual contractors to assist them in developing, implementing, and managing results-oriented safety programs within their companies.
The CAF develops and delivers a wide variety of professional development programs which are designed to enhance self-performance and business growth. Courses offered through the CAF change regularly as new technologies and relevant topics emerge in the construction industry.
Among the dozens of course offerings include educational programs for contractors, project managers, field supervisors, journeymen, apprentices, and office personnel. The CAF Professional Development staff also produces a quarterly publication to help educate and inform contractors and tradespeople on issues that affect the Northwest Indiana construction industry.
The CAF believes that a well-educated, highly skilled workforce helps to strengthen our local economy and ensure a high quality of life in our region. The CAF has strong ties to our communities and we work closely with regional high schools, career & technical training centers, and universities to promote construction as a viable and rewarding career path. We developed the We Build Northwest website which is a valuable resource for individuals who are interested in the various careers within the industry. The CAF’s Workforce Development staff can also assist local high schools and universities to help educate students on the various career paths available in the construction industry.
Advocacy is one of the most important services we provide to our contributors. Government policies have an impact on the construction industry. We work on behalf of our contributors to educate local, state, and federal lawmakers and bring awareness on how legislative and executive branch policies affect the economic condition of our contributors and the construction industry as a whole.
The long-term health of the construction industry depends on labor and management working together. The CAF helps both sides identify issues of mutual concern and facilitates the steps that help to strengthen the professional construction industry. The activities in which the CAF works to strengthen include economic development, workforce development, industry promotion, education, and project delivery systems.