LONG BEACH – On March 22, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) held its annual National Convention in Long Beach, California, and announced the winner of the Craft Instructor of the Year at its Careers in Construction Awards ceremony. The Craft Instructor of the Year Award recognizes an instructor who possesses the ability to communicate and incorporates an innovative teaching method to promote safety and education to our future workforce.
William Fuller, Craft Development Manager at Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF), the educational affiliate of the Houston chapter of ABC, was selected from among five finalists as the instructor who espouses the merit shop ideals through effort and talent in his position.
“William Fuller is very deserving of this award and recognition,” says Rusty Barnhill, President of Force Corporation. “During my years of service to CMEF, I have witnessed William’s passion and tireless effort as an instructor. The employees my company sends to CMEF have all returned to work with positive feedback about how engaged William was with teaching and how much they learned in his class. We are honored and very proud to have William at CMEF.”
Fuller began his construction career working in the residential segment with apartment complexes. He then transitioned to work in maintenance in industrial plants. In addition to working full-time and on weekends, Fuller started work as an adjunct instructor with ABC Houston. After working with ABC Houston for ten years, an opportunity to join ABC full-time became available, and Fuller then shifted into this new and current position as Craft Development Manager.
There are no other crane or rigging schools in the Houston area, and Fuller was among the first to start teaching rigging at the CMEF facility in La Porte in 1988. Fuller started a class with only a handful of attendees, which quickly grew to over thirty students per class.
Known by his students as “Uncle Will,” Fuller teaches multiple crafts utilizing the NCCER curriculum, including carpentry, scaffolding, rigging, crane, heavy equipment, crew leadership, boilermaking, and Construction Site Safety Technician (CSST). Additionally, Fuller teaches the Instructor Certification Training Program (ICTP) course for new instructors and evaluators, which is a minimum of three courses per year.
“I am incredibly thankful to Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) for this award,” says Fuller. “It is my privilege and passion to have the opportunity to instruct the future workforce, and to witness the next generation of craft workers grow and incorporate their training into their professional careers. I am looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish next.”
Fuller says his favorite class to teach is Crew Leadership, which is a safety tech course. The class is focused on management, basic leadership styles, communication, delegating, and problem-solving, which are essential to the future of the workforce. Fuller believes that this class is imperative for anyone in management so they can train their employees to be safer on the job site.
“William is by far the most passionate instructor I’ve ever met,” says Blair Williamson, Director of Training and Development at CMEF. “He enjoys giving back to the industry and inspiring young adults as they are learning their craft. ‘Uncle Will,’ as he is known by his students, possesses an enthusiasm and passion in the classroom that is unlike any other. He keeps the students engaged and eager to come back to class each day.”
Not only does Fuller teach, but he is also a mentor to other instructors and helps them reach their full potential in the classroom. He goes above and beyond in each course and ensures that all of his students spend just as much time in the lab learning how to do what they are taught as they do in the classroom listening to his lectures.
“William deserves this award more than anyone I’ve ever met,” says Williamson. “I am very excited for him and his professional future, and am pleased that he received this award for his hard work, passion, and influence on the future of our workforce.”
Fuller plans to finish his career with a strong training school, after having helped establish trained and developed crew leaders who will manage our future workforce.
To learn more about ABC/CMEF, visit our website at www.abchouston.org.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members nationwide. Locally, ABC Greater Houston was founded in 1969, and today serves several hundred commercial and industrial contractors, suppliers and construction associates in the Greater Houston area. Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston represents the interests of merit shop contractors and its employees in the policy-making process of the government, protects and enhances the free enterprise system within the construction industry, and provides educational, marketing, and informational programs for the benefit of members and their employees.
Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) is the vehicle through which industry and craft professionals in the Houston area receive formal training. Our goal is to recruit new entrants and retain existing workers through a variety of programs focused on assessment, training, and continuing education. We believe that a community approach to training is fundamental to developing a skilled and educated craft workforce within the entire industry.