Associated Builders and Contractors says 500,000 jobs are available in the construction industry and — if Congress and the White House agree on a proposed $1 trillion infrastructure bill — that number could double.

“Given the industry’s current market conditions and anticipated growth, now is the time for our country to do more to encourage the next generation of construction and engineering leaders for our industry,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of environment, health, safety and workforce development. “We must put as much emphasis on career technical education as we do formal college degree programs. Both are imperative to meeting the construction demand and ensuring opportunities for all Americans to participate in the industry.”

ABC said its 70 chapters offer more than 800 apprenticeship and safety training programs and educates about 476,000 construction workers annually. ABC also sponsors construction-related degree programs at more than 30 colleges nationwide.

In October 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor appointed ABC President and CEO Michael D. Bellaman to a national task force to promote apprenticeships in the public and private sectors.