In 2005, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation launched the Academy of Construction and Design, rejuvenating career and technical education in DC. A-CAD offers a hands-on curriculum that builds skills (math, carpentry, mechanical drawing, blueprint reading), encourages academic success (94% of seniors graduate), and prepares students for college and careers (with seminars on topics like interviewing, writing college essays, and career networking). Each year, students test their knowledge at real building sites in the city; partnerships with local construction firms offer internships, mentoring, and job placement opportunities. These experiences set Academy graduates apart from their peers – whether entering the workforce or continuing their education. The Foundation also provides adults with fully-certified apprenticeship training, offering evening classes to help balance career-enhancing coursework with home life and employment. The Academy builds promising futures. So can you.

COVID-19 Update: The Foundation worked closely with high school partners and sponsoring employers to help keep students engaged and help apprentice trainees progress toward licensing, certification, and graduation in June. It adapted its program to comply with social distancing guidelines and offered paid summer jobs to help youth and their families. At the request of DCPS, virtual learning best practices are being replicated to support students in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, and introductory construction and engineering classes at Phelps High School. Students will come together in small, socially distanced groups to resume hands-on building projects when reopening and recovery plans allow.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 7

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 7; Sponsoring citywide career and technical education programs.

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: IDEA Public Charter School beginning fall 2015; Cardozo Education Campus 2005-2015

  • High school graduation rate of Academy students:   92%
  • Number of students we encourage to succeed in school annually:   More than 150
  • Number of CTE graduates who enter skilled trade jobs and apprenticeships after high school:   40%
  • Number of CTE graduates who apply to attend 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.:   60%

Awards & Recognition

November 5, 2016
Washington Post Real Estate cover story features the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and the tiny house design-build completed by students in the Academy of Construction and Design. The article discusses the Academy's role in bringing skilled trades classes back to District of Columbia schools when it opened in 2005. ACAD graduate Joshua Atkins, who earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Tuskegee University, is featured.

October 2016
Construction Executive magazine's Careers in Construction Month issue spotlights the Academy of Construction and Design as one training program bringing skilled trades education and training to underserved youth and people from all walks of life. Academy graduate Krystal Boone is featured on the magazine's cover.

October 3, 2015
The Academy of Construction and Design is selected as one of seven Washington, DC area nonprofits to be featured in the national American Graduate Day broadcast and profiled on WHUT Public Television. American Graduate Day recognizes the Academy of Construction and Design, with its accredited sponsor, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation, as a local partner delivering innovative solutions that encourage high school students, including at-risk youth, to stay in school and graduate with skills and certifications for college and careers.

May 11, 2015
The Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy selects the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation to again be featured in the Catalogue’s print publication and website for donors. Appearing in the Catalogue as a featured nonprofit in the area of Youth Education and Enrichment helps the Foundation continue to raise awareness of its programs for work- and college-bound high school students.

May 10, 2011
The Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy selects the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation as one of 70 nonprofits, from a field of 270 candidates, to be featured in the Catalogue’s 2011-12 publication and on its website for donors. The Catalogue gives its coveted seal of approval to the Foundation as one of the best nonprofits serving the greater Washington region.

October 26, 2010
Nearly 100 students, community residents, faith-based leaders, school administrators, building industry executives and District government officials participate in the groundbreaking ceremony in Northwest Washington, launching the Academy’s Build a House – Build a Future construction education program. The program provides a dedicated training site for students studying carpentry, electrical, HVAC and other technical specialties in the Academy of Construction and Design, which is co-located at Cardozo Senior High School.

September 24, 2010
The Washington Business Journal’s Greater Washington Green Business Awards honors board president John McMahon, chairman of Miller & Long Concrete Construction, Inc., for his leadership in establishing the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation. High school CTE students participating in the Foundation’s innovative Build a House – Build a Future training initiative are featured and recognized during the awards ceremony.

April 29, 2009
The District of Columbia Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Awards recognizes the Academy of Construction and Design, in partnership with the Green Builders Council of DC and Miller & Long Co., Inc., as the education and training site for the first green building curriculum approved for use in District of Columbia Public Schools Career and Technical Education.

June 11, 2008
DC Students Construction Trades Foundation is the recipient of a community impact grant from Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., Metro Washington Chapter in honor of the industry association’s 50th anniversary of service to construction industry firms and contractors in Greater Washington.

May 15, 2008
The D.C. Building Industry Association presents its Achievement Award to founding members and advisors on the board of directors for the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation in recognition of their visionary leadership in launching the Academy of Construction and Design, which opened at Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, DC, in 2005.


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for District of Columbia Students Construction Trades Foundation is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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