A Unique Industry Education Partnership


3500 6th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35222

ACT Director: (205) 719-3228


School Participation


Student Accepted


Yearly Internships


WITH A CAPACITY OF 250 STUDENTS, High School Juniors and Seniors, The Academy of Craft Training is a public/private partnership between the commercial construction industry and the State of Alabama’s K-12 Career and Technical Education System. Our mission is to recruit, educate and guide high school students for educational and employment opportunities in the construction industry. Our goal is to help these students get the education and skills they need to be entry-level, skilled workers in the construction industry. Students have the opportunity to learn directly from construction industry professionals in a workplace style environment, work as interns with local construction companies and receive job offers upon graduation.


Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments.
Install and maintain the electrical systems and wiring in our businesses, factories and homes. Blueprints are used to determine the location of circuits, outlets, load centers and panel boards, while ohmmeters, ammeters, voltmeters and other equipment are used to test connections and ensure that components are compatible and safe.
Install, service and repair heating and air conditioning systems in commercial buildings, including sheet metal ductwork.
Build stone structures, such as piers, walls, and abutments. Lay walks, curbstones, or special types of masonry for vats, tanks, and floors.
Needed in many areas of commercial construction from structural welding for steel erection to mechanical piping systems. Welding also requires math skills and the ability to read detailed spec sheets and blue prints.


ACADEMY OF CRAFT TRAINING UTILIZES NCCER CURRICULUM The craft areas utilize The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum for each specific craft area. NCCER was developed with the support of more than 125 construction CEOs and various association and academic leaders who united to revolutionize training for the construction industry. Sharing the common goal of developing a safe and productive workforce, these companies created a standardized training and credentialing program for the industry.
NCCER ALLOWS CREDITS TO BE EARNED The Academy of Craft Training offers an unique opportunity for first year students in the program to receive 3 credits at the end of the school year. The students will participate in courses each semester pertaining to their skill of interest as well as receive a math credit. This math credit will count as their fourth math and will meet the requirements for the Alabama High School Diploma. Please refer to the example to the right to give you a better idea of how ones schedule would look.



Mark D. McCord joined ACT as the Building Construction Instructor in 2016 and was promoted to Training and Employment Coordinator in 2017. One of his goals in this position is to share his knowledge of the construction industry with students to develop the industry's same passion. McCord has been in the construction industry since 2005 and has worked both domestically and overseas. He has been exposed to a wide range of government and infrastructure projects, power plants, pulp and paper mills, and petrochemical plants. For the past ten years, McCord's primary focus has been workforce development and training. He is a Master Trainer and Assessment Coordinator through NCCER and an OSHA 500 Instructor for the Construction Outreach Training Program.

Mark D. Mccord

Director of Workforce Training & Employment Coordinator

Dr. Essig is a National Board Certified teacher who recently retired after 26 years in education. He served as drafting instructor at Hewitt-Trussville H.S. and Vestavia Hills H.S. He earned his doctorate degree from Samford University in educational leadership. Prior to teaching, he worked 22 years in the electrical industry as a journeyman wireman, estimator, and project manager. The majority of his experience is with commercial and industrial projects.

Ernie Essig

Lab Instructor

Larry Glenn Harris joined ACT as the electrical instructor in 2016. Harris received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Jacksonville State University and an associate's degree in electrical technology from Gadsden State Technical College. He received day trade teaching certification from Auburn University. After retiring from public secondary education, Harris serves as Technical Chair for the State of Alabama Skills USA Electrical Construction Wiring and Industrial Motor Controls Committee and the National Skills USA Committee for Electrical Construction Wiring. Harris has been awarded Calhoun County Career Technical School Teacher of the Year and Alabama Skills USA Honorary Life Membership Award.

Larry Harris

Electrical Instructor

In 2016, Linda Poindexter was recruited to serve as the ACT school counselor. She has 12 years of experience in school counseling and has worked in elementary, middle, and high school settings while serving in Jefferson County Schools. Therefore, this opportunity seemed ideal for Linda to help pilot this program. Linda jumped at the opportunity and continues to work towards recruiting employable students for the Academy of Craft Training. Linda received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2004, and her master’s in School Counseling in 2006 from Tennessee State University. She also received her Education Specilast degree in Administrative Leadership from Walden University in 2013.

Linda Poindexter

ACT Counselor

Jayden Kidd is a graduate of Pelham High school and the Academy of Craft Training in 2018. While at Craft he was offered a full time position at BL Harbert INT. He worked there for two years before getting the opportunity to come and teach at ACT. He has grown a passion for teaching young adults how to be fully equipped with the tools they are going to need to be successful on the job and in their everyday lives.

Jayden Kidd


Troy Johnson is a native of Trussville, Alabama. Troy graduated from Alabama A&M University, where he majored in Electrical Engineering Technology. After graduation, Troy began his professional career with South Central Bell as an Assistant Staff Manager. Throughout his 28 year career, Troy worked in various leadership and technical positions. Troy has worked around the construction trade for most of his life. Troy came to the Academy of Craft Training by enrolling in the building construction course offered during the summer. Because of his essential skill and knowledge of the trade and his aptitude in math, Troy helped and instructed individuals in his class with the cs math component. Troy is now an Interior & Exterior Finishes instructor.

Troy Johnson

Interior & Exterior Finishes

Russ Cofield Joined ACT as Director in July 2018. Russ has been an educator since 2000, in Education Administration since 2005 and has been a Career/Technical Education (CTE) Administrator since 2010. Russ is experienced in teaching/learning in elementary, middle, and high school levels and is passionate about transforming the high school experience to one that empowers students not only with a diploma, but with a vision of a successful career pathway. For Russ, Joining the ACT family just made sense. ACT exposes students to the construction industry every day and Russ is excited about helping ACT build upon its past success!

Russ Cofield

ACT Director

Kenneth Crowe joined ACT as HVAC instructor in 2016. Since 2001, Crowe has been the owner and manager of Crowe Heating & Cooling, an HVACR contractor. For the past 16 years, he has worked in every aspect of the heating and cooling industry. Crowe received his HVACR associate's degree from Gadsden State Community College in 2000, and the following year he became an EPA certified universal refrigerant technician. He receives training annually to maintain two contractor certifications, and Crowe also serves as a police officer for the city of Glencoe. He is also a veteran, having served in the Army in Desert Storm.

Kenneth Crowe

HVAC & Plumbing Instructor
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Steven Denney joined the Academy of Craft Training as Building Construction instructor in 2017. Denny has vast experience in construction. He previously worked at Golden Construction for many years, originally serving as a journeyman carpenter and last served as the company’s virtual design and construction manager. Before that, he worked as a carpenter for Brice Building Company. Denney is an NCCER-certified instructor. He learned building construction at Bessemer State Tech. He received an advanced high school diploma from Chelsea High School.

Steven Denney

Building Construction Instructor
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