Pittsfield-based general contractor Cianbro Corp. expanded its own training center in August to keep pace with demand for skilled workers.

Established in 2007, the Cianbro Institute is a training and education center exclusively for Cianbro workers to improve their skills and develop new ones. The institute outgrew its original facilities and was relocated in August to a 40-acre site in Pittsfield that includes a power substation with high-voltage lines, a welding shop, construction cranes and other facilities, and equipment used to simulate real work environments. It is staffed with 18 full-time and 16 part-time educators, along with other support staff.

“We believe that it is our responsibility within this organization and within our industry to invest in the development of our future workforce while providing them an opportunity for personal growth,” said Cianbro Chairman and CEO Pete Vigue. “What we’ve learned when we support and believe in people is that the opportunities are endless, not only for individuals but also for our company.”

Cianbro has about 4,000 employees working in 40 states, including 1,350 in Maine.

Vigue said the institute makes it possible for more workers to have steady, year-round employment in an industry in which having just one skill often limits a worker to only seasonal employment.

“A person that has multiple skills and education in the construction industry is very valuable,” he said.

Any Cianbro employee can select courses from a variety of curricula, including safety development, professional trade development, apprenticeships, craft skills development and leadership development. The institute has a 40-page course catalog that lists dozens of classes, including carpentry, welding, math, communication skills, project management and many other skill areas.

Cianbro is an employee-owned company in which every worker has an ownership stake. Vigue said the company’s value is tied directly to the skills and education of its workforce. Therefore, any worker who wants to learn a new skill is rarely denied the opportunity, he said.

“We are a multifaceted company that does a variety of things,” Vigue said. “The only real asset we have as a company is the people that make things happen in this organization.”

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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