LOWVILLE — With the success of the first free construction class completed in May, Jefferson Community College and the National Center for Construction Education and Research are offering another round of the course beginning in October at the Lewis County JCC Education Center.
In addition to free registration, participation in the course and transportation from the Watertown campus to the Education Center if needed, textbooks and a complete set of hand tools with a tool belt and will also be provided for each student.
According to JCC’s Director of Community Services, Workforce Development and Business Kathleen Morris, 21 people have already signed up to fill the 30 available slots.
“As we take applications, we are dating them. We learned the last time that some people that sign up won’t necessarily show up even for the first day,” Mrs. Morris said. “In those cases we will go to the waiting list after the first 30 slots and give other people the opportunity.”
The biggest change from the first class is the schedule.
Instead of a full eight-hour day, five days every week, the class will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
“We did a very intensive training the last time: we got the grant on March 10 and we wanted people to be ready for the hiring season in May,” Mrs. Morris said, “But even though people in the course are unemployed, they still have other commitments, too, like child care. We want it to be more reasonable for everyone who wants to participate.”
The 400 hours of combined hands-on and classroom learning will be spread out over 19 weeks from Oct. 21 to March 6.
Students who successfully complete the course will have earned industry-recognized NCCER certification in the core, labor and carpentry 1 skill areas.
Of the 27 people that completed the first course in May, 24 are currently employed in the industry and one is working on becoming an NCCER trainer as well.
“What we are trying to give people here is much more valuable than college credit,” Mrs. Morris said of her program. “We’re giving them skills, not college loans.”
She acknowledges the importance of college but believes helping people to find their way to skilled employment can open the door to college courses and degrees down the line, too.
A $100,000 grant from the state Department of Labor awarded to the college in January made the training possible, with additional support from Associated Builders and Contractors, BCA Architects and Engineers, Black Horse Group Contractors, Blackstone Electric, Con Tech, Hyde-Stone Mechanical Contractors, Jake’s Lawn Care, Lawman Heating and Cooling, Northern Glass, Northern Tier Contracting, Purcell Construction and Structural Associates.
The training is open for men and women of any age or experience level.
To sign up for the training or for more information, call the JCC Workforce Development and Business Division at (315) 786-2233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.