Sowela

Sowela Technical Community College’s Office of Workforce Solutions will offer a two-week Introduction to Construction class beginning Monday, May 10. The two-week course will train participants in entry-level construction skills and result in OSHA 10 and National Center for Construction Education and Research Core credentials.

Obtaining such credentials are the perfect step for individuals interested in helping Southwest Louisiana recover from storm damage, Judy McCleary, Office of Workforce Solutions director of business and industry services, said.

“You may be a very hard-working individual and you want to get out there and participate in the reconstruction effort. But to do that, you have to have a little basic information and this gives them a great foundation.”

Class sizes are limited to less than a dozen students, she said, as student work through both classroom and lab skills at Sowela’s Lake Charles campus.

“The two certifications they will receive are very valuable credentials, recognized all over. It is the standard for this industry,” she said.

Student will have hand-on practice in construction math, how to read and understand construction drawings and blueprints and an introduction into hand and power tools and material handlings.

“They also learn some skills about when they’re on a job site — communication skills, understanding how to get along with your fellow workers, how to work with a supervisors, just some basic employability skills that we get very good reviews on because a lot of times this is the first real job someone has had,” McCleary said.

The credentials are valuable right now in the community as residents seek to hire reliable craftsmen for their home repairs and contractors are seeking reliable employees, she said.

“People are looking for someone locally that they can hire. Someone whose going to be here and doesn’t have to drive in from Lafayette or Beaumont.”

The credentials are also valuable in the long-term, she added, because they are “stackable.”

“Let’s say someone says, ‘I don’t know if I want welding, pipefitting, carpentry or electrician.’ Well, all of the

 NCCER training start with that NCCER Core. It’s the basic building block. If they want more training because they want to specialize, they’ve got that first 80 hours out of the way. They are now ready to go into the actual craft.”

The cost of the course is $50 and students who successfully complete the two weeks of instruction will receive a $500 stipend at the end.

“We try to help pay for them to take time out of their life to take the training and reward them for coming every day and successfully completing the course. We’re treating it kind of like a job.”

Space is limited. Registration is required.

To learn more or register visit, www.sowela.edu/construction or call 421-6560.

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