A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for adults interested in jobs in the industrial construction trades is underway. Recruitment of students for the new program, preparing workers for locally in-demand jobs, will begin in December.
Industrial construction jobs in the region are unique for the fact that they are in demand. This means that there are few certified candidates for the current job openings. In fact, local employers currently have many open, full-time positions that offer stability and advancement for trained adults.
The Regional Adult & Career Education Program of Lee, Scott, Wise and Norton Public Schools, Brock, TEC Industrial, Mountain Empire Community College and the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board have partnered to offer a short-term, intensive training program from February to May in Gate City. Called the PluggedInVA Industrial Construction Trades Program, the training will help students obtain the skills required by employers such as Brock, TEC Industrial and other local construction firms. The training will support crafts such as industrial painting, carpentry, insulation and maintenance. Participants can earn a GED®, if needed, along with the NCCER Core certification, a credential that is highly valued and often required by employers in the construction industry. Students will also earn 12 college credits from Mountain Empire Community College, OSHA Safety, Digital Literacy and Career Readiness Certifications.
The program is free for eligible participants, and priority will be given to applicants who either have a GED® or who are currently working to earn a GED®. Classes will begin in Gate City at the Scott County Career & Technical Center in early February and will be held 3 nights a week, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
Space in the program is limited to 14 seats, and candidates must meet specific standards. Since full-time jobs are available at the end of training, only job-suitable students will be trained. Adults will need strong reading, writing, math and communications skills with good listening comprehension. Successful applicants must be drug free with a high degree of physical dexterity and good climbing skills. The ability to work at heights of up to 125 feet or more while maintaining balance on ladders and scaffolding may be required for certain positions, and physical strength, with the ability to lift 50 to 90 pounds, is also required. A valid driver’s license may be required for many positions. Finally, candidates must be flexible with regard to work schedules, with the ability to work varied shifts, rotating shifts and/or overtime.