Construction Education

Colorado College Uses Grants to Add Construction Program

A public technical college in Colorado will be launching a new construction trades certification program that will give students experience in building affordable housing. Development of the "Delta-Montrose Building Affordable Homes & Skilled Workforce" program at Technical College of the Rockies is being funded by two grants: one from the state's Rural Economic Development Initiative for $195,628 and the other from the Western Colorado Community Foundation for $50,000. The college is working with the region's Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

Expected to launch in the fall, the program will offer short-term certification courses in the residential construction process, including excavation, framing, drywall, paint/finish work and landscaping, all the way through passing final inspections and earning a certificate of occupancy. Students will gain practical experience at Habitat worksites, where they'll help in building affordable homes, alongside volunteers and prospective home owners.

The new offerings will build on existing programs in heating and air conditioning and electrical work. The first is a one-year program leading to a technician credential. The second is a two-year apprenticeship program, for licensing as a journeyman electrician.

All that's needed, the school noted in a press release, is a program coordinator to schedule on-site training and to work with local high schools in setting up pathways for students who aren't "college-bound."

"I am excited about receiving this grant and the opportunities it will help us launch. The focus of this project is to meet two goals; one is to help provide local folks with the skills, knowledge and training to earn short-term credentials and be able to enter the high-demand, high-wage construction industry," said Allen Golden, director of the college, in a statement. "The second goal is to do so while helping solve the growing issue of a shortage of affordable housing in our service area. I look forward to using this grant to launch this partnership with Habitat for Humanity, in an effort that I believe will be replicable for other areas around the state as well!"

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.