Training program helps PHS students find construction jobs, learn new skills

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Several students from Pelham High School have been participating in Academy of Craft Training, which connects high school students with information and potential careers in the Birmingham-area construction industry.

Five recent graduates of PHS also accepted jobs with local construction businesses, moving straight into the workforce from high school. These students include Jason JIminez with CS Beatty, Jose Balderas with Dunn Building, Lucas Taylor with Dunn Building, Cason Tyler with Robins and Morton and Same Gleason with Rives Construction.

PHS Assistant Principal Cedric McCarroll said that this partnership was an important bridge between high school and the workforce, that teachers and simulates real-life skills.

“This is a public/private partnership between the construction industry and the education system throughout Alabama. The program functions as a bridge between getting students trained for the workforce and actually getting them jobs,” McCarroll said. “They earn NCCER Certification and they are able to participate in five programs: building and construction, masonry, welding, HVAC and interior design.”

The certification comes from the National Center for Construction and Education Research and it shows that a person has undergone a certain amount of curriculum and assessments as a form of qualification.

McCarroll said that this program was especially important considering the marginal age of people in these professions are beginning to retire.

“If you look at the ages, most of the people who have these jobs right now are baby boomers. As they start to retire there is going to be a big gap and a huge need for fresh faces in the industry,” McCarrol explained. “These students will have an opportunity to jump straight into it with earned experience and potentially make a lot of money. This program is one of the best avenues we have found to foster that.”

In the program, students spend a couple hours each day in a work-based simulation where they participate in work-related scenarios to get them acquainted with a potential future career.

“These groups promote safety which is very important,” McCarroll said. “They get a real-life simulation and have the opportunity to receive NCCER credentials which really help in getting a job. We are able to send some of our students straight into the workforce and others go into a trade school.”

This partnership is providing an alternate route for students after high school, who may not be interested in pursuing a four-year degree. McCarroll said that he believes this is an important partnership that will continue.