Free construction certificate class starting Oct. 1


COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Board of Education and the Alabama Home Builders Foundation are partnering to provide a free construction certificate class beginning Oct. 1 for adults looking to become certified in carpentry.

Shelby County Schools career tech coordinator Rene Day said the class is primarily for people who are under-employed, unemployed or simply wanting to get involved in the construction industry. The class is open to both Shelby County and non-Shelby County residents and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5-8 p.m. for eight weeks at the Shelby County College and Career Center in Columbiana.

Tom Edwards, a teacher with the building sciences program at the  College and Career Center, will teach the class and use the same curriculum he uses at night with the about 55 students enrolled in the building sciences program at the career center during the day, giving students the opportunity to become certified in carpentry as well.

“What we are trying to do is work those partnerships and engage other associations and other companies in what we’re doing in the Shelby County school system because we feel like it’s so important for our students,” Day said. “We are very much involved in the whole idea of workforce development, and that falls in perfectly with the idea of workforce development. It prepares our students for going out and getting those starting jobs in construction, and it also prepares adults who are ready to step into those jobs at the same time. It’s a win-win.”

Day said the Alabama Home Builders Foundation is underwriting the cost for the class, which will be hands-on and project cased. Materials used to build things throughout the class will be provided by the foundation, while those enrolled will be required to bring a minimal amount of tools as necessary.

The partnership came about as a result of studies that show spikes in the construction industry and indications that there will soon be a need for workers in the construction area, Day said.

“They’re seeing the need for the workers, we’re able to provide a place and a person to teach them those skills that they need to get a job, and we’re partnering together to make that happen,” Day said.

“The focus is obviously on residential construction, but these are skills anyone could take and use in an industrial construction setting as well. Once they learn these things, they would have a leg up on getting a job and being able to keep it.”

About five people have registered for the class so far, and the class is limited to 15 participants. For more information or to register, call Rene Day at 682-5253.