Construction Tech class at SCC prepares for project house
TALI CROWE PHOTO
As classes are seemingly shifting to a digital workspace, not all area students are seeing screens as their classroom on a daily basis at the Southeastern Career Center in Versailles, like those students in the Construction Technology classes.
Gov. Eric Holcomb proclaimed October as Careers in Construction Month in Indiana. Thanks to programs offered at the career center, students from the eight partnering schools have had the opportunity to explore these types of careers for many years already.
The students in the second year of the construction technology at the Versailles campus are finishing a garage this semester to practice with the tools and techniques they’ve learned so far. Rob
Truesdell explained that the finished project will be used as a lab for the diesel mechanics program. He said that the career center has been able to provide real on-the-job like projects for the students, even when the economy isn’t the best and now when the world is trying to cope with the changes the pandemic has brought about.
“They learn all the classroom stuff and do the book work with (Todd) Ault, then when they get to me, we really get in with using the skills,” said Truesdell.
Their current project started as a wood frame with a metal outer shell and concrete floor. Truesdell’s 22 students have added all the necessary layers to finish the building, like insulation, electric, drywall. The students confidently worked with nail guns, round saws and helped move their group mates around on scaffolding.
“Here they get to try out more the skills and techniques and see the full scale of a project and gain pride in the work they’re doing,” said Truesdell. “Next semester we’re supposed to be working on a project house in Harvest Ridge…kids often take their parents past project houses while they’re working on it to show them how it’s coming along.”
Truesdell said he knows the course he teaches – and others at the career center – open students eyes to opportunities for good, high wage careers without having to start a job in college debt. “The importance of the construction industry’s role in moving Indiana’s economy forward is more prevalent than ever after COVID-19,” said Indiana Builders Association President Brett Harter. “Past, current and future leadership is what keeps Indiana a leader in the nation for housing affordability. Education and promoting the next generation of the Hoosier workforce on the construction industry as a viable and worthwhile trade is more important than ever.”
Last year, Truesdell’s students took the first year of construction technology with Todd Ault. Ault has students from all high school grades- some that are going to complete the two-year construction technologies program and others who will use his course to complement skills learned in another course taught at the career center.
Ault’s students complete traditional classroom work, but also get to start practicing the practical skills. They are paired up to build chicken coops this semester. “They’re learning skills and are going to graduate with certificates or college credit to get them into a good career, making good money,” said Truesdell. “We’re here to help those kids that might not want to go to college or learn in the traditional way see they can still have good jobs without those.”
According to the IBA, the construction industry employs more than five million people in the United States.