NTC offering free nine-credit construction trades program this spring

Persons living in the Bemidji area who are interested in pursuing education in construction trades can enroll in a free nine-credit foundation program at Northwest Technical College beginning in early 2014.

The Minnesota Adult Career Pathway in the Construction Trades program, made possible through a partnership between the college, the Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (MnCEP), Bemidji Adult Basic Education and Bemidji-area businesses, offers the opportunity to explore careers in construction trades and to pursue the education necessary to become employed.

“NTC is looking forward to providing this series of courses to help students acquire entry-level skills and develop a greater understanding of career opportunities in the construction trades,” said John Centko, NTC provost.

The first class in this free program will start in Feb. 2014. Space is limited and enrollment will be capped at approximately 40 students. To register, contact the Bemidji WorkForce Center, located at 616 America Ave NW, Ste. 210, in Bemidji; (218) 333-8200, bemidji.wfc@state.mn.us. The center is open from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Students will begin their foundational education by exploring careers available in the construction trades before pursuing coursework in subjects such as construction safety; plans and specifications; construction codes; metal fabrication; construction technology; and first aid and CPR. Students will earn nine college credits for successfully completing the coursework, which can continue into a construction technology certificate or diploma program at Northwest Technical College. The program runs from Feb. 10-June 12, 2014. Most classes will be taught on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m.; they are offered on campus only and will not be available online.

The program’s goal is to increase awareness of careers in the construction trades and to help people develop the skills they need to pursue those careers. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development projects significant growth over the next 10 years in the need for persons working in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and as helpers-carpenters, and also expects increased demand for carpenters, electricians and plumbers. The median hourly wage for these occupations can reach as high as $24.

The program also will help students develop confidence in their ability to successfully complete a higher education program. Before the courses begin, participants will be introduced to NTC’s expectations by completing a college orientation that includes technology requirements, guidance for financing an education, and the college’s policies and procedures.

Students also may have job-shadowing opportunities while enrolled in bridge courses taught by Bemidji Basic Adult Education.

Funding for the Minnesota Adult Career Pathway in the Construction Trades program was provided through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). DEED is providing $123,468 in funding for the program as part of a statewide effort encompassing 17 programs at a total of nearly $1.5 million. The effort aims to put 1,000 Minnesotans back to work.

This is the second FastTRAC program hosted at Northwest Technical College; NTC offered a similar program last year for persons interested in health care fields.

• Bemidji WorkForce Center; 616 America Avenue NW, Suite 210, Bemidji, MN 56601-3859; 218-333-8200; bemidji.wfc@state.mn.us


About Northwest Technical College
Northwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, is an open, inviting technological learning organization. For more than 40 years, the college has valued life-long learning and the worth and dignity of all people. Its open-enrollment policy, affordable tuition and high-quality education have attracted a diverse group of learners; today, the College serves more than 1,200 learners. The college offers more than 40 degree programs in areas such as business, health, human and protective services and environmental and industrial technology career programs. Classes are offered on the Bemidji campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. For more, visit ntcmn.edu.