The North Alabama Homebuilding Academy opened Jan. 16 in Huntsville, Ala., and will offer free education in building trades, according to www.constructiondive.com.
Qualified students will receive eight weeks of training if they attend classes in the evening or four weeks if they can attend during the day. Students must be 17 or 18 and about to graduate high school, legal to work in the U.S. and able to pass a drug test.
The first weeks of classes will cover general topics—such as safety, blueprint reading, construction math, tools and power tools—followed by education in soft skills, such as interviewing and resume building. The final two weeks of classes will cover trade-specific topics.
Training opportunities are increasing in the skilled trades as labor shortages continue.
In November 2019, Wisconsin Oven announced a partnership with Gateway Technical College that allowed students to receive training and a paycheck. Students can earn $10 per hour while completing their training, and the company pays for trainees’ first semester at Gateway Technical College.
Additionally, Detroit opened a $30 million skilled trades center in March 2019. The city intends to provide free skilled trades training to 1,500 students each year. First-year apprentices in the program will earn about $16 per hour in addition to benefits. Michigan businesses reportedly require 15,000 workers to fill job openings in skilled trades industries every year.
On a national level, Lowe’s partnered with 60 companies in April 2019 to launch Generation T, a movement aimed at training workers in the trades. The initiative moves to change the social perception of trade careers by showing the economic possibilities, boosting trade education for children and creating work opportunities for students.