ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — The job market for trade skills is wide open, but the jobs aren’t always easy to fill.
The Indianapolis-based nonprofit Minority Construction Collaboration is working with a location in Anderson to change that.
About 40% of the population have high school diplomas. For so many more, college may not be affordable or even a goal. Minority Construction Collaboration representatives said by taking up construction or another trade, people are almost guaranteed to find work.
In classes at the Anderson Impact Center, students learn about about different power tools and what they do. The students also learn the basics to construction.
“This is the foundational tool that we use to help lead people into a variety of different vocations,” said Minority Construction Collaboration founder Antonio Lipscomb. “We have a lot of classifications of diversity when you speak of minority, and so we want to reflect that, you know, we are not limiting ourselves to just one group.”
He said he got into construction at a young age to avoid the pitfalls of growing up in poverty with little opportunity.
“When you come from a crime-stricken area you’re viewed as someone who would be potentially a person who would go into the criminal justice system,” he said.
In 2016, he formed Minority Construction Collaboration to help others learn the same skills. Since then dozens of students have earned their construction credentials and gone on to get jobs or start their own business.
Sherry Peak-Davis, the Impact Center executive director, said, “This is a career path no matter the age that you can get involved and learn training and further your skills as well as your employment opportunities.”
A new partnership with the Impact Center is expected to add more credential construction workers to the list to help close the skills gap.
“Our goal is to help our community connect to employment opportunities in the area and beyond,” Peak-Davis said.
Lipscomb said everyone isn’t going to go to college, but everyone needs to work and this helps provide a solution.
The classes are broken down into nine modules. Once all nine are completed, students can earn construction accreditation.
Minority Construction Collaboration leaders also said they are working on added Spanish courses.
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