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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy photo A new construction-ready program will begin next week at Crowder College's Jane campus. The free program will teach participants construction skills, with emphasis on concrete and metal work. Employers such as Mid-Tec in Anderson are partnering with the program. Mid-Tec is one local company in need of qualified workers, according to Frank Neely, with the Workforce Investment Board.

McDonald County employers need good workers immediately, and a new program being launched next week at Crowder College's Jane Campus may just fit the bill for preparing qualified candidates.

Local industry leaders need reliable, trained employees who will serve in critical construction positions, said Frank Neely, with the Workforce Investment Board.

"Employers need them now," Neely said. "The point is to provide employers with a steady pool of applicants."

McDonald County neighbors have the opportunity to gain hands-on construction education and experience in the free, 12-week Building Trades Career Readiness Program.

Construction skills are taught and, in McDonald County, specific training for concrete and metal work is emphasized.

Officials have extended the deadline for the registration, but today is the last day to register. The program begins June 18.

From a state's perspective, officials are investing in pre-apprentice programs, looking for opportunities for jobs in high demand, said Tom Franklin, associate director of the Crowder College Training and Development Solutions Division.

Helping people transition into the jobs is the goal, he added.

In McDonald County, employers and the McDonald County Chamber of Commerce expressed interest in partnering with the development of such a program.

As a result, McDonald County industry leaders have teamed up with the Workforce Investment Board and Crowder College to prepare candidates for a new career.

Neely said students will gain a variety of knowledge, including an OHSA-10 certificate, CPR, first aid and financial counseling, in addition to specific training needed in McDonald County industries.

After gaining the nearly 130 hours of education, applicants graduate from the program and then have direct access to interview with potential employers, Neely said.

Those who do not immediately gain employment may then apply for an additional six-week paid internship to have the opportunity to "impress upon the employer" a great work performance, Neely said.

The program will help construction job applicants feel confident about a new career, Franklin said. Anyone who is willing to learn will be successful, he added.

"It's good training for certain tasks, teaching plan-reading ... all roles on a construction site," Franklin said. "We want them to feel comfortable and to think long-term when they first start in the industry," he said.

Students who are willing "to listen and to learn" will find success. Though the program is compressed, students gain a great deal of information without a lot of testing, he said.

The Workforce Investment Board, which serves a seven-county area, is teaming with various technical and community colleges to offer such programs.

Neely said two such programs have been launched in the past two years in McDonald County, with two more to follow.

To register for the construction program, or for more information, call 417-451-2223.

General News on 06/14/2018

Print Headline: McDonald County Employers In Immediate Need Of Qualified Workers

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