Waco: New construction science program will train students for industry

(Photo by Nestor Montoya)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A first of its kinds education program in the state that will provide Central Texas student with a supplemental state certification is about a month away from opening its doors.

In August 2017, the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy will launch their Construction Science Academy.

GWARMA looked into creating the program after construction professionals in the Waco area expressed the need for skilled workers in the industry.

"The statewide trend right now is five skilled jobs for every one skilled worker, and we are about that same point here," said President for Heart of Texas Builders Association, Scott Bland.

"We're at critical shortage levels in terms of manpower for residential and commercial construction," he said.

Bland and other construction professionals have worked with GWARMA to help develop the curriculum, and have donated funds for the school's close to $600,000 expansion.

GWARMA's expansion will feature five skill set labs, a large workshop, and a classroom for general studies.

The three year program allows students from other independent school districts to attend class at their home campus, and then take math, science, and academy classes at GWARMA.

Dr. Dale McCall, Director for the Greater Waco Academies, said students in their sophomore year can enroll in the program.

"The first year will be a general construction technology course that will cover basically five areas: electrical, plumbing, framing and roofing, masonry, and HVAC," said McCall.

The second year covers the subject matter more in-depth, and in the third year seniors work a paid internship in the field related to the concentration they choose to specialize in.

"We want to provide them with a pool of applicants that already have a higher level of industry experience and some skill sets," said McCall.

38 students are currently enrolled in the Construction Science Academy, and McCall said anyone interested can still register until the second week of classes.