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Building Futures creates Northeast Indiana trades career opportunities

A new program will introduce prospective workers to the building trades and to begin sharpening skills that would help them enter fields that support construction in northeast Indiana.

The central sponsors and planners for the Building Futures program are the Northeast Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council and Northeast Indiana Works, according to a news release. As many as three classes are planned in Allen County, at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast.

Building Futures is for people 18 years old and older. People who are selected for the program must undergo a pre-assessment process that includes a drug screen. Participants will receive a $100-a-week stipend during the course of the program.

People interested in the program can visit or call Northeast Indiana Building Trades at (260) 489-8574. Deadline to sign up for the first class is March 17.

The free three-week pre-apprenticeship program will train 120 people through this free, three-week pre-apprenticeship program, beginning April 10 in Allen County. It will eventually be extended to other northeast Indiana counties.

Classes will cover communication, problem-solving, safety and health, blueprint reading, construction math, material handling, tool utilization and quality. Students can earn two industry-recognized certifications and complete Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, according to the news release.

A Northeast Indiana Works job market analysis has projected a regional growth in construction-industry employment of 17 percent in the next decade, from 13,963 to 16,397, or 2,434 jobs. Another 2,683 jobs may have to be filled to replace retiring workers.

People who complete the program will be better prepared to either go right to work in a construction occupation or apply for a full apprenticeship, where they will be paid to further enhance their education and training, said Darryl Esterline, president of the Northeast Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council.

Trades in this program include carpenters, iron and sheet metal workers, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, insulators, painters, plasterers and roofers.

Building Futures partners include Northeast Indiana Works, which helped plan the program and secured significant funding through Skill UP Indiana!; Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, the chief training provider for Building Futures; WorkOne Northeast, which will assist with participant assessments; the Fort Wayne Urban League and the Indiana Plan, which along with Ivy Tech, will provide instruction; the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, city of Fort Wayne and the Questa Educational Foundation, which have provided additional financial assistance; and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which secured $100,000 provided by Chase.

The program’s total training cost will be at least $667,000. That includes $390,000 from the Skill UP grant; $150,000 pledged by Northeast Indiana Works for on-the-job training once participants land jobs; the $100,000 from Chase; $17,000 from the city of Fort Wayne for Allen County-only participant stipends; and up to $10,000 from Questa for training equipment.

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