Red Clay News
Students Jump at Construction Program Opportunity
Students like Michael Hurley at Thomas McKean High School, and Khayvon Morton-Gibbs at John Dickinson High School, know a good opportunity when they see one.
|Students are interviewed at a press conference held Wednesday to announce a new construction-related career program that Red Clay has developed with Delaware Technical and Community College.|
So when the two juniors heard about the new “Construction and Renovation Certificate Program,” being offered in conjunction with Delaware Technical Community College, they jumped at the chance.
The innovative new program allows students to earn nationally recognized certifications in several construction fields, and Delaware Tech course completion certificates, as they finish high school. It was announced Sept. 5, 2012 at the Delaware Tech Innovation and Technology Center by officials from Red Clay, Delaware Tech and guests, including four students.
“When I heard about the program, it sounded like a great opportunity,” said Morton-Gibbs. “I said to myself, `I can’t miss out on an opportunity like this!”
The program is open this school year for high school juniors, who will attend classes at their home school for part of the day and train at Delaware Tech’s state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Center in New Castle for the remainder of the day.
In addition to their high school diploma, students will have an opportunity to graduate with the necessary training and certifications needed for entry-level construction jobs, or to continue their education, said Red Clay Superintendent Merv Daugherty at the press conference.
“This program has everything to do with our students, and helping them find a good job or be ready for college courses,” he said. “It’s expanding what we do…We heard of the need, stated to us by the unions, that they need more students coming out of school ready to work. This is it. I think we’re going to hit the mark with this one.”
Dr. Daugherty said the program was 18 months in the making, a collaboration between the Red Clay Office of District Services, headed by Burton Watson, and Delaware Tech’s Corporate and Community Programs, directed by Paul T. Morris.
Partnerships such as this one are a “critical” part of how Delaware Tech develops programs, said Mark T. Brainard, J.D., Vice President and Campus Director of the Stanton and Wilmington campuses for Delaware Tech. “Partnerships allow us to pull other ideas into the room and provide programs we may not have the resources to provide,” he said.
Red Clay school leaders in attendance included Dr. Lisa Ueltzhoffer, principal of Thomas McKean High School, and Dickinson Principal Byron Murphy, who said the program offers the best of a vocational program and a traditional high school. “This program combines hands-on training and the high-end academic work at the same time,” he said.
Others that support the program include union officials and the Delaware Department of Labor. “The Delaware Department of Labor is proud to be recognizing the partnership between Red Clay and Delaware Tech of this very exciting program to introduce students to the skilled trades,” said Secretary John McMahon in a statement. “It is well known that the jobs of today and tomorrow will demand advanced skill levels and those skills or lack thereof will have a direct impact on individual earning levels. Congratulations to all stakeholders in seeking to provide this opportunity for our students.”
Certifications available include the OSHA Construction Safety & EPA Lead Safety certification, training that employers would normally have to pay for when hiring construction workers.
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