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July 31, 2017

SMCC jumps in to help Maine's construction industry

Courtesy / Southern Maine Community College
Courtesy / Southern Maine Community College
Southern Maine Community College President Ron Cantor, left, and Jonathan Smith, president of Great Falls Construction in Gorham, speak at the construction site of the future headquarters of Sebago Brewing Co. in Gorham about a new training program to help the state's construction industry find workers with high-demand trade skills.

How the Construction Institute will work

The Maine Quality Centers is providing grant funding for the Construction Institute to the first 16 qualified Maine residents. The five courses offered this fall are: Building concepts and leveling, print reading, tool safety, construction safety and framing methods.

After completing the program, students will earn a certificate of readiness and be able to explore job opportunities at a meet-and-greet session with employers.

Additional information about Construction Institute is available on SMCC's website.

For students seeking a certificate in Construction Technology, SMCC also offers a 24-credit, one-year certificate that provides technical and hands-on experience and prepares people for a career in the construction industry. Students completing the program receive an Academic Construction Certificate.

For students seeking a college degree, SMCC offers a two-year associate degree in Construction Technology. Students may enroll now in the program for the fall semester.

Southern Maine Community College will launch a program this fall to help the state's construction industry find workers with high-demand trade skills.

SMCC's new Construction Institute was developed in collaboration with members of Maine's construction industry to provide training that is essential to the industry. Builders have had trouble finding enough qualified workers at a time when southern Maine has experienced a surge in construction projects and low unemployment.

The Construction Institute aims to address the changing needs of students and the construction industry by offering convenient schedules and stackable courses that allow students to progress at their own pace, SMCC President Ron Cantor said during the July 26 announcement at the construction site of the future headquarters of Sebago Brewing Co. in Gorham.

"The Construction Institute teaches skills that are in high demand while allowing individuals to continue their education without having to complete an entire degree program," Cantor said in a news release. "As an added benefit, students can apply the classes toward a degree or certificate in Construction Technology should they choose, giving them the option to further their education even more in the future."

With Maine's economy at full employment, contractors out straight and an aging workforce, the new program will benefit Maine's construction industry, said Jonathan Smith, president of Great Falls Construction in Gorham, who also serves as president of the Associated General Contractors of Maine trade association. Great Falls Construction is building Sebago Brewing's new headquarters and brewery.

"We're doing a lot as an industry to bring the next generation of construction workers along," said Smith. "Anything we can do along those lines will help. There's no shortage of need from the industry."

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