Alexander Williams has a hard hat that he’s quite proud of. He has a full-time construction job with benefits, and great hours thanks to training offered through Tidewater Community College’s Center for Workforce Solutions.
TCC’s program provides introductory training as part of the National Center for Construction Education and Research. The class covers topics like basic safety, communication skills and introduction to construction drawings. Completing this curriculum gives graduates the basic skills needed to get a job or continue their education in any craft area of their choosing.
Williams learned about the program from his sister. “I enjoyed interacting with others in my classes and gaining those soft skills that are essential on the job,” he said.
Williams works for Hampton Roads Connector Partners where he is part of the environmental team. “Our job is to protect the land and the water supply. It’s a good job, with consistent hours and competitive pay,” he said.
Thanks to new funding from the state, more qualifying students can enroll in “G3” programs – Get a Skill, Get a Job and Get Ahead – for several fields, including construction. And many students can get the training using “G3” tuition assistance, allowing them to gain the skills they need for a good career without worrying about the cost.
Tamara Williams (no relation to Alexander Williams) is vice president of TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions. She says, “Students who go through this construction portion of our program have jobs before they have credentials. The employers come in and they stay engaged. We don’t have anyone left for placement when the course ends.”
Williams is proud of how his new career will position his entire family for success. “The program was a great stepping stone into a career with forward mobility,” he said. “I have a 10-month-old son, a significant other and we are making it through,” Williams said.
“A lot of doors opened for me, and my life is significantly improved because of TCC,” he added.
According to Build Your Future Virginia, a carpenter in the commonwealth earns about $44,000 a year while an electrician earns about $67,000 a year.
The next introductory construction course begins this week. To register, visit here. Registration specialists are available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 757-822-1234 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.