A nonprofit construction academy in Denver, Colorado, is offering free tuition for students who want to learn carpentry.
“The teachers are great, all the skills that they teach you, the hands-on (learning) with the power tools,” 31-year-old student Gabriel Lara told KDVR this week.
“I’ve been to school twice already and I really had to think about the second time because I was already in debt for the first time. What I liked is that it was free,” he said of the Colorado Homebuilding Academy (CHA).
The school recently waived tuition because skilled carpenters were in such high demand and it wanted to help individuals find gainful employment in the industry.
The CHA website stated:
We offer practical training that aligns with the current needs of construction employers. The Academy was created by leaders in the homebuilding industry to specifically meet today’s challenges and to prepare you for a successful career. Our goals are to help you find a career that matches your interests and talents, connect you to employers, and help you make the most of the vast opportunities in the construction industry.
Director Damon DiFabio called it the city’s “best-kept secret,” adding that the academy was supported by local builders, foundations, and grants, according to KDVR.
In addition to creating a ready workforce, the school also wanted to fuel a sense of pride in its students:
By providing exceptional training and a streamlined career pipeline, we are helping hard-working men and women be proud of their chosen careers, see the value it brings to others, find new levels of success and support their families. They are able to earn more, give back to their communities, support local businesses and be an integral part of a thriving economy.
Thanks to CHA, Lara was on the way to a better career and future for himself and his 11-year-old daughter, Leticia.
“She is really proud of me,” he said.