A pre-apprenticeship program is in action at Autry Technology Center, as students will build their 16th home this year (top photo). Area home builders provide building supplies and financial support, as well as opportunities for job shadowing, field trips and potential employment when they complete the program. Students work on a home as part of the Autry Technology Center program (below right).
By JIM STAFFORD
Carol Hartzog Communications
ENID – With support from the Enid Home Builders Association and the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, the Autry Technology Center’s thriving Construction Technology program will build its 16th home during the current academic year.
Area home builders provide Autry students with building supplies and financial support, as well as opportunities for job shadowing, field trips and potential employment when they complete the program.
Home builder support of the program continues long after the students complete one of five industry tracks, said Jeff Clark, Technology Construction instructor for Autry Technology Center.
The builders hire its graduates.
“The residential home building trade is doing very well at this time,” Clark said. “Due to the shortage of skilled and entry-level construction workers, the demand for people in the career field has increased. All of my former students are employed in the residential construction field.”
Autry’s program offers construction training in Lead Carpenter, Residential Carpentry, Finish Carpenter, Frame Carpenter and Cabinetmaker. The curriculum was developed by the National Association of Home Builders/Home Builders Institute.
Students who complete the program can enter the job market with an industry-recognized pre-apprentice credential, which is validated by the Institute and the National Occupancy Testing Institute.
Clark is a 1980s graduate of Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education system who worked for many years in all phases of home building before returning to the Autry Technology Center to mentor a new generation of residential construction carpenters.
Recent feedback from an Autry alumnus provided some positive feedback on the center’s residential construction program.
A former student stopped by to show Clark his paycheck, which reflected a pay scale of $17 per hour -- slightly above the median average rate for all construction jobs in Oklahoma.
However, more than the size of his paycheck, the former student’s industry experience confirmed that Autry’s program provides a realistic experience for its students.
“Since the student is a recent completer of our Construction Technology program, he was able to inform me that the work and environment he is currently in is just like that of the Autry Technology Center program design.”
Now that is validation.