Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KCKCC Green-Up Class provides new careers for graduates

Nearly a dozen unemployed or underemployed individuals are on their to new careers thanks to a unique Construction Green-Up Class offered at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

 For the past six weeks, class members worked on hands-on deconstruction projects for Heartland Habitat for Humanity and learned materials repair and re-use by working in the Habitat’s Wyandotte County ReStore. 

“Through funding provided by EnergyWorks KC, these individuals have received six weeks of intense technical training designed to get them on the fast track to employment or business start-up in growing green sectors of the local economy,” said Brennan Crawford, Construction Green-Up Program coordinator. 

As a result, 11 graduates will receive multiple certifications including Lead RRP, OSHA 30 and Forklift in ceremonies Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Room 2325 of the Jewell Center on the KCKCC campus at 7250 State Avenue.

The graduates are Jesse Alvarado, Jeff Daily, Larry Dean, Alvin Gilreath, Clifford Harris, Jodi Hatcher, Ahmad Rhaeem Neal, Joshua Isaiah Nelson, Calvin Reese, Emil Simon and Duane Jerome Smith Sr. 

Smith said several of the members of the class are working together on a commercial demolition job. 

“A few of us are already on jobs together,” said Smith, 

“This program helped lay the ground work for me to build my own company,” said Gilreath. “The OSHA courses in particular helped me to understand the full range of the field. The OSHA and RRP lead safety have already put me in a position to write a safety plan for my brother’s contracting company, where I’ll be working after graduation.” 

Graduates were unanimous in the need for such training. 

“We’ll have landfills in all are backyards if we don’t watch where all this waste is going,” said Alvarado. 

“We’re running out of places to put waste,” agreed Dean. “With deconstruction, we can start using these materials that we’re throwing away. I remodel houses and do some commercial contracting from time to time and in today’s society, these certificates are mandatory. The OHSA training will help me keep workers on my jobs safe.” 

“I drive around my community a lot and see a lot of places that need help,” said Neal. “With the education I got in this class, I can start taking steps to improve my community and my environment. I did so much to stay in this class, juggling my kids, school and work at the same time. But I felt like I had to just put this class first because if I didn’t, I’d be missing out on one of the best opportunities of my life.”