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COM leases space to train workers for job opportunities

College of the Mainland trustees have approved a one-year, $54,264 lease with the Community Family Center to house COM’s new Construction Trade Center at 2000 Texas Ave. in Texas City and offer area workers more job opportunities.

The Trades Center will occupy 9,044-sq. ft. of the 60,000-plus center to provide Hurricane Harvey Fast-Track Training Courses through funding provided by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The college will offer short non-credit classes to train workers for construction trades positions, now in high demand following Hurricane Harvey. The courses will benefit anyone who wants a working knowledge of home reconstruction.

Most courses are approved by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), a non-profit organization encourages standardized skills and credentialing in more than 70 craft areas. Programs are scheduled to begin in January, and include a variety of carpentry, drywall, basic interior finishing, painting, masonry, heating and air conditioning and plumbing courses.

Students will learn basic hand and power tools, and receive the safety credential OSHA 10 upon completion. The Community Family Center includes several state and local agencies and a clinic operated by UTMB.

“The purpose of the center is to help families get back on their feet,” said Lynda Perez, executive director of Mainland Community Partnership, which operates the center. “Agencies here provide financial, medical, family and counseling support,” Perez said. “The job training being offered by College of the Mainland fits very well with our mission.”

Laura Baumgartner, COM’s director of CE Industrial Workforce Programs, explained that classes offered at the center are win-win- win for individuals, the community and the college. “After Harvey, these entry-level skills are now in great demand,” Baumgartner said. “Students who complete these short programs — which last three weeks — will improve their opportunities for employment. That’s good for students, the community, and COM.”

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