By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) is now registering qualifying students for free classes at the Volt Center. Thanks to a $218K grant from the American Red Cross, scholarships are available for training in construction trades in high demand after the damage caused by Hurricane Florence.
Craven CC applied for the grant in September and will begin offering carpentry, electrical, HVAC, welding and small engine repair classes in January 2020. While all classes are available to the public, a number of specialized classes are also being offered to community partners Habitat for Humanity and the Home Builders Association of Craven and Pamlico Counties such as mold remediation, contractor entrepreneur classes and the North Carolina General Contractors preparation course. Participants in all classes will have the opportunity to work on live projects with both organizations.
“The partnerships we have created with Habitat for Humanity and the Home Builders Association have created a pathway for our students to work alongside professionals in their trades and also assist in the rebuilding of homes and the building of new homes for those individuals who were devastated by the storm,” said Eddie Foster, executive director of the Volt Center. “These partnerships are vital for helping those, who in some cases lost everything, to regain a new start on life.”
The goal is to provide students with training that will lead to a successful career, as well as assurance that Eastern North Carolina is well equipped with skilled tradespeople in the event of another hurricane or natural disaster.
“The relationship that the college has established with the Red Cross through the grant is life changing for many who were affected by Hurricane Florence,” said Foster. “The Red Cross can always be counted on in a time of need with food, shelter, medical support and much more. However, this grant proved that the Red Cross is looking at ways to assist not only with the devastation created by Florence but also for future events. They recognized that there was a shortage of qualified contractors and qualified workers in the construction trades to support the revitalization efforts needed after the storm.”
Craven CC is currently registering students for flexible class schedules that include days, evenings and weekends. Classes beginning next month include Carpentry/Construction Level I daytime classes from Jan. 14 through April 7 and evening classes through April 22. Mold Remediation daytime classes will run Jan. 14-29 and evening classes will run through Feb. 18. Welding Level I daytime and evening classes will run Jan. 21 through June 29, Small Engine Repair will run Jan. 21 through Feb. 24 and HVAC Level I will run Jan. 21 through June 30.
Additional classes will begin between Feb. and June. Registration is open until the day before the class begins. Anyone interested in taking a class must fill out a Resiliency Project Scholarship Application. Scholarships are awarded to qualifying students on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Students coming through these programs offered at the Volt Center are preparing themselves for wonderful employment opportunities in skilled trades,” said Jeff Schulze, director of trade programs. “There are not enough skilled workers in this area and these classes are helping to fill that void.”
Students may register for classes online at www.cravencc.edu/volt to receive the form electronically or stop by the Volt Center, located at 205 First Street in New Bern. For more information, contact Cat Johnson at 252-633-0857 or email@example.com.
This article was originally published in the New Bern Sun Journal on December 11, 2019.