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News Weatherford and Parker County

Center of Hope addressing labor shortage

The Center of Hope's new program provides construction training.

New program offers construction skills training

Special to The Community News

According to the Dallas Builders Association, there are 20,000 construction workers needed in the North Texas area to meet the growing demands for construction projects and skilled workers. Recognizing this, Center of Hope recently launched a new program, Careers Now Construction – a pre-apprenticeship training program which helps prepare individuals for valuable careers in the construction industry.

The Careers Now Construction program involves five weeks of evening classes in a number of critical areas: basic construction concepts, OSHA certification (an important training for construction workers from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), hands-on construction experience, and essential life skills that can help them throughout their career. A GED, high school diploma, or prior experience is not necessary to participate. And, at the conclusion of the program, graduates are invited to attend a hiring fair to meet with construction companies for specific job opportunities.

“I’ve spoken with multiple contractors. All of them are saying the same thing. They just can’t find enough people to fill these jobs,” said Mark Jackson, Careers Now Construction Coordinator. “The Careers Now Construction program addresses these needs, in as little as five weeks. Plus, the classes take place in the evening, so even those with existing jobs that want a better career have an opportunity to participate.”

Jackson says the program covers a wide assortment of construction areas – carpentry, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, and more – so participants leave introduced to construction skills in order to work in many areas of the industry. Typical starting pay is $15 per hour and can quickly increase.

One of the more unique parts of the program includes life skills to help participants build strong character, exemplary work ethic, and increasing value to their employers. Participants are also taught how to create a resume, complete a job application, and strategies to get the most out of job fairs and interviews – important and necessary characteristics for career success.

“The Careers Now Construction program goes to the heart of our mission, to help individuals break the cycle of poverty and create a better life for themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” said Paula Robinson, Executive Director of Center of Hope. “This program is uniquely designed for the unemployed, underemployed, or just those wanting something more. It’s an opportunity to build a better future for themselves, and have long-term success in a good-paying, high-demand job.”

For more information on the Careers Now Construction program, call Mark Jackson at 817-594-0266 (ext. 320), or email .

To register for the next class, visit CareersNOWtx.com.

Based in Weatherford, Center of Hope is a Christ-centered ministry dedicated to helping others break the cycle of poverty in Parker County – building on relationships with accountability. Center of Hope offers basic crisis assistance, education and career development, and family empowerment programs all centered on the Bible and the guiding principle of “offering a hand up, not a handout.”

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