A high school construction program in central Indiana was the first to receive an apprenticeship certification from the Department of Workforce Development. It will fast-track students into the workforce after high school.
Starting next year, about 40 students at Hamilton Heights High School in Arcadia, Indiana, will be able to participate in the State Earn and Learn program, or SEAL. They’ll be in paid apprenticeships with local construction companies while they earn professional certifications and class credits.
Eric Fisher is the industrial technology teacher at the school. He says the quicker they can get students trained and in jobs, the better for them and the construction industry.
“There’s been a widening in the gap in those leaving the industry rather than the young talent coming in,” Fisher says. “And we’re going to be in a serious crisis to build things for our society.”
While other Indiana schools have SEAL certifications in areas like manufacturing and health care, this was the first one awarded to a construction program.