The Idaho Department of Labor awarded the College of Western Idaho (CWI) $25,000 that will fund a new masonry program through Workforce Development at the college. The grant will be instrumental in training future workforce for the masonry industry.
The Treasure Valley’s ever-growing construction industry has produced a significant demand for skilled and formally-trained masons. The Department of Labor projects there will be a 43 percent growth in available jobs locally over the next seven years. The grant is in response to this industry workforce need. With a dwindling workforce due to experienced masons retiring, there is a lack of skilled masons to replace them.
In addition to the shortage of new masons, local employers have identified two other gaps. There is no formal training program to teach people who want to explore the industry, and there is no avenue available for people working in the trade to receive additional training. This new three-year program at CWI will address both concerns.
The masonry program, which will also be taught in partnership with West Ada School District, will have two facets; hands-on work in the field and formal training in the classroom. The hands-on apprenticeship component will be “earn and learn” training that combines supervised on-the-job training, job-related education, and scalable wage progression.
“This program is being built through collaboration and action in response to the business community’s needs,” Christi Rood, the executive director for CWI’s Workforce Development, said. “We are happy the business community stepped forwarded and that we will be able to meet its needs. The ability to collaborate with West Ada (school district) on both curriculum and space is also exciting.”
The CWI class will be offered one night a week and one Saturday per month. Instructors will visit the student’s job site at least twice a year to assess their work. The new program has seats available for 15 students. Enrollment will begin in the next two weeks once the class schedule is established.
For more information or questions, contact Workforce Development at 208.562.2700 or email [email protected].