Lively Technical Center is out with a new program to bridge the skills gap in the local construction industry. It follows a recent Florida Chamber of Commerce survey showing employers continue to worry about not funding enough skilled workers.
Local builder Bill Kimberl says acquiring the right skills and education to enter the workforce doesn’t mean having to go to college or racking up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
“Don’t think for a moment I promote not going to college, but let’s face it, not all of our kids are going to go that route. For some it’s just not an option," he says. "Others… just don’t want to. but our kids need to know there are successful…and lucrative paths to a career in construction.”
Lively’s new building trades program can be completed in as little as nine months and allows students to dabble in fields like plumbing, electrical welding and carpentry. They can also earn industry certifications. The starting salaries for those fields is about $50,000 a year. The program is a partnership between Leon County Schools, the local chamber of commerce and the Tallahassee Builders Association.