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January 30, 2024 | Training

What’s Right With Schools: Danbury students get head start in construction career

DANBURY, Conn. via WTNH – Students in Danbury are getting a major head start in a career in construction.

Carpenters Local 326 established a partnership with the Connecticut Technical Education & Career System (CTECS) Work-Based Learning (WBL) Program to provide high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on experience with an employer. The students not only obtain classroom credit, but they are compensated for their work with an employer as well.

Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury is the latest partner to take advantage of this initiative. The high school students are participating in hands-on workshop days at the Carpenters training facility in Wallingford while training to become union carpentry apprentices.

“For the first time we have a group of technical students from Abbott Tech being part of our partnership program and really get more exposure to what the commercial construction industry is doing,” said Miguel Fuentes from North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters.

Some of the students have already been accepted into the union. Gina Barriere is one of them and she hopes to start her own remodeling company someday. This is a step towards that dream.

“Being a woman in trade, it’s a little scary but you’ve got to have confidence and I have a lot of confidence so I feel like I’m going to do pretty well,” Barriere said.

Students walked in every day knowing it was not just a regular day in the workshop. They’re learning real-life skills alongside team leaders they could work with someday.

Senior Nate Greene sees this as a real opportunity to grow.

“I believe doing this is networking because I’m going to apply and try to get into college, play college football, but still be in the union. Work here in the summer,” Greene said.

To learn more about our union and your opportunities, please visit NASRCC.ORG/YOURFUTURE now!