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Construction Pathway Program Forming From Regional Need

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Construction Pathway Program Forming From Regional Need

The Highlands Economic Partnership is preparing to add construction to its Pathways Program.

Director of Workforce Development and Education Kaitlin Salyer said a committee will be formed to connect education partners and employers. Salyer said this ensures that curriculum being taught lines up with in-demand skills.

“We’d been hearing quite a bit and I’ll use the example, we had the unfortunate tornado to come through last year,” Salyer said. “Even prior to that we were hearing there are shortages in the building and construction career sectors.”

Salyer said there is a shortage in this sector across the Upper Cumberland. Salyer said labor market information will be researched and area employers will be surveyed for forming a Pathways Construction Committee.

She said the goal is to have this rolled out by the end of June.

“We’re in the process of looking at who might join that committee right now,” Salyer said. “So I would like to see by quarter two, us having a pretty good committee in place to where we can start these conversations.”

Salyer used an IT example for how these committees help meet employer needs. She said the curriculum was being offered, but employers were looking for employees for cyber security skills, something that was not being offered at the high school level.

“We worked with our school systems, our employers and also our post-secondary partners,” Salyer said. “Specifically TCAT Livingston was was able to offer a dual-enrollment opportunity for the high school students to obtain a credential.”

Salyer said that electrical skills are also in high-demand for construction work. The Tennessee Pathways was formed in 2012.


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