(as published in Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019)
— In response to high-level community demand for general construction training, skilled construction workers, and affordable housing, Great Northern Services (GNS) is collaborating with College of the Siskiyous (COS), California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), and the City of Weed to facilitate accessible, inexpensive construction training courses through COS’s continuing education program. The program is based at the Yreka campus and in a lab setting at a home construction site in Weed. This free non-credit class starts August 26, 2019 and online registration is available at http://www.siskiyous.edu/
In 2014 the Boles fire provided an unexpected opportunity when it destroyed GNS’s offices and the Weed Community Center. GNS relocated and has been actively developing its property on South Davis Avenue to offer affordable homes to families with each sale sustaining the program until the entire property is built out. From there, the community vision is to continue the project at various sites throughout Siskiyou County, wherever the need and opportunity exist.
Cal Poly’s students participating in architecture and design programs designed the home and built the exterior walls. The prefabricated pieces arrived at the home site in a shipping container in early August and are now ready for students to assemble their first home. Students will learn from licensed contractors and accredited instructors who will guide them through every aspect of building a home.
In 2019, GNS surveyed over 750 local high school and college students as part of a workforce and career project, the Siskiyou Occupational Advancement Roadmap (SOAR). 3% of students surveyed who had some idea of their chosen career were interested in construction. Very few industries had greater consistent interest, which helped confirm the project’s likelihood for success.
Non-credit extended learning courses are a powerful tool to help adult learners to advance in their careers or to launch into a new one. Classes are often free and offered at convenient times. The program was developed with the vision and coordination of the Dean of Career Technical Education and the Yreka campus Director Mark Klever, GNS Director of Real Estate Development Rod Merys, and COS faculty.
For more information, please visit http://www.siskiyous.edu/continuinged/noncredit.htm or contact Dr. Kim Freeze, PhD, Director Noncredit, Community & Contract Education (530) 841-5834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.