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The construction trades program was not really given much of a chance. When the VP of academics was told by our advisory panel (local contractors) that the students coming out of the program would get paid 50 cents more than a labor they were not really behind it. The only thing that kept it alive these last several years was the fact that program moved out the local minimum security prison, and was funded by the Wyoming Community Development Authority. They pull out a year ago May when things started slowing down. We were trying to build some student housing for the college using our construction trades at the prison, but some local contractors were upset with that, so the college has to let it go out for bids. I was thinking that we would get bids, and give the board of trustees the option of using contractors or continuing the education program. I was told that administration is going to table the program until January, but I am beginning to wonder if it is even going to happen.
Maybe this will just open up some new opportunities for me. I have thought about going back in the contracting, but this is a bad time of year to get something started. We will see what happens. I guess it is time for me to put this into Gods hands.
I can't say it's surprising. The residential program I teach in here in GA is seeing lower and lower enrollment each year, and probably isn't too far from being shelved either. When I started teaching 3 years ago, I had almost 30 students in the residential construction management program, and the carpentry program had around 55 students between the evening and day classes. This year (starting in two weeks), we've got 11 in the management program, and I think 12 in the day carpentry program and 6 in the evening carpentry program. I'm surprised their even letting the evening program go forward this year- they cancelled it two years ago due to low enrollment, and I think there were more students enrolled in that class than in this one.
We were trying to build some student housing for the college using our construction trades at the prison, but some local contractors were upset with that
That type of competition between public and private can be a real problem. It might have worked better if the work was put out to bid with the stipulation that a percentage of hiring had to be from a pool of workers established by the program.