SAD 36 backs new trade course

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LIVERMORE FALLS – SAD 36 directors unanimously endorsed a craft-construction program that would prepare high school students enrolled in the two-year certificate course to step into the construction industry at a semi-skilled level.

Members of the Association of General Contractors of Maine will continue the development of the curriculum and bring it back to the board in the future, SAD 36 board Chairman Ashley O’Brien said Saturday.

The construction program would be taught during junior and senior years.

The junior year would consist of the core basic construction skills needed by all construction crafts. The topics include basic safety, basic math and introduction to hand tools, power tools, blue print reading and basic rigging. The Prentice Hall textbook would be used, O’Brien said.

In the balance of the junior year and senior year the students will be required to gain a basic knowledge of carpentry, electricity and plumbing, according to a syllabus presented by Tim Madden of Livermore to directors Thursday night.

The course will be a combination of hands-on and theory training in and out of a classroom setting. It will be structured to include construction site experience with modern equipment.

Students will be required to make a 100 percent commitment to maintain their place in the program.

O’Brien said SAD 36 has agreed to sponsor the program and they’re looking for space now.

The courses would be taught by local contractors.

Students would get certificate recognition within the industry for the nationally certified courses and it would be recognized at a college for credit toward an associate degree.

The board is “excited” about the program, he said. This presents opportunities for a whole additional group of students, he added. It wouldn’t take away from courses taught at Foster Regional Applied Technology Center in Farmington, he said, but would enhance them.

Besides SAD 36, the program is initially expected to be offered to students in SAD 52 in Turner, Winthrop and Jay. Winthrop officials have already voted to endorse it, O’Brien said.

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