Ohio_House_for_NCCer_Fa_15_SpotlightBy Amy King, Communications Manager for NCCER With more than 800 students and 27 different career paths, the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) in Piqua, Ohio, offers a model career and technical education program for high school students. With support from its NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor, the Ohio Department of Education, UVCC combines high-quality instruction, ample hands-on experience and unique opportunities for students to get on-the-job training with local employers. Under its sponsorship with Ohio’s DOE, UVCC offers NCCER training and credentials in both Carpentry and Electrical. As evidence of the school’s superior instruction, these two programs typically see a graduation rate of 97 percent or higher. One of the primary reasons for the success of UVCC’s craft training is that the school offers numerous opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in their chosen craft. In addition to several small, hands-on projects offered throughout the year, carpentry and electrical students receive first-hand experience constructing modular homes through UVCC’s Duke Industrial Housing Lab. The housing lab, a 100’ x 60’ climate-controlled building, was added to UVCC’s campus in 2009, and since then, students have used the facility to construct two modular homes and started on a third one last fall. Over the years, UVCC students have worked on various construction projects in the local community, but having the housing lab right on campus enabled the school to take their craft training to the next level. The housing lab allows students to learn what it is like to build a home from the ground up—literally. The carpentry students begin with the subfloor layout, then work their way up to the exterior and interior walls and finish by installing the trusses, roof sheathing and shingles. Once the infrastructure is in place, electrical students install all of the home’s wiring and electric systems. Moreover, because these homes are auctioned off to local families, the students also get to experience the satisfaction of building something that helps support their community. Another way UVCC provides superior training to students learning construction crafts is through its pre-apprenticeship program. Students qualify for the pre-apprenticeship program by maintaining a high GPA and excellent attendance in their junior year. During the summer before their senior year, students selected for the program work full time for a local company. Once school starts, students rotate between attending school for two weeks and working full time with their employers for two weeks. Pre-apprenticeship students continue working on this schedule throughout their senior year, and although they are not guaranteed jobs once they graduate, the job placement rate is 100 percent nearly every year. Since students are paid an average of $12 an hour while working, they not only receive extensive work experience, but they can also earn quite a bit of money—which only reinforces how rewarding a career in the construction industry can be. After working full time all summer and part time during the school year, students typically earn around $12,000 or $15,000. Cover with titleFor the rest of the story, read the Sponsor Spotlight article in NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.