by Kaitlin Jackson
The East Delavan Academy Construction & Trades Training Program, a collaborative effort between Catholic Charities Workforce and Education and 716 Ministries, graduated nine students today. This was the second graduating class from the Academy; the first group graduated in April.
Students in the program complete nearly three months of training in soft skills and hands-on experience, and obtain nationally recognized trades certifications such as NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) and OSHA 10 by the time they graduate. The program also offers tutoring for math and reading, case management and wraparound services, job placement assistance and retention services, and employer and union training center tours.
The program is funded through the annual Appeal in support of Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith, which keeps tuition at no cost to students.
“East Delavan Academy is one of the most unique vocational programs in our community,” said Jeffrey Conrad, Catholic Charities Workforce and Education Department director. “Students receive industry recognized credentials, hands-on experience, soft skills training, and all the wraparound services they need, including remedial assistance and access to numerous services offered by Catholic Charities. East Delavan Academy will help build Buffalo one student at a time.”
During the graduation ceremony, students received tool belts donated from Mader Construction Co., Inc; and certificates of merit from Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Tim Kennedy.
Graduate Michael Williams said, “I was in between jobs and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my career, so I decided to take the 12-week course, and I absolutely loved it. It was a great experience. I learned so much as far as writing a resume, to working with employers to being set up in front of interviewers and what to say. I learned different soft skills – everything from working with your kids and how to talk to your kids, to how to deal with different people, as in coworkers and owners of a job, to different experiences you could take outside of that job, everyday life experiences. I would recommend this program to everybody. It’s a great program.”
To be eligible for the program, students must be at least 18 years old and attain a minimum seventh grade level on the TABE for Math and Reading. The East Delavan Academy is housed at Catholic Charities Workforce & Education, 1001 E. Delavan Ave., Buffalo, and partners with OSC Manufacturing & Equipment Services, Inc.; the John W. Danforth Company; Mader Construction Co., Inc.; and SUNY Erie. Interested individuals can still enroll for the Spring 2020 session.
For more information or to enroll in the East Delavan Academy, call (716) 893-3500, ext. 5105.