Catholic Board Launches Construction Academy

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has launched a new Construction Academy for students in Grades 11 and 12.

The program is based out of St. Joseph's High School in East Windsor but is open to all Catholic students.

The program will allow students to focus on construction by taking construction technology courses in home building, masonry and associated trades like plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling.  There will also be dual credits at St. Clair College.

Students will also take part in a year-long work experience at Habitat for Humanity.

It will also include as many as 1,000 hours of work experience and they will graduate with a Special High Skills Major red seal diploma.

Executive Superintendent of Innovation and Experiential Learning Dan Fister says this will give students hands-on experience.

"They will be in a position to learn from community partners by gaining up to 1,000 hours of co-op education experience along with paid work placement in the summer.  They are going to get into one of the hottest sectors so they will be job ready and employable," says Fister.

He says select students will get in.

"There is a selection process, so students out of grade 10 will apply to get in, have teacher references and an interview that is scheduled for May.  So we are seeing it is competitive and we wish we could open it up for more," says Fister.

The program is currently open to 20 students, but Fister says given the response so far, the board may have to double the program's capacity.