Carpentry Academy

Hands-on Carpentry Academy provides skills for workforce entry

Carpentry student with instructorHands-on instruction and taking the time to learn how to do things the right way safely are major benefits of taking Carteret Community College’s Carpentry Academy.

According to Mr. Perry Harker, the College’s Vice President of Corporate and Community Education, the short-term training is ideal for several reasons. “This academy will prepare you for an entry-level job with a local company and you will earn a good wage,” said Harker. “This will give you the skills to join a career field with many opportunities to grow.”

The short-term course meets three times a week for six weeks and industry veteran Skip Knittel teaches to National Center for Construction Education and Research standards. During the course students learn the importance of safety on the job site and become familiar with a wide variety of power tools, how to use them and what tasks they are designed for.

Knittel, who taught in a vocational/technical school setting for more than 25 years, was a licensed General Contractor in Florida before retiring to Emerald Isle. In addition to basic construction techniques to include framing, flooring, building walls and installing trusses, Knittel also teaches his students how to read blueprints and do construction estimating.

“We have some students who have a little bit of experience but for many there are tips and practices they were never taught that can make them safer and more productive,” said Knittel. “We also have students with absolutely no prior experience, and we teach them how to be safe on the job site and familiarize them with power tools, how to use them and what job they are designed to do.”

Knittel said such students leave the class with entry-level skills to be top-notch helpers and can progress from there to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility.

Beaufort’s Neil Lewis is one of the students from the fall academy. He started the course with some experience doing renovations but said the Carpentry Academy helped fill in the gaps he had with certain skills.

“I had built houses and done renovations, but we were so focused on getting the job done that there were some things I did but didn’t know why we were doing them,” said Lewis. “There were some things I had never been taught and now I have a better understanding.”

Jarrad Hignite said he took carpentry in high school, but the course was held during the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and he did not get a full experience. “I had never used a nail gun before and now I know how,” explained Hignite. “I’ve learned so much. I did not know what a biscuit joiner was. There are so many things I’ve learned. It has been a great experience.”

JoAnna Neyens said she hoped to use the class to extend her knowledge. She has some experience in construction but said the class has added to her skills and will help her in the future. “Just learning about all of the tools and how to use them safely was a great benefit,’’ said Neyens. “We also learned how to read blueprints!”

Another student said she learned lessons that will benefit her in life. “After going through a divorce and now being responsible for making decisions regarding my home I feel more comfortable in dealing with issues that may come up,” said Asilomar Sibulkin. “I will have a better understanding of why things are done and make sure I am not being taken advantage of.”

The next Carpentry Academy through Corporate and Community Education will start February 8, 2022. Cost for the course is $180.55 with a $75 shop fee.  Financial aid is available. Carpentry is not the only skilled trades class offered in the Spring. Starting in January, classes in HVAC, Electrical, Forklift Operator and Welding are being offered.

The College’s Director of Workplace Training Richard McCormac said there is no better time to take a trades class at the college. “The jobs are out there, and we have financial aid that will allow anyone who needs assistance to take our classes,” said McCormac. “The New Year is a perfect opportunity to start fresh and learn the skills that can lead to a rewarding career.”

For additional information, contact Richard McCormac at 252-222-6203.

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