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home : news : education October 15, 2019

8/11/2019 12:11:00 AM
Course Prepares Students For Construction Careers
Let Gaston College show you the way to a new career path
Dr. Dennis McElhoe is the vice president for the Gaston College Economic and Work Force Development program. 
(Photos Courtesy Gaston College)

Dr. Dennis McElhoe is the vice president
for the Gaston College
Economic and
Work Force Development program.

(Photos Courtesy Gaston College)

Lincoln Herald Staff

DALLAS, N.C. - Those working in the construction trades know that theirs are jobs that’ll never go away.

And if you’d like to enjoy that sort of job security and learn a trade from which you can benefit for the rest of your life, Gaston College can help. How? With its “introduction to construction trades” course now being offered by the Gaston College Center for Work Force Excellence.

According to college spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett, this course is based on guidelines established by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (or NCCER), a non-profit education foundation that develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. This core curriculum course provides the basic skills necessary to work in the construction trades environments, and it must be completed before students take additional programs that are specific to the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

The course covers basic safety, introduction to construction math, introduction to hand tools, introduction to power tools, construction drawings, basic rigging, basic communication skills, basic employability skills and material-handling.

Pickett added that teaching the course is NCCER-certified instructor Ray Collins, who works as an estimator with Recore Electrical Contractors in Gastonia. Collins recently talked about the course and the constant need for new workers in the construction business.

“The construction industry needs a work force eager to enter the trade,” he said. “Learning the basics through this NCCER program could be the first steps toward a new career.”

And Dr. Dennis McElhoe also commented. McElhoe is the vice president for the Gaston College Economic and Work Force Development program.

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“This NCCER core curriculum course is one of several courses that we will offer for individuals interested in beginning a career in the building construction trades,” he said. “The college is making this course available in direct response to requests from regional building contractors.”

The 72-hour course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6 to 9 p.m., in Room 119 of the Pharr Trade and Industrial Center building on the Dallas Campus of Gaston College. It will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and it will end on Thursday, December 5. There will be no class on Thursday, Oct. 17. Nor will there be class on Thursday, Nov. 28, as this is Thanksgiving.

Individuals who are interested in taking the “introduction to construction trades” course must be 18 years of age or older, and they must possess mechanical ability. Tuition fees for the course are $191 per student. The required textbook is available for purchase in the Gaston College bookstore. Students should bring the textbook and a pen and paper to the first class meeting.

To register for the course, see the Website at and click on WebAdvisor and then “continuing education.” Under the gold registration bar, click “register and pay for continuing education classes.” Enter “construction” for the key word search and click “submit.” Select the “intro to construction trades” course, click “submit” and complete the requested information. Payment for the course is expected at the time of registration.

For more, e-mail or call (704) 922-2244. 

About the Center for
Work Force Excellence

Gaston College’s Center for Work Force Excellence provides employers throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties with corporate training solutions that are designed to assist them in meeting their organizational goals while remaining competitive in today’s global market place. Examples of programs offered through the center include leadership development, building maintenance certification, manufacturing boot camp, quality systems and safety certifications. Staffers can also develop new programs or tailor existing courses and programs to meet employers’ specific needs.

For more on what Gaston College can do to assist you with improving your organization’s productivity and competitiveness, see the Website at

Questions? Ask us! Click on the Website’s “ask us!” button in the upper right-hand corner on the home page. This is an Internet service that is designed to assist prospective and current Gaston College students and members of the community in receiving quick responses and answers to frequently asked questions about tuition, financial aid and scholarships, continuing education and much more.

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