INDIANAPOLIS — The need for skilled construction workers in central Indiana continues to grow, and finding people to fill those positions hasn't been easy.
That's according to the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation.
Now, there is an effort to help prepare people to fill those roles. It's called the BY Plus Construction Training Program.
"It's something different," Billy Owens, a program participant said. "I like working with my hands and being outside, so that's all in the construction field."
The program is a free eight week course that helps people learn everything they need to know for an entry level construction job. It also provides them with two industry recognized certifications.
"The construction industry is completely booming right now, certainly across the country and in central Indiana," Nate Klinck, Executive Director of the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation said. "Our projection is that over the next five years or so, there going to need to be 65,000 workers."
The program was designed to address that need. And so far, Klinck says it's working.
"We've been doing the BY Program now for about four years and in that time I think we're up to 600 individuals that have gone through and successfully completed the program," Klinck said. "Our outcomes have been fantastic...70 to 80% of our individuals received a job offer at the end."
And, those participants often come from non-traditional backgrounds.
"It could be that they have been involved with the law or it could be that they did not finish high school," Klinck added. "It could be that they are in a low paying career right now and they want to make a transition into a higher paying career within construction."
He said about 80% of participants are coming out of poverty when they join. The challenge they face now is just getting the word out about the program and getting people to sign up.
Owens said there's a lot that he enjoys about the program, including helping people, seeing the results, the finished product and accomplishing something.
The next free course starts in mid-October.
For more information about the program and how to sign up, click here.