TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The Ollie Washington Pre-Apprentice Construction Program started after the April 27th tornado damaged and destroyed thousands of homes in Tuscaloosa.
Now organizers believe it could give people a chance at a second career.
"It teaches them to measure twice and cut once. It's a real staple of the construction business that I learned over the 6 years that I've been involved with it,"
Mason Bonner told WBRC.
He called the program a second chance for people seeking a career change related to construction.
"It would be a skill that they could actually go out and get employment or they can then go out and get enrolled in carpentry school and places like Shelton State," Bonner added.
The 5-week free apprenticeship program is part of a partnership between Community Works Tuscaloosa and Tuscaloosa City schools.
Classes are offered two nights a week at the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy.
People who enroll can learn basic carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC and construction skills.
Some enrollees used those newly learned skills in their own homes.
"We had the course last fall and we had 8 women to enroll and what their purpose for enrolling was to fix their own home," Bonner went on to say.
Completing the program would qualify someone to be a helper to a carpenter or an electrician.
Those classes are free, but you do have to register.
Bonner said you can do that by logging onto www.westalabamaworks.com and look for the Ollie Washington Pre-Apprentice Construction Program.