JALC Offering IDOT Training

Tools

By Evie Allen

CARTERVILLE -- IDOT has started a career training program at John A. Logan College. The course is designed to give people a head start on a construction career.

It began in 2009 and John A. Logan is one of just 12 community colleges in the state that have implemented the program. The 12-week course will end with students having new skills and hopefully a brand new career.
 
Nearly two dozen people have enrolled in the Highway Construction Careers Training Program
 
"Part of my job is to mentor the students and their work efforts, stay with them, monitor them, assist them," says program coordinator Mark Etters.  
 
Etters helps guide the students through intensive training in concrete, carpentry, math, blueprint and welding. 
 
"It's a life changer," he adds. "And I've learned as much from the students and my work here as I guess they have from me.
 
The program concentrates on minorities, disadvantaged individuals and women.
 
"Women, don't be shy. Jump in there and get dirty," says student Lisa Walker, who is hoping to finish the course with a construction job waiting for her.  
 
"I've always been around various tools and equipment," she adds. "My dad was a local roofer and it's been kind of in my blood."
 
Student Khnum Hayes enrolled looking for a new beginning. He says he leans more towards carpentry but is eager to try it all.
 
"Just the opportunity alone is something that's worth the effort, the energy," he explains. "Give yourself the chance to learn a new trade."
 
Hayes says a fresh start is the opportunity of a lifetime. They'll all go home with job and life skills. 
 
Etters adds the mentoring will continue after graduation.
 
"My goal is that they will have a very productive future and that they will continue to grow in their educational and training experiences," he says.
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