With hammers pounding and circular saws whirring, New Community Workforce Development Center’s building shop is pulsating with activity.
On a recent Friday, 10 students in the Building Trades Training Program under the instruction of William Robinson, known in the shop as “Mr. Robbie,” took their weekly examination to review past lessons. Afterwards, the students donned safety goggles and left their textbooks in the classroom for a hands-on lesson in the shop, located in the basement of the Workforce Development Center at 201 Bergen St.
After a five-year hiatus, the Building Trades Training Program is now again offering classes to individuals 18 years or older. The 540-hour course covers basic skills in the areas of carpentry, electricity and plumbing, according to Rodney Brutton, Director of Workforce.
Some students like Clifford Northern Sr. came in with extensive work experience in a specific trade. “I knew the electrical part but I know nothing about building,” said Northern, 45, who worked 10 years as an electrician and currently is working towards his trade license. Rene Tiru said he enrolled in the program because of the potential to earn a solid living as an HVAC technician. “I’m getting on my feet right now,” Tiru, 39, said and added, “I get up every morning looking forward to this” class.
Robinson, himself an electrician in NCC’s Environmental Services Department, aims to give the students a well-rounded education.
“The (goal) is that the students would have a whole view of maintenance,” he said.
Anyone interested in the program can contact Workforce at 973-824-6484.