CRTC Teacher Goes Back to School So He Can Offer More to His Students
As a longtime teacher of the CRTC Construction Technology program, John Hubbard is used to being the oldest person in the classroom. However, these days John is having to get used to a whole new kind of experience, that of being the oldest student in the classroom.
In the past eighteen months, John has taken two welding courses and one plumbing course, and currently is enrolled in an introductory electrician class at the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades. He’s learning all these new skills as part of an ambitious plan to enhance his residential-construction-based program by adding basic welding, plumbing, electrical and masonry skill training to the mix.
“Most of the students in these classes I’m attending are not much older than the kids graduating out of my program,” John said. “They look at me as someone at the end of his career and wonder why I’m here. But once I explain to them that I’m taking these classes to upgrade my program, they think it’s really cool and say they wished they had that kind of program when they were in high school”
Each course John takes meets for three hours, twice a week, for thirty weeks, so they represent a significant investment in time and effort on his part. But he says that the payoff for putting in the extra time is that he will be able to make some meaningful changes to his program that will significantly improve both its value to his students and its relevance to today’s job market.
According to the US Department of Labor, the construction industry is facing a severe labor shortage, as the workforce is aging and fewer younger workers are stepping up to replace them. While these statistics are a concern for employers, they represent a significant opportunity for high school CTE students being trained in the building trades.
The CRTC recognizes these trends, and this school year has expanded the Construction Technology program content to train students for careers in a wider variety of the industry’s most marketable skill sets. The newly renamed CRTC Construction Trades program eventually will include sections in:
- Building Construction
Each of these instructional sections is being developed with the help and guidance of many industry partners, and will focus on the essential basic skills students will need to find good-paying jobs and apprenticeships after graduation. In addition, by moving toward making Construction Trades a three-year experience for a greater number of students, the program will create even more opportunities.
“We’re looking to get more kids to enter the class as sophomores so that in their senior year we can get them involved in incredible off site opportunities like working as an apprentice or taking a class at Manchester Community College,” John said.
And, of course, none of it would be possible without John’s commitment to improve his skills so that he can pass that knowledge along to his students.
“The goal here is to open up many more career pathways for these students,” John said. “I’m looking forward to fully implementing these changes in the program and to exposing the kids to more opportunity.”