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Building Occupational Opportunities in the Midlands
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  Amy Scully, Executive Director of Programs
  Midlands Technical College, SC




Building Occupational Opportunities in the Midlands (BOOM) is a newly created partnership between Midlands Technical College (MTC), three local school districts, Vocational Rehabilitation, Midlands Education and Business Alliance (MEBA), and the Building Industry Association of Central SC. In the program, high school students with disabilities are getting hands on, real-world experience in the construction field. Not only are the students learning the construction skills, but at the end of the program, all of the students earn a 10 hour OSHA Construction Certification and a Continuing Education Certificate from Midlands Technical College. The goal is for all students to exit the program and enter the field of construction.

Students met for an entire semester on the college campus twice a week for a total of 6 hours each week. The first project was to build a birdhouse with the goal of bringing all students to a comparable level of basic construction skills. In the first project, students learned to correctly use a tape measure and basic tools such as a saw, hammer, and other tools of the trade. For the final project students built mini houses complete with roofing, shingles, windows, walls and subflooring.

As the class neared completion, member companies from the Building Industry Association of Central SC interviewed the students on the college’s campus. The interviews were held two weeks prior to the students’ completion of the program. We will soon know how many of the 15 students secured employment. At the conclusion of the program, a graduation was held with the college president addressing the students and their parents.

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