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Four-week classes designed to teach entry level house renovation skills

Through a partnership with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, derelict houses facing demolition will be renovated and sold. Students will spend their mornings in class and their afternoons at the job site. The students will receive a $12 an hour stipend for their afternoon work. By the end of four weeks, students with perfect attendance will receive enough compensation to pay for more than 70 percent of the college in-state tuition. They will also receive basic hand tools and a tool belt worth about $350. Books needed for the class are also provided at no cost.

Students will have access to equipment normally expected on a job site, including power tools, ladders, and safety equipment.

Students will earn five college credit-hours over the four weeks based on a construction curriculum designed by the National Council for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). Students will learn safety, construction math, reading blue prints, operating hand tools and power tools and more during morning classes. Then in the afternoon they will apply what they’ve learned in a supervised real-world setting, earning three more college credit-hours. Depending on the condition of the house, students can expect to learn about demolition, framing, sheetrock, painting and flooring.

The program consists of eight credit hours: five credit hours in NCCER Core Curriculum (CON157) and three credit hours of carpentry clinical (CAR170). Students who have previously completed the NCCER Core Curriculum will take the three-credit-hour clinical construction lab only (CAR270) in the place of CON157 and CAR170.

New four-week classes are scheduled to start on August 16, September 20, October 25, and January 17 (2022).

Several dozen blighted houses in Trinidad are on a list for possible renovation currently. The program is funded by the Colorado Partnership for Education and Rural Revitalization (COPERR) through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Trinidad State was awarded a $1.66 million grant in 2020.



Topics covered

  • Basic Safety
    Presents basic jobsite safety information to prepare workers for the construction environment. Describes the common causes of workplace incidents and accidents and how to avoid them. Introduces common PPE, including equipment required for work at height, and its proper use. Information related to safety in several specific environments, including welding areas and confined spaces, is also provided.
  • Introduction to Construction Math
    Reviews basic math skills related to the construction trades and demonstrates how they apply to the trades. Covers multiple systems of measurement, decimals, fractions, and basic geometry.
  • Introduction to Hand Tools
    Introduces common hand tools used in a variety of construction crafts. Identifies tools and how to safely use them. Proper hand tool maintenance is also presented.
  • Introduction to Power Tools
    Identifies and describes the operation of many power tools common in the construction environment. Provides instruction on proper use, as well as on safe-handling guidelines and basic maintenance.
  • Introduction to Construction Drawings
    Introduces the basic elements of construction drawings. The common components of drawings are presented, as well as the most common drawing types. The use of drawing scales and how to measure drawings is also covered.
  • Introduction to Basic Rigging
    Provides basic information related to rigging and rigging hardware, such as slings, rigging hitches, and hoists. Emphasizes safe working habits in the vicinity of rigging operations.
  • Basic Communication Skills
    Provides good techniques for effective communication on the job. Includes examples that emphasize the importance of both written and verbal communication skills. Describes the importance of reading skills in the construction industry and covers proper techniques to use in a variety of different written communication formats.
  • Basic Employability Skills
    Describes the opportunities offered by the construction trades. Discusses critical thinking and essential problem-solving skills for the construction industry. Also identifies and discusses positive social skills and their value in the workplace.
  • Introduction to Material Handling
    Describes the hazards associated with handling materials and provides techniques to avoid both injury and property damage. Common material-handling equipment is also introduced.




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