NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As construction continues to boom throughout Middle Tennessee, many contractors are struggling to find enough workers. Goodwill’s month-long construction and weatherization training program is working to fulfill this need while also helping underserved residents in Nashville find jobs. 

Goodwill has a training facility in West Nashville where students in the program learn valuable construction skills. The program consists of four classes per week with students splitting their time equally between the classroom and the workshop.

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Matt Gloster, a Vice President at Goodwill, said that this program targets those who are underserved in the Nashville community, “We target audiences in the north part of Nashville. Zip code 37208 has the highest rate of formerly incarcerated persons in the country. And if you think it’s hard getting a job, try getting a job with a background. So when we bring them into our program, we work with them on their employability skills. We’re with them on financial literacy, digital literacy, and then work skills training programs, like the construction training.”

Gloster said the skills the students learn make them excellent candidates for entry-level construction positions. “They get several credentials. They come from the National Council on construction research and education. It has basic carpentry, basic construction safety. OSHA 10, they get a certification for that, we get a weatherization certification, and they learn how to operate a forklift.”

Students also learn more about energy efficiency thanks to Goodwill’s partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA built a demonstration house on-site so students can get hands-on weatherization training. 

Frank Rapley, Senior Manager of TVA EnergyRight, said that many contractors in their quality contractor network hire the graduates of this program. “The vision is that their students will come in here and they can get their general construction training, then they’ll learn about energy efficiency, and weatherization, and all the things that we do in our programs, and then our contractors can hire them and bring them into the industry so they can get good-paying jobs and start to careers.”

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Those who are interested in this program can call Goodwill at (615) 742-4151 or click here for more information.