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Agencies join to provide free construction training, home repair

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Free construction training aims to bring 1,000 new workers to the field — and it’s giving specific attention to Hoosiers who’ve faced barriers when it comes to economic mobility.

The organizations BY Plus construction and NeighborLink for the first time are coming together, offering a free eight-week construction course.

A representative for the groups said communities will always need construction jobs, so this partnership not only will provide a skill but also help some of the city’s low income seniors and people living with disabilities.

“I’m around a bunch of great people every day. Classmates, teachers, instructors — it’s a wonderful class and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said student Deon Maxwell.

BY plus Training provides hands-on experience and certification through the paid program.

“It’s really aimed at providing services in order to get individuals who have barriers who might’ve had struggles in their life onto a pathway to be able to get into one of these high-paying jobs in the construction industry,” said Nate Klinck of Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation.

Some of the students are just now picking up the trade going through the basics. Others like Maxwell have experience but hope to gain a bit more financial security by getting OSHA-certified.

“It gives me more credibility opens up more doors and ideas for me,” Maxwell said.

The BY program has been around since 2018, but this is the first time it’s partnered with the non-profit NeighborLink, which makes repairs for low-income seniors and people living with disabilities — and is now helping students gain experience.

“They end up being part of a community give-back, the way we think about this,” said Klinck.

Although this course is wrapping up, the next one starts in October, and registration is open. Applicants must be 18 years old or older.

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