K-64 brings education, business, and government together to connect people of all ages with the skills needed to fill jobs and build careers in Catawba County.

The summer academies for Catawba Valley Community College are starting soon! K-64 works directly with the Construction Academy, with nearly 30 students participating this summer along with 12 construction-related local businesses and CVCC.

The Academy is a combination of course work and paid internships with the participating employers. These programs involve our high school students and incumbent workforce and help our local employers build and connect with our future talent pipeline looking for career opportunities in the construction fields.

Construction Careers Academy

The Construction Careers Academy (CCA) is a cooperative partnership between CVCC, area construction companies, the Chamber of Catawba County, and the Catawba Valley and Hickory Home Builders Associations. The CCA’s goal is to proactively identify and cultivate a skilled construction workforce for the future. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors aged 16-18, recent graduates, and anyone interested in a career in construction. Training encompasses a 7-week summer class covering construction fundamentals, OSHA safety, and employability skills. Paid construction pre-apprenticeships are offered, providing summer, part-time positions with local construction companies at a minimum of $12 per hour and a completion bonus of $750 for Summer 2023.

In addition to classroom instruction, the CCA offers hands-on projects, focusing on safety, basic construction, and employability skills. The Academy also allows participants to earn college and high school credit. Potential careers that participants can explore include skilled craftsman roles (electrician, carpenter, plumber, HVAC technician, masonry), job superintendent, project manager, and construction business owner. The program is sponsored by a host of leading local construction companies and organizations, and scholarships are available for deserving individuals through the CVCC Foundation and the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce.

Students of Furniture Apprenticeship

The Students of Furniture Apprenticeship (SOFA) program is a dynamic workforce development initiative designed to provide high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to embark on a rewarding career in the furniture industry. The program focuses on furniture fundamentals through a 7-week training class, followed by paid pre-apprenticeship positions with local companies, where students can explore various roles like sewing, upholstery, manual and automated cutting, pattern-making, and spring-up. Participants are paid $10 per hour, with the possibility to work additional hours based on approval from the employer. Ultimately, the SOFA program aims to pave the way for full-time employment and apprenticeships within the furniture industry upon graduation.

The SOFA program’s educational experience is enriched by a comprehensive curriculum that includes safety, lean management principles, employability skills, an introduction to furniture occupations, and usage of hand tools and equipment. Beyond this, students can earn both college and high school credit, enjoy a productive summer employment stint, and potentially land a full-time job or apprenticeship with a partnering furniture company. It’s a unique opportunity for those who have an aptitude for furniture craftsmanship and are looking for an exciting new career path.