GLCA class builds for the future
Sue Scott

The Greater Lafayette Career Academy (GLCA) is helping to lay the foundation for future construction workers. The Construction Trades program gives high school students an opportunity to learn carpentry, framing and finishing, all while earning dual credits and industry certifications.

During the second semester, students are assigned to design and build a shed for a client. Harrison senior Bryce Julian says the class offers a unique opportunity to come to an advanced, new facility where he is able to learn and work with like-minded peers from surrounding schools. “Our team spoke with a client in January, created the design, ordered materials and are in the process of building the project,” says Bryce. “The entire process has been extremely educational, fulfilling, and collaborative and mirrors a real-world project in many ways.”

Instructor Aaron Krueger says the class serves as a pathway into the construction industry. “Students gain confidence in using all the tools to solve problems required when building their sheds,” says Krueger. “There are a lot of good paying construction careers that they can pursue after graduation.”

McCutcheon junior Garrett Shidler enjoys being able to lead a group of his peers to complete a project, like the shed: “After I graduate, I plan to start an apprenticeship to become a journeyman electrician.”

Bryce plans to continue his education at Purdue University's Polytechnic Institute to major in Construction Management Technology.

The Builders Association of Greater Lafayette (BAGL) and Gaylor Electric provide financial support for the program as well as classroom mentors. BAGL Vice President Brian Kerkhoff says the annual shed project engages more than 15 industry experts: “It’s about building strong relationships between the schools and industry, while fostering community.”

A representative from Downham homes helps mentor students in the class
Students working on building sheds
Students work together to cut materials
construction class at work