College of the Canyons will introduce two new courses in construction to meet the industry's growing demand for skilled workers. The classes, to be offered this spring, cover construction management and the uniform building code.
Marking the first time the college has offered coursework in this field, the new classes will eventually evolve into a full-fledged construction-management program that will articulate with a construction-management degree program offered by California State University, Fresno, a partner in the college's Interim University Center.
The transition to Cal State Fresno's degree program will be virtually seamless, as students will attend classes on the College of the Canyons campus. The Interim University Center allows students to earn bachelor's and graduate degrees from a wide assortment of universities without ever leaving the Santa Clarita Valley.
"The number of homes being built in this area has shot up tremendously, fueling the demand for skilled workers," said Gina LaMonica, dean of occupational programs at the college. "Our goal is to meet that need and boost the skilled labor pool locally."
Indeed, new home sales in the Santa Clarita Valley have soared, with more than 2,800 new homes projected to be sold this year - representing a 31 percent increase over last year, according to data provided by the California Economic Forecast.
Residential building activity in the region is expected to remain strong, with the forecast predicting about 20,000 units per year throughout Los Angeles County. About a third of these units will be built in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.
Development of the new courses also was urged by local government officials who recognize the critical need for individuals who have both knowledge and certification in the area of building codes, LaMonica said.
Both courses also will complement the college's existing welding and drafting programs, LaMonica said.
The course "Construction 050: Uniform Building Code" will focus on code requirements for residential and non-residential construction as they pertain to the building inspection process. It also will help students prepare for certification exams for building inspection in California.
Scheduled with working lifestyles in mind, this class will meet from 6 to 8:50 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The course "Construction 100: Construction Management" will cover the principles of management and employee relations in the construction industry. Topics will include licensing, insurance, project financing, bidding, contracts, scheduling, safety and community relations. This CSU-transferable class, also scheduled with working students in mind, will be held 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.
The spring 2004 semester begins on Jan. 20. For more information about these courses, call LaMonica at (661) 362-3479.