Site Announcement

Regular Hours, Summer 2024

Summer Hours: May 13 - July 26, 2024: Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 4:30pm, Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Introduction to Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship

Introduction to Construction Trades is a carpentry pre-apprenticeship program, supported by WE Build Waterloo, designed to create interest in a variety of career paths in the construction trades, including general construction, carpentry, electrical, masonry, plumbing, and HVAC.

Participants will engage in a 12-week residential construction or rehabilitation project to develop employable job skills such as:

  • Basic jobsite safety
  • Math, measuring, and understanding construction drawings
  • Operating hand and power tools
  • Framing and stair layout
  • Exterior and interior finishing
  • Roofing
  • Materials handling
  • Time management, conflict resolution, communication, and dependability

Program Topics

  • Basic Safety: Presents basic jobsite safety information to prepare workers for the construction environment. Describes the common causes of workplace incidents and accidents and how to avoid them. Introduces common personal protective equipment, including equipment required for work at height, and its proper use. Information related to safety in several specific environments, including welding areas and confined spaces, is also provided. OSHA 10

  • Introduction to Construction Math: Reviews basic math skills related to the construction trades and demonstrates how they apply to the trades. Covers multiple systems of measurement, decimals, fractions, and basic geometry.

  • Introduction to Hand Tools: Introduces common hand tools used in a variety of construction crafts. Identifies tools and how to safely use them. Also presents proper hand tool maintenance.

  • Introduction to Power Tools: Identifies and describes the operation of many power tools common in the construction environment. Provides instruction on proper use, as well as safe-handling guidelines and basic maintenance.

  • Construction Drawings: Introduces the basic terms, components, and symbols of construction drawings, as well as the most common drawing types. Also covers the interpretation and use of drawing dimensions.

  • Basic Rigging (elective): Provides basic information related to rigging and rigging hardware, such as slings, rigging hitches, and hoists. Emphasizes safe working habits in the vicinity of rigging operations.

  • Basic Communication Skills: Provides techniques for effective communication on the job. Includes examples that emphasize the importance of both written and verbal communication skills. Describes the importance of reading skills in the construction industry and discusses effective telephone and email communication skills.

  • Basic Employability Skills: Describes the opportunities offered by the construction trades. Discusses critical thinking and essential problem-solving skills. Also identifies and discusses positive social skills and presents information on computer systems and their industry applications.

  • Introduction to Materials Handling: Describes the hazards associated with handling materials and provides techniques to avoid both injury and property damage. Also introduces common material handling equipment.


The course is certified by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), which is a nationally recognized provider of construction trades curriculum, assessments, and safety-conscious programming.

Upon program completion, participants will receive NCCER Core Curriculum: Introductory Craft Skills, Construction Safety, and OSHA-10 certifications.

Career Placement/Employment

Program completers can choose to enter the workforce, begin an apprenticeship program, or continue their education.

Who Should Enroll?

This program is designed for individuals who want to explore the construction trades.

Enrollment Requirements

Must be 17+ years of age and interested in working in the construction trades.

Participants will have access to High School Completion or English Language Learning courses, if needed.

Upcoming Class Offering

April – July 2024 Session

12-Week Session: April 4 – July 3, 2024, Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 12:30pm

Application Deadline: March 8, 2024
AmeriCorps Orientation: April 1, 2024, 7:30am – 12:30pm
Mandatory Orientation: April 2 and 3, 2024, 7:30am – 12:30pm

Cost: $5,900 — Financial Assistance is available and often pays the total class cost.

June – September 2024 Session

12-Week Session: June 6 – September 6, 2024, Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 12:30pm

Application Deadline: May 15, 2024
AmeriCorps Orientation: June 3, 2024, 7:30am – 12:30pm
Mandatory Orientation: June 4 and 5, 2024, 7:30am – 12:30pm

Cost: $5,900 — Financial Assistance is available and often pays the total class cost.

Financial Assistance

This program is not eligible for Federal Financial Aid, but is approved for other sponsorships and assistance such as WE Build Waterloo and AmeriCorps Build Crew Member.

An AmeriCorps Build Crew Member has the opportunity to gain skills and experience while serving and impacting the community in addition to earning a living stipend and an education award.


For more information about the program contact the workforce development coordinator or complete the form below.

All fields marked with * are required.

Earn x Learn: Iowa's Registered Apprenticeship Programs"This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on the linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it."

Contact Information

Workforce Development Coordinator

Valerie Peterson
Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center 143
319-296-4296 ext.3110
Email Valerie Peterson

Career Pathway Navigator

Dawn Jorgenson
Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center 141
319-296-2329 ext.3113
Email Dawn Jorgenson

Construction Instructor

Jacob Ham
Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center 140
319-296-2329 ext.3112
Email Jacob Ham

Back to top