Golden Triangle Construction (GTC) recently broke ground on a 43,000-sq-ft building for Swallows Charter Academy in Pueblo, Colo. It is the first permanent structure for the K-12 school, which has 596 students and is located in Pueblo West Metropolitan District. Currently, K-8 students are housed in modular classrooms and a repurposed grocery store on the school site, and the high school operates out of a former strip mall across the street. The new structure will attach to a multipurpose building and gymnasium, built in 2016. The building, designed by Hord Coplan Macht, will have a 24,536-sq-ft first floor and 18,592-sq-ft second floor. It will include elementary and middle school classrooms, administrative areas and common space. The school received a $20-million BEST grant for the project, to be funded through a certificate of participation.

Construction Careers Now (CCN), a Denver-based pre-apprenticeship program, recently reached a landmark of graduating more than 1,000 students since the program’s inception in September 2016. Of the current 1,035 graduates, CCN says that 56% have been hired by local firms and 16% are continuing their education in the construction trades.

CCN offers a no-cost, four-week training program on construction basics, including a 10-hour OSHA training certificate. The program is funded by the state of Colorado, with donations from AGC of Colorado, Colorado Contractors Association and Hispanic Contractors of Colorado.

Instructors from Emily Griffith Technical College provide an introduction to the construction trades with both classroom and hands-on learning. Each four-week course concludes with its own hiring fair, which brings local construction firms face to face with soon-to-be graduates and provides area contractors with help in meeting labor demands.

“From advice, mentoring and network options, the CCN team and the program are still having a major impact on my life to this day,” says CCN graduate Austin Legg-Rife, who recently moved to Colorado.