Veterans offered classes for NCCER certification

Del Mar College was recently awarded $175,445 in Skills Development funds, reserved specifically to help veterans gain skills for in-demand occupations, from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). As the construction industry continues to boom in South Texas, Del Mar College’s Corporate Services department is working to help veterans meet new qualifying standards and better their chances of getting a job.

“Right now, one of the fastest growing job sectors in our economy is industrial construction,” said Mary Afuso, a Del Mar College grant administrator. “One of the single most important skills of the construction craft is safety.”

Del Mar College will offer veterans the National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) Core classes, which is a nationally recognized credential.

“Veterans taking this course will have a leg up in the interview process because, once the course is completed, they will be NCCER Core certified. This means getting on the job faster, which saves the employers training time,” said Afuso, who is also a member of the Board of Directors for Texas Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend.

Gary Griffith, Del Mar College’s NCCER Core instructor, has been around construction since age 12, when he started learning the ropes around his dad’s shop. Griffith said safety has always been a big priority for him. His father taught him about working smart and finding out why something is done the way it is. Griffith praises his classes for being serious about getting more education and focused on the subject of safety.

“I feel privileged to help them in any way that I can. It is my hope that I have passed along some knowledge, and experience to each one of the veterans I’ve had in the class,” Griffith said.

Lance Montgomery, a student in the NCCER Core training, said the course has given him a wealth of knowledge, most of which he can use in everyday life. He recommends other veterans take advantage of the courses.

The training classes are being held through February 2016, and are offered during the days, nights and weekends. The training is free to veterans through the TWC Skills Development fund. A DD-214, a clean drug screen and a discharge status other than dishonorable are required to qualify. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the NCCER Core training program, or to sign up, contact Dara Betz, grant coordinator, at 698-1093 or For more information on additional training opportunities available through Del Mar College, visit

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