Carpentry program grads now certified

Lisa Schaar and her husband stayed with friends and neighbors and even slept in their company truck after Hurricane Harvey destroyed their Rockport home.

“Eventually we closed in a 12-by-4 porch that stood up to Harvey and there we lived,” said Schaar, 51.

After two years of trying to rebuild and recover, Schaar and her husband received a new home from a home assistance program.

“September 13 I received a set of keys and we were so blessed,” Schaar said.

Schaar is a recent graduate of the Del Mar College Rebuild Texas Carpentry skills training program and wants to give a helping hand to those who were affected. 

The program is made possible by an $879,000 grant from Rebuild Texas fund, a collaborative project of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation. 

“The greatest thing that Hurricane Harvey has showed us is that we don’t have enough skills and trades people and that includes carpenters,” said Arnold Mendez, DMC project manager of Rebuild Texas.

Around 70 students graduated from the program’s second session on Sept 26. Classes are held at three locations in
Ingleside, Rockport and DMC’s West Campus. There is anticipation that at least two more locations would be added in January 2020 in Sinton and Refugio by program administrators. 

“I personally have family that is just now finishing their homes so I know how important Rebuild Texas is to provide that workforce that’s needed so that the community can rebuild,” said Lenora Keas, DMC vice president of Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives. 

The Rebuild Texas Carpentry skills training program, which runs for 10 weeks, is free to students. No prior experience is needed and all tools and supplies are provided to the students. The next session is scheduled Oct. 7 through Dec, 17, and more than 450 students are on a wait list for all three locations. 

“This program is excellent for students who want to learn, and I hope it continues.” Schaar said, “If you’re not sure if you can do this program, I’m 51 years old, I say go for it.”

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