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Students Earn While They Learn in Skilled Trades

Des Moines Education Central Campus

August 4, 2017

The ability to motivate and engage young learners today can be transformative when coupled with the ability to earn a wage while learning. Incorporate high quality and real world work and business connections to this formula, and you have the hallmarks of a dynamic education, community and economic development program that’s a win-win for everyone.

Trades Programs Expanding in DSM USA

Des Moines Public Schools and Central Campus in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), the nationally recognized school, will expand its trades programs starting for the 2017-2018 school year to give more opportunities to students. The partnership with construction industry leaders and labor organizations creates a Skilled Trades Alliance, which will prove to be a premier example of work-based learning with hands-on applications for students.

Central Campus, working with community leaders, will increase its capability and capacity through a High Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Skilled Trades Academy in the fall of 2017. Students will be immersed in job-embedded practices and internships while learning from industry mentors.

Gary Scrutchfield, President and CEO of Lumberman’s Drywall and Roofing Supply, is one of the dynamic business leaders that help form the Skilled Trades Alliance with Central Campus.

“Industry leaders must engage with schools to promote our industry and to fundamentally shift the way we interact with school leaders in order to create more opportunities for students in high demand areas. We are the best advocates for our industry and can be champions for the development of the next generation of high quality skilled laborers,” says Gary.

Central Academy Apprenticeships

The Academy will include an industry-certified pre-apprenticeship curriculum and integrated mathematics, expanding our school-to-work program while maintaining compliance with standard hiring practices of our partners in homebuilding, painting and drywall, carpentry, electrical, masonry, concrete, plumbing, HVAC, welding, revit modeling and more.

Central Campus is the first high school in the state to be certified as a high quality apprenticeship program in welding by the Department of Labor. There are plans to expand paid registered apprenticeships into other trades and career academies.

With the addition of pre-apprenticeship skilled trades and HVAC/plumbing in the fall of 2017, there will be more than 120 additional students trained this year. There are still seats available for 10-12th grade students from any school district in Iowa.

It’s imperative that we work in partnership with industry leaders to prepare today’s work force. Our diverse students are passionate about work, earning industry certification and gaining real world experience. These experiences will give our students multiple pathways to economic success.  We are grateful to the investors of the Skilled Trades Alliance for their generosity in paving the way for our students.

Greate Des Moines (DSM) is at a crossroads with the resurgence of commercial and new home construction market:

  • Significant decline of high school graduates entering trades the past two decades
  • National reports forecast a 25 percent increase in construction job openings by 2018
  • Retirement of the majority of tradesmen is predicted within the next 5-10 years

These factors will intensify the labor shortage crisis — having an adverse effect on our state’s economic growth.

Located at the heart of the model district for urban education, Central Campus in Downtown DSM offers hands-on, real-world work-based educational programs to a highly diverse community and surrounding areas. One of our greatest strengths is the friendships and networking of students from diverse backgrounds and communities. Over 2,000 students from dozens of DSM high schools experience our Advance Career Training Programs. With academic planning and support in high school, students have the opportunity to earn community college credit and two-year Associates Degree at no extra cost. Des Moines Public Schools dedicates itself to excelling at unique and technologically advanced opportunities for all learners. Central Campus commits itself to providing equal access and prospects through rigorous academic and career training experiences for all.

Looking for more opportunities for students in DSM? The Partnership offerings numerous programs and initiatives that can help. Also, find information on the region’s education offerings including primary and secondary schools, local colleges and universities and other continuing education resources.

Aiddy Phomvisay

Aiddy Phomvisay is in his second year as director of Central Campus. His previous leadership experiences include assistant director of Central Campus, associate principal at West Des Moines Valley High School and principal Marshalltown High School. Mr. Phomvisay was named 2014 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year. He serves on numerous statewide boards and committees promoting education reform and increasing student engagement in apprenticeships advance career programs while in high school. Mr. Phomvisay is a member of the Governor's Future Ready Alliance. Aiddy lives in Des Moines with his wife Mindy, music teacher at McKinley Elementary, and their three children who attend Des Moines Public Schools. Visit centralcampus.dmschools.org.