Dan Pool / Photo
Carpentry instructor Bill Mullis shows off new equipment at the Chattahoochee Tech campus to state rep. Rick Jasperse and school president Ron Newcomb during an open house last week.
It may seem like a simple assignment, students begin their career track in the new Chattahoochee Tech carpentry lab building sawhorses – the catch is they need to have edges straight and joints tight.
As carpentry instructor Bill Mullis, with his 25 years of construction experience, explained holding up a basic tape measure, “this is the most important tool.”
The lab in its own building on the east side of the Jasper campus features an array of saws, nail guns and other tools found in the construction trades which were on display April 23 at an open house hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
Chattahoochee Tech President Dr. Ron Newcomb said in brief remarks that he wanted to thank state rep. Rick Jasperse (in attendance) and the rest of the legislature for the funding “which we are putting to good use.”
Newcomb said they have heard the message loud and clear - people want the technical college reinvigorated to serve the needs of the community.
Carpentry is among the new or expanded offerings that the campus features, along with welding, automotive tech, and nursing. These are areas identified by different groups as being needed in north Georgia to support the local economy.
Newcomb said they are working to build enrollment, particularly among non-traditional (adult) students. Chattahoochee Tech has partnered with local schools so that programs begun in high school can flow directly into the dual-enrollment classes at the tech school. Next, Newcomb said they want to see their program “dovetail into expanded offering and hours for classes” to serve adults seeking to go back to school.
Mullis said the school’s carpentry classes, with a lot of hands-on lessons, prepares students to step into a construction crew. He said the students need to develop experience, but with the classes they learn the basics that will make them sought-after employees for framing or finishing crews.
For a lot of the younger students this is the first time they have handled power-tools so Mullis keeps a pretty close eye on them.
At the open house, there were crates/boxes under construction and the students will work up to chairs and tables as practice runs before they start with house-building.