PCEDC, OSHA hold safety course for new recruits
Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 13, 2012
The Pike County Economic Development Corporation is helping citizens get back to work.
The PCEDC sponsored an Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety course that will help future construction employees get a leg up during the job search.
“These guys will all be going into the construction field or a related field,” said Bill Caton, an executive for Alabama Association of General Contractors. “This OSHA 10-hour safety class is a standard in the industry and we are giving it to new recruits to the industry.”
The class was put together through a partnership with the PCEDC, OSHA and a job firm. More than 20 area residents took part in the class, with a variety of different goals in mind.
Some of the students wanted to gain knowledge of the construction industry, while others had a more capital thought process.
“I asked some of the guys why they were taking the course and some said that they wanted to work construction,” said Caton.
“But one guy said ‘Because of the money.”
Caton said that the course will allow the new workers to be prepared for a variety of on-the-job situations and make them better prepared for their time on a construction site.
During the two-day course, students will learn about OSHA procedures and complete an OSHA safety exam.
Caton said the class is a great tool for new workers, but that more seasoned workers have even taken the class before.
“We have had people take this course that have been in the industry for 20 or 30 years,” said Caton. “A job site will have multiple types of contractors and sub-contractors present, and the safety knowledge is good to have.”
As of July 2012, Alabama’s unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, nearly even with the national average. Caton hopes that the class at the PCEDC, as well as others throughout the state, will help put people back to work.
“It is a step in putting people back to work,” said Caton. “It is also a step to build a skilled work force which the construction industry desperately needs. Someone has to be able to build the building we are in.”