DELTA, Colo. (KREX) — Technical College of the Rockies just put a new major on the map. The college off Highway 50 just won a grant worth almost 195 thousand dollars to create a new program for construction.

The grant shows the state wants to invest in TCR’s success.

“If you look at all the different components we would like to do a class for estivation a class for roofing, a class for framing,” Technical College of the Rockies Director Dr. Allen Golden discloses, “Every portion of home construction, we will have a micro-credential for, in the end.”

The state funds called REDI, serve as a real economic development initiative, and a great foundation to get this program off the ground.

“TCR’s new construction program isn’t set to launch until this fall,” Cora Dickey reports, “In the meantime does work in progress has time to build on its initial support, which includes turning this building into a center of excellence.”

Future students will also get hands-on experience and opportunities with Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans. Executive Director Erica Madison, says local contractors are excited the program will help high school graduates measure up to expectations on day one.

“They’re able to go into that field with experience that helps the contractor helps them employer accomplish what they need to accomplish right off the bat instead of making the work site the job training,” Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans Executive Director Erica Madison describes.

Programs and training like this are important pieces to solving the puzzles of affordable housing and qualified workers — not just in Delta, but everywhere.

“It not only solves the nonprofit side of affordable housing but it’s also helping to solve the workforce side of being able to have trained people go to work for market companies,” Madison continues.

The funds are secure. the plans are in motion, the main thing missing is a program coordinator.

“The next step is to hire a program coordinator to partner between Habitat for Humanity and TCR,” Dr. Golden shares.

“The perfect program coordinator would likely have a decent amount of experience with construction, Madison mentions,” From there, they’re a really good relationship builder and they can work with both the local employers as well as that the TCR staff.”

The trainings are short term micro-credentials which Dr. Golden says can be earned in a matter of weeks.