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Jets Construction Academy earns industry cert

James Clemens Construction Academy has earned Business Industry Certification (BIC), the culmination of two years of hard work by administrators, teachers and students. Construction Academy students are shown with their 'tiny house' project. CONTRIBUTED
James Clemens Construction Academy has earned Business Industry Certification (BIC), the culmination of two years of hard work by administrators, teachers and students. Construction Academy students are shown with their ‘tiny house’ project. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – The Construction Academy at James Clemens High School has obtained Business Industry Certification (BIC), which culminates two years of diligent work by administrators, teachers and students.

Construction students and teacher Mike Burkett now are working to earn NCCER certification (National Center for Construction Education and Research). Burkett is a NCCER-certified teacher.

“BIC is an educational certification for construction education programs,” Burkett said. Statewide business and industry councils establish program criteria, including investment in capital equipment and training needed by local employers, adequate classroom facilities, certified teachers and approved curriculum.

BIC requirements also call for a local advisory committee and for students to pursue community service goals and receive career counseling.

A partnership among the Alabama State Board of Education, local school district and local business and industry professionals administer the program. “The program is evaluated once every five years,” Burkett said.

“James Clemens has worked on this for the past two years” to satisfy BIC’s stipulations for investments in new equipment, teacher training and input from local industry,” Burkett said. James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton ensured classroom space was available and hired a certified teacher with 30 years of construction experience.

Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler, Coordinator of Secondary Instruction Dr. Heather Donaldson and Madison Board of Education coordinated investment of new equipment and NCCER training.

Business Industry Certification also calls for a local advisory committee for each course, a safety program with student training and a plan for preventative maintenance of equipment. BIC officials will examine types of construction courses taught at James Clemens, require confidential records for students and complete compliance inspections.

“The Career Tech service organization affiliated with James Clemens construction program is Future Farmers of America (FFA), since this is technically an agri-science curriculum,” Burkett said. “In reality, it’s building science program with heavy emphasis on applied math and science rather than agriculture.”

More than 125 construction CEOs and various academic leaders helped to found NCCER. Their goal is to revolutionize training for the construction industry and develop a safe and productive workforce. For more information, visit NCCER.org.

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