WCC’s Building Construction Technology curriculum is designed to provide students with an overview of the building construction industry and prepares them for careers in construction supervision, carpentry, project management, estimating, building inspections, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and masonry. Students can obtain a certificate, a diploma, and/or an associate degree. Construction labs/lecture courses and other related classes provide students with up-to-date knowledge on materials, trends, and techniques of the ever-changing construction industry. According to CFNC.org the North Carolina state average pay is between $49,990 and $58,580 for Building Construction Technology students.

Wilkes Community College has 2+2 Transfer opportunities to Appalachian State University or UNC Charlotte (Construction Management), East Carolina University – Industrial Technology.

WCC’s Building Construction Technology program introduces basic construction technology concepts and provides relevant hands-on experiences for students. For example, students in the Introduction to Basic Plumbing class learn how to install a water heater, a well pump, and a water pressure tank. With the water heater install, students learn how a water heater functions, how the water flows through the heater, and why it is sometimes necessary to have an expansion tank. With the well pump and tank, the goal is for students to understand how the system works and what goes into installing and maintaining it in a house. In addition, and as time permits, students will learn how to plumb and install a toilet, a tub, and a kitchen sink with a garbage disposal.

Hazel Pasley, a 2022 graduate of Alleghany High School, completed a Construction Mechanical Trades Certificate while still in high school through the CCP program. Hazel is currently a student at the University of Chicago, and while she said the certificate (which consists of classes in HVAC, Blueprint Reading, Electrical, Masonry, and Plumbing) will not apply toward her college degree, she found the skills that she learned were very good for her brain and will be useful when she owns her own home one day.

Kenny Bennett, an Alleghany High School senior, is currently taking the last class to complete his CCP certificate in Building Construction: Mechanical Trades. When asked which class he enjoyed the most, he said he liked both the electrical and plumbing classes, but plumbing was his favorite. Kenny has not yet decided on a career pathway after high school but said he would seriously consider plumbing.

In addition to the curriculum program, an evening HVAC class is planned for fall 2023 through Workforce Development. Scholarships may be available for Alleghany residents thanks to the generosity of the Roaring Gap Foundation.

The Alleghany Center will be offering STEAM classes once again this summer to allow rising 6th thru 8th grade students the opportunity to explore careers in various professions, including the trades. The 2023 summer camp lineup includes classes in plumbing, electrical, and welding. Through GEAR-UP funding and the generous support of the Alleghany Educational Foundation, the first class is free for students enrolled in Alleghany County public schools, and each additional class is only $35.

For more information regarding any of these programs, please call the WCC Alleghany Center at (336) 372-5061.

Kenny Bennett

Hazel Pasley