Porter County schools are partnering with the Council of Carpenters to launch carpentry State Earn and Learn (SEAL) programs. On Aug. 24, officials from the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA), the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), IKORCC signatory contractors, school officials, and community stakeholders gathered to formally recognize Porter County Career Center (PCCC), Portage High School, and Chesterton High School’s respective carpentry programs as certified State Earn and Learn (SEAL) programs.

Developed in partnership with the IKORCC, these SEAL programs will serve as pre-apprenticeships for the IKORCC Carpenters Union. Students participating in the SEAL will earn IKORCC Carpentry Level 1 Apprentice Certification through completion of the IKORCC Career Connections curriculum, have opportunities to work and learn with IKORCC contractors, and will receive automatic entry into the union with advanced standing upon completion of the SEAL program.

The IKORCC SEAL programs are aligned to Indiana Career and Technical Education Next Level Programs of Study and provide students the opportunity to earn 15 college credits from Ivy Tech Community College in the construction technology pathway. Additionally, earning IKORCC Carpentry Level 1 Apprentice Certification satisfies Indiana Graduation Pathway’s postsecondary readiness requirement.

Tonn and Blank Construction, Specialty Construction, and Solid Platforms, Inc. are the first three signatory contractors participating in the SEAL program in Porter County. The Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana will also support each SEAL program by facilitating job shadowing experiences and providing additional safety training for students.

Developed and launched in Porter County, this SEAL is the first of its kind for IKORCC and will serve as a model of best practice as other schools in Indiana partner with IKORCC to bring these work and learn opportunities in construction to more students.

For more information about SEALs, visit the OWBLA website