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Construction and Skilled Trades Employers Tour Southern

April 24, 2019

Over 35 industry representatives toured architecture and carpentry classrooms at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability on Wednesday, in anticipation of the launch of the DPS Skilled Trades Pathway this Fall 2019.

Participants included representatives from CT Wilson Construction, Merck, Duke University Facilities Management, UNC Chapel Hill Facilities Services, Duke Energy, and Durham Technical Community College. The tour was offered to members of the WayMakers Collaborative, a consortium of over 50 business, workforce and education partners committed to the success of the DPS Skilled Trades Pathway as well as the Construction Trades programs at Durham Technical Community College. WayMakers members represent an array of institutions spanning private industry, trades associations, local universities, and city, county and state government.

“It’s inspiring to see how Waymakers Collaborative is helping address our growing talent shortage in the Triangle,” said Dan DeMaioNewton, Workforce Development Specialist with NC Department of Transportation. “They are engaging business, education, and workforce development leaders to develop new pathways that deliver talent with communication skills, real-world experience, and the right education. Their balanced approach is exactly what the North Carolina Department of Transportation needs for our emerging workforce in the transportation construction industry.”

The DPS Skilled Trades Pathway is a junior/senior pre-apprenticeship program open to any high school student across Durham Public Schools. During junior year students complete a survey course covering general construction, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other trades, while senior year is spent on-the-job in area businesses. WayMakers companies provide the work-based learning opportunities and also serve as guest instructors. Graduates of the program enter into jobs or paid apprenticeships with local companies, or continue their education at a two- or four-year college or university.

Students or parents interested in the DPS Skilled Trades Pathway may contact Student Services for more information:,, or

Companies wishing to join the WayMakers Collaborative or become a partner may contact Ondrea Austin at