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COCC joins with Facebook and Fortis Construction to offer a new local construction training program

COCC PHOTO - Hardhat in Hand, a partnership between Central Oregon Community College, Facebook and Fortis Construction, offers an eight-week paid training program aimed at developing skilled labor for the data center construction industry.

A new partnership between Central Oregon Community College, Facebook and Fortis Construction will provide hands-on paid training aimed at developing skilled labor for the data center construction industry. COCC's Workforce Development department will provide the four-week classroom education portion of the program.

This eight-week paid program, Hardhat in Hand, will offer participants hands-on learning at the Prineville Data Center as well as on-site classroom training in a variety of topics in the construction industry. Participants will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion with COCC as well as OSHA 10 and First Aid CPR certifications. The program begins Oct. 11.

For COCC, this program falls in line with the college's workforce development goals. "COCC is committed to helping build the workforce Central Oregon needs now and in the future," said Laurie Chesley, president of COCC. "We appreciate the collaborative nature of this training program to meet the needs of this growing industry."

With two more Facebook data centers under construction in Prineville, developing creative and collaborative partnerships are critical to addressing the shortage of skilled workers. Facebook looked to regional organizations and companies including Fortis Construction, COCC, East Cascades Works, WorkSource East Cascades and High Desert Education Service District to make this program a reality.

"Fortis is excited to be partnering with COCC for the upcoming Hardhat in Hand program. Facebook, in partnership with Fortis, is building the infrastructure of the future and together, we want to expand the number of opportunities available for people to join the construction industry," says Tim Johnson, Fortis Construction workforce development manager.

Full-time career opportunities are available upon successful completion of the program with select trades, including, general labor, carpentry, electrical, sheet metal, plumbing, painting and more. Facebook hopes this training program will help expand the talent pipeline and increase diversity in the construction industry throughout Central Oregon.

Application deadline for the program is Sept. 8. Contact Rachel Knox, COCC's apprenticeship program manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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