Etowah High School Construction and Carpentry Career Pathway program teacher Ty Castell guides freshman Cash Krisfalusi as he uses a saw during class.
The Cherokee County School District offers 38 Career Pathway high school programs, which provide students with a wide selection of job exploration and preparation electives. Through CCSD Pathway Profiles, we’ll regularly share highlights with you from one of these programs. This week’s profile focuses on the Construction and Carpentry program, which is offered at Etowah and Cherokee High Schools:
The Career Pathway Construction and Carpentry program at Etowah High School was re-established only several years ago, but already has built great success.
In addition to gaining strong interest among students, the program has developed numerous partnerships with local builders and construction companies and earned the gold standard of industry certification.
Junior Mario Rodriguez will finish the Pathway program this year in preparation for his career in the painting trade.
“This class helped in ways I did not expect,” Mario said. “The tools that I have learned to use in the class will help with my career in construction.”
Teacher Ty Casteel is in his second year leading the program after 19 years as a high school agriculture teacher. [Click here to see more photos from his classes.]
“I grew up on a farm repairing and building and my dad is a commercial electrician, so I have an appreciation for the trades,” Mr. Casteel said. “I want to teach students and show them there are other options rather than college … we need to show students and parents there are other options with high-paying jobs.”
Mr. Casteel said the program already has seen student success stories including graduates now employed in construction jobs. Part of the program’s success, he said, is the opportunity it gives students to see their learning take literal shape through hands-on projects, like the final project of constructing a storage building.
“It is fun to watch them as they all learn to come together in building a structure,” he said. “Even the students who seemed lukewarm to the class get excited as the building comes together.”
Within the Pathway, classes offered include: industry fundamentals and occupational safety, introduction to construction and carpentry I. Students can earn Carpentry Skills Connect industry certification and can compete with their school’s SkillsUSA team in construction and carpentry contests at the state and national level.
This Pathway prepares students for careers including, but not limited to: carpenter, builder, cost estimator, product safety engineer, construction manager, occupational health and safety technician and construction and building inspector.
The average income range for careers in this Pathway in Georgia is $51,000 to $98,000. Local and area employers for this Pathway include, but are not limited to: Atlanta Carpenters Local 225, CW Matthews Contracting, ECO General Contractors, Inc., Art Manous Custom Cabinets, Latimer Construction Company, Southeastern Restoration of North Metro Atlanta, Ram Tool and Supply, Batson-Cook Company, Raydeo Enterprises, Astra Group, LLC., W.S. Nielsen Company, Inc.