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Power saws, paint, cement, and lumber – these are the classroom materials required for students in the Twin Falls School District construction program. Business course offerings are a game-changer for students and the Twin Falls community.

The program comes after the school district took steps to expand its vocational technical education offerings. This is the third year of the program and was created after both assessing labor market demands and determining where the opportunities to earn a living wage lie. Courses provide hands-on learning for students interested in embarking on careers involving carpentry, building, and construction.

Preparing students for careers in commerce will be essential given the growth of Twin Falls and the need for skilled workers in the building, carpentry and construction trades.

“We have older generations retiring and so we welcome these students while they are in high school and thinking about a career. We want them to know that building is a valid option for them,” said Cameron Hoge, instructor for the building construction program.

The program is offered to students at Twin Falls High School, Canyon Ridge High School, and Magic Valley High School.

Students learn all the components of the trades in a classroom and in the field.

“We’re learning a lot about general construction, we’ve done everything from the shed here to drywall to tiling and that kind of stuff…it leads to potential future jobs,” said Landon Willes, a student at 12th at Twin Falls High School.

The Magic Valley Builders Association presented two checks to the program on Monday and helped it reach its fundraising goal of $20,000.

“I built my first house when I was 18 and fell in love with the industry. For young adults coming in, it’s an opportunity that I think isn’t available to a lot of people. and it’s pretty amazing what they’re doing here,” said Jon Zernickow, president of ZFI Construction and program donor.

The money will be used to take students to construction sites, to visit companies and to finance the necessary building materials.