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Pikes Peak Community College talks safety measures for trade programs

A student at Pikes Peak Community College welding.
Posted at 5:23 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 20:27:13-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Skilled trade workers continue to be in high demand which means getting the education for trade careers is just as important.

It's why places like Pikes Peak Community College are continuing to offer in-person classes despite the pandemic.

"The thing that they should know is that the college is doing everything that we can to keep people safe."

That's the message Clint Garcia, director of facilities & capital projects, wants people to know as they return to PPCC this fall. The focus when we spoke with Garcia on Thursday - people in trade classes that are doing a lot of hands-on work.

Garcia explained that the school is "spreading tables out and chairs out in the instructional areas...we're setting up rooms that are reducing the number of seats in the classroom...in like the welding shop itself those are self-contained booths so there's already automatically a containment area for each individual welder."

He went on to share that there are plastic barriers around campus, the school will provide PPE if necessary, and of course, everyone will have to wear a mask.

Garcia said, "Sanitizing on a regular basis, twice daily actually with automatized sprayers to get a 360-degree coverage."

Taking these steps, it's allowing students to still continue their trade programs in-person.

Garcia said, "I do believe that the trades are vital and critical to a good economy, and so I see them as really important that we maintain them, that we offer them."

Glenn Hard, executive director of the Careers in Construction program, agrees. He said, "Even during the pandemic construction hasn't missed a beat."

It's a welcome fact for those who might be in need of a job.

Hard said, "It's essential. There are a lot of people that during the pandemic haven't been able to keep employment. People in the construction industry have."