Catawba Valley Community College Kicks Off 2023 Construction Academy


Class of students sitting at table during the CVCC Construction Careers Academy

Catawba Valley Community College kicked off our 2023 Summer Construction Academy with a record number of students. 

27 students across Catawba and Alexander county signed up for the Construction Academy this year. Participants ranged from high school students, to college students, to workforce professionals, and each student committed to 96 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction at CVCC’s campuses. Along with class time, these students received the opportunity to work with one of the college’s local construction-related business partners.

“We are very excited about the interest and participation in this year's Construction Academy,” shared Gary Muller, CVCC’s Executive Dean of Economic Development and Corporate Education. “The interest was so strong that we set up a class on our Taylorsville campus as well as our Hickory campus.”

“We've also received great support from the Carolinas Association of General Contractors, who provided extensive marketing support, funding for the students’ class tuition and fees, and a $750 scholarship for each student who completed the program.”

The North Carolina Community College System has also provided very strong financial support for CVCC’s Construction Academy.

Chris Reese, K-64 Executive Director & Construction Academy Coordinator, stated, “our community businesses have been extremely supportive of our program, volunteering hours to teach our students in addition to hosting our students with summer work-based learning or internships. We are excited to have eleven different businesses employing our students this summer.”

Christy Lefevers, Associate Dean for Workforce Connectivity & Economic Development and Corporate Education, is credited with connecting 21 of these Construction Academy students to pre-apprenticeship positions with CVCC business partners.

Rick Ayers served as lead instructor for classes on both the Hickory and Taylorsville campuses, and HR Development Coordinator Tammy Buff provided teaching support. Ayers stated, “Our students are experiencing a unique opportunity to learn about the construction industry in the classroom and in the field. They gain knowledge and experience they will use for the rest of their lives, no matter what career path they decide to explore.”

With such a successful summer, CVCC is highly anticipates Fall Construction Academy launching in September 2023. For more information about the program or Economic Development and Corporate Education, please contact Joretta Fish at or 828-327-7000 extension 447. You may also contact Sia Vang at or 828-327-7000 extension 4487.


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