Ontario’s Home Depot hosts weekend training and networking event for construction jobs

ONTARIO – A construction job “combine” next week at the Home Depot parking lot will give area job seekers a good opportunity to demonstrate their skills and meet potential employers. 

The March 20-21 event is a collaborative effort by Home Depot, Treasure Valley Community College, the Idaho Department of Labor and WorkSource Oregon.

 “It provides contractors a different venue to provide training,” said Andrea Testi, director of the TVCC Center for Business, Workforce and Community Learning, one of the sponsors.

At the end of the event, contractors will have the opportunity to hire participants.

“We have eight contractors who have committed to be there to assist in training,” said Testi.

She said interested individuals must pre-register at WorkSource Oregon in Ontario, 375 S.W. 2nd Ave. Those seeking more information can contact the WorkSource office at 541-889-5394. 

Testi said 15 people have already signed up but organizers hope to have more registered before this Friday’s deadline.

In addition, she said, “We are still looking for more contractors. The more expertise we have out there the safer the event will be.”

Testi said the idea is to help both contractors and job-seekers.

When the participants arrive, they will go right to work.

“You’ll get a hard hat, safety glasses, safety vest, T-shirt and your registration will be checked. You should bring a resume. Then we divide everyone up into teams,” said Testi.

The first day will consist of training and introduction to various trades – such as plumbing, roofing, painting, electrician and construction – at contractor training stations.

“People will get some on-the-job work done,” said Testi.

Testi said the contractors and trainees will work on four portable 10×10 sheds, framing the walls on the first day.

On the second day, they will finish the sheds, she said. The completed sheds will be wired and plumbed, with siding and windows. 

The finished sheds will be donated to area veterans.

At the event’s end, contractors can offer jobs to trainees if they wish, she said.

Stepleton Electric LLC in Vale will be among the contractors helping with the event, said co-owner Holly Stepleton.

“I think it is good to increase and encourage local trades and the talent that is in our area,” said Stepleton.

Stepleton said she isn’t specifically looking to hire a new employee from the event but “if something comes available, it never hurts to expand your forces with a good hand.”

“We will get two days to see if they are committed to the career,” she said.

Testi said building a local pool of trained and motivated people willing to work – such as in construction or the plumbing field – is important for the future.

“We want to build our workforce,” said Testi. 

Testi said contractors will be looking for “motivation from someone who can do some hard work and can show up and have reliable transportation.”

“We’d like to see people get hired at the end of the event,” she said.

Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

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