Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy

Jun 28, 2022 by Anita Reid

T.C.T.A Approach: Transforming Communities Through an Academy Approach

School of Distinction AwardTuscaloosa City Schools

Principal, Ms. Richjetta Branch

Superintendent, Dr. Mike Daria

Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy’s electrical and building construction programs partnered with Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa in their revitalization efforts to bring high quality, affordable housing within walking distance of the school campus, located in an area identified as a “Racially or Ethnically Concentrated Area of Poverty." This program offered life-changing opportunities for thirteen low-income students to transition from a classroom/simulated work environment to a construction site with experienced employers looking for highly skilled tradesmen to fill the shortage of high demand, skilled, ready to work employees and tradespeople. Students received on the job training while simultaneously transforming the community in which the school resides and in which many of them live. The students worked a total of 318 hours of hands-on training in the electrical and construction trades. They worked beside journeymen, apprentices, and other aspiring tradespeople. They showcased their employability skills like planning, organizing, teamwork, and self-management while demonstrating how well the TCTA instructors prepared them for the electrical and carpentry industry standards. Habitat Tuscaloosa utilized the Nick’s Kids Foundation 18th National Championship House as the first construction site to support TCTA's mission of providing a workforce development pipeline through this program. The community partners included the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, the Tuscaloosa City and County governments, the Builders Group, Alabama Power, among others.