POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - During a Thursday event, Idaho State University’s 'Construction Combine' was recognized on the Congressional Record.
The program, which aims to teach those in the community (students or otherwise) the basics of working in construction, has been catching a lot of attention lately.
“It’s a two-day event where we train people in the community in construction type training and then contractors that are involved hire the people to be part of their team,” ISU's Scott Stephens explained.
The event's combine style format has others, such as those in ISU’s cybersecurity program, intrigued.
“They’re like, ‘Hey, how can we take this model and apply it to our industry?'” Stephens said.
Outside of Pocatello, the program is getting attention from some of the state's highest ranks. Rep. Mike Simpson, a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Idaho's 2nd congressional district, was so interested in what they were doing that he entered the program into the Congressional Record.
“Not every student needs to go to four years of school and four years of postgraduate school after that," Simpson said. "Career and technical education is vitally important to the careers that are necessary out there in the country.”
For Stephens, the recognition is a sign that a lot of hard work is paying off. Another good sign is that it’s catching on.
“It's going to be going on in about five other locations that we know of right now,” he said.
Those spots include Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and Coeur d'Alene. The program has also taken to partnering with national groups with the hope of getting communities nationwide on board.
“We’d love to see every community that has a Home Depot or has a need for construction labor in their community, to say 'Hey, what did you guys do?' And we’ll help ‘em," Stephens said. "We’d love to see them do this in their neighborhood or their community.”
The next combine will be held in Pocatello in March 2020, where they hope to have over 100 participants.