The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), a division of Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), has received a $75,000 grant from the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center (USC) to establish a Cannabis Construction training program. The program aims to provide enrolled students with the necessary skills to construct indoor and outdoor grow houses. This initiative not only supports workforce development but also promotes racial equity in education and employment opportunities.
The Cannabis Construction certificate training program is set to commence in the fall of 2023. Students will learn various aspects of the building trades essential for constructing grow houses. The curriculum will cover carpentry and framing, electrical wiring and installation, heating and ventilation ductwork, thermostat installation, and plumbing utilizing PVC and/or Pex tubing.
Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate from EOC and earn three credits at HVCC. These credits can be transferred to related degree programs in construction technology, carpentry, electrical, HVAC, architecture, or engineering. By offering practical training and academic recognition, the program equips students with valuable credentials for pursuing careers in the growing cannabis industry.
EOC is among the 15 institutions nationwide selected from over 150 applicants to receive grant funding from USC’s “The Takeoff: Institutional Innovations for College Men of Color.” This prestigious grant acknowledges and supports organizations that excel in implementing innovative approaches to enhance racial equity for men of color. EOC’s commitment to providing opportunities and addressing disparities in education and employment aligns with the grant’s objectives.
To further support program graduates, EOC has established a partnership with the Small Business Development Center at the University of Albany. This collaboration aims to provide entrepreneurial guidance and resources, empowering students to explore small business opportunities within the cannabis industry. By offering comprehensive support beyond the training program, EOC and its partners ensure a well-rounded educational experience for aspiring professionals.
The launch of the Cannabis Construction training program at EOC represents a significant milestone in expanding educational pathways and promoting equity in New York’s capital district. With the support of USC’s grant and strategic partnerships, students will gain valuable skills to thrive in the emerging cannabis industry. EOC’s dedication to innovation and empowerment continues to pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse workforce, providing promising opportunities for individuals of color.