Chipola College helps fill tradesmen demand locally

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:33 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Without tradesmen, many local jobs can’t be done. That’s why Chipola College offers 10 workforce programs.

“There’s such a demand for all these high tech, high skill, high wage opportunities, but it’s high demand,” Dean of Workforce Development Darwin Gilmore said. “There’s so many jobs on so many different people’s desks, that they’re calling. I think one of the prisons, I think, is over 100 employees short, so there is tremendous demand.”

Chipola Officials said the best way to teach these courses is through hands on experience and community partnerships, but it’s not only the students who benefit.

“It’s a win-win for sure, because number one they’re getting out, doing the community a service, and they’re also learning as they do it,” Automotive Technology Instructor John Gardner said. “I mean, all the programs get out there and they try to do some kind of internship or relationship with the community.”

Chipola Workforce students are even working with Habitat for Humanity to help with the local affordable housing crisis.

“We are constructing two, two bedroom homes and two one bedroom homes for families in our community who are in need of a permanent place to call home,” Executive Director of Chipola Habitat for Humanity Carmen Smith said.

Some local agencies have even been hiring Chipola students for quite sometime. They said their partnership benefits the whole community.

“They do a lot of training for our agency,” Sheriff Donnie Edenfield said. “They help us with providing the facilities, and they train a lot of our basic recruits that we hire.”

All parties involved say training students for the workforce, and having community partnerships benefits the entire community.

For more information on trade programs at Chipola, visit or call Darwin Gilmore at (850) 718-2270.

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