With the opening of a free clinic and transitional housing unit in 2013, one of the goals for Cove House in 2014 is to begin a job training program.

Steve Jacks moved into Cove House on Dec. 31 and said job training would help him.

“I have been looking for a job everywhere,” he said. “I have 15 years experience in construction.”

Jacks said he would like to work as an apprentice to learn architectural work, such as how to draw up house plans and build an environmentally friendly house.

“I can build a house completely from the ground up. But I would like to learn schematics on a computer,” he said.

He might get that opportunity if the Cove House job training program comes to fruition. Executive Director Benjamin Tindall said the program will take more than money to get it off the ground.

“One of the main issues is finding volunteers to run and organize it,” Tindall said. “You have to find the right people who have a heart for that. We will also need businesses that are willing to bring our students on as apprentices.”

Tindall said the instruction ideally would be a 6-month program to provide long-term, regular training to establish vocational and trade skills, resumes, GED completion when applicable, interviewing skills and credentials for the graduates to be viable job candidates.

The program would be patterned after two Christian job corps training programs — one for men and one for women — very similar to the Christian Women’s Job Corps of McLennan County in Waco, which started in 2003 and boasts that 65 percent of graduates are employed, according to its website. Tindall said bi-annual training for leaders of the Cove programs is available through Mission Waco and in Austin. He is not if Cove’s programs would start at the same time, but the progress of both will be based on finding volunteer leadership.

Contact Wendy Sledd at wsledd@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476

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