LCC Receives Housing Project Funding


CO AG’s Office awards $1.66 million to LCC for
Colorado Partnership for Education and Rural Revitalization (COPERR) Project

(LAMAR, Colo.) — The Colorado Attorney General’s Office awarded $1.66 million to Lamar Community College (LCC) in 2021 for a workforce training program that will also see the remediation of blighted housing in the southeastern part of the state, and LCC students are well on their way to completing their first home as part of the initiative.

LCC, along with Trinidad State Junior College and Otero Junior College, were each awarded funding for the Colorado Partnership for Education and Rural Revitalization Project (COPERR). The project will help develop skilled workers in construction and remediation trades, who will receive a stipend for their labor.

As part of their first project, LCC students have been working on a complete remodel of a single-family home. Students are installing new framing, windows, sub-floor, concrete, and insulation throughout the structure. They are also replacing several doors, including the exterior, main and garage doors and working on the garage approach pad and steps, garage roof and fascia and restabilizing the carport. Once finished, the house will go up for sale. The hope is to get the home on the market around May 2022.

Jake Specht, field instructor and construction manager at LCC, said the project has helped train the local workforce while providing more suitable and safe housing in southeast Colorado.

“This project is a win-win situation for all involved,” Specht said. “Our students get excellent hands-on experience learning about all different parts of construction trades, and our region gets the benefit of turning blighted housing into something someone can call ‘home.’”

LCC President Dr. Linda Lujan said the project is an excellent example of how higher education and the state can work together to respond to the emerging needs and prepare for their shared future.

“With the recent devastating wildfires near Boulder, the need for skilled tradespeople to rebuild or renovate is more urgent than ever,” Lujan said. “With a statewide shortage of workers, we are excited that this project has empowered us to train our future tradespeople to support the housing needs in our corner of Colorado as well as other regions.”

Specht said students have “really enjoyed the experience” and reported feeling good about helping their community.

Students began working on the house in August 2021. Specht said they hope the next house they can work on will be in Wiley, Colo.

Filed Under: City of LamarCollegeConsumer IssuesEducationFeaturedHousingMedia ReleaseSchoolUtilities


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