Read All News

Construction Program Launches Careers for Students with Learning Disabilities

Jun 12, 2023

BOOM graduates stand with their certificates alongside MTC and local school district leaders.

Midlands Technical College (MTC) graduated 12 students from its fifth cohort of the Building Occupational Opportunities in the Midlands (BOOM) program. BOOM participants complete a 90-hour course while earning certificates in building construction and OSHA credentials.

During the graduation program, MTC leaders and educators addressed the audience offering their congratulations and remarks on what the future holds for the graduates.

"I am extremely proud of all 12 graduates," says BOOM instructor Craig Belden. "Some of these graduates worked with tools they may have never been able to touch and that is why this program is significant. We are able to teach them the proper way to operate machinery appropriately and effectively."
"Let me be clear, these students have persevered," says MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. "Their dedication to their studies is impressive. The end of the BOOM program is not the end, rather it is the start of achieving their dreams."

Graduates have been offered full-time employment and apprenticeship opportunities with local companies including Walker White and Specialty Woodworks.

Building Occupational Opportunities in the Midlands (BOOM) 

BOOM is a construction job-training program for high-functioning high school students with disabilities, allowing them to receive hands-on, real-world experience in the construction field. BOOM was recognized as the best for collaboration and innovation in 2019 by the South Carolina State Technical College System, and has won Program of the Year Award from the SC Division on Career Development and Transition as well as the 2018 Outstanding Continuing Education Cooperative Program by the SC Association for Higher Continuing Education (SCAHCE). 

BOOM is made possible thanks to a grant from Apprenticeship Carolina and cooperation between Lexington District One, Lexington-Richland District Five, Richland School Districts One and Two, Midlands Education & Business Alliance, S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina. BOOM has graduated 5 classes, including cohorts in June 2022, June 2021, and May 2019.