Enzweiler celebrates groundbreaking of new Latonia campus

Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton is a reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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The Enzweiler Building Institute of Northern Kentucky held a groundbreaking ceremony in Latonia on Monday afternoon to celebrate its new campus.

Covington city leaders, Northern Kentucky state lawmakers and local construction industry leaders gathered in front of the newly christened Enzweiler Building Institute Covington Campus to dig the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt.

“We look for opportunities here in Covington to give our residents the opportunity to access training that gets them into high-wage, high-growth sectors in the economy,” Covington Mayor Joe Meyer said. “What is more natural than the construction industry?”

Meyer, a Latonia native, said the neighborhood is perfect for the new campus due to its blue-collar background.

“Latonia is blue-collar heaven,” Meyer said. “On every street, there’s an electrician, there’s a plumber, there’s a welder, there’s a drywall guy. This is the neighborhood that, amongst all of them in Covington, respects the trades. It’s just part of our DNA.”

The Building Industry Association operates the Enzweiler Building Institute, the longest running, continually operating private trade school operated under the auspices of the National Association of Home Builders.

When completed, the Enzweiler Building Institute’s Covington Campus state-of-the-art training center will house hands-on laboratories for welding, carpentry and masonry. Total investment in the project is over $1.3 million. The campus is located at 3901 Winston Ave. in Covington.

The 10,500 square foot campus will feature combination classrooms with hands-on laboratories that will house programs in electric, HVAC and plumbing. Facilities maintenance students will utilize the majority of the space, as well as laboratory instruction for the Covington Academy for Heritage Trades.

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The inside of the Enzweiler Building Institute Covington Campus, which is currently under construction. Photo by Kenton Hornbeck | LINK nky

Classes are anticipated to begin in January 2023. Post-secondary evening adult courses will be offered in all trades from 6 to 9 p.m. Most courses can be attended two nights a week, while some accelerated options are available. 

Daytime instruction will be offered to all area high school students through school districts that enter into an agreement to train at the facility. Courses of study for high school students include an Introduction to Trades program that earns students four hours of school credit. 

The four goals the City of Covington hopes to accomplish with the EBI Covington Campus include:

  • Target chronic unemployment by “skilling up” Covington’s workforce
  • Improve accessibility to skills training for residents of the city’s urban core
  • Help the construction industry fill a critical need for skilled workers
  • Continue the transformation of the Latonia Plaza shopping center located along the Winston Highway

“In recent years, the (Enzweiler Building Institute) has seen rapid growth and expansion of programming, collaborations and partnerships to address the skilled workforce shortage the industry faces, not just in Northern Kentucky, but regionally and in fact nationally,” said Ben Taylor, president of Building Industry Association.

According to recent surveys by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the regional market, there will be a need for over 65,000 professionals in these trades alone over the next 10 years. 

“Partnering with the Building Industry Association on this project is what economic and workforce development should be about,” said Tom West, Covington’s economic development director. “This school will address the needs of our citizens looking to skill up for better jobs, and they’ll do so without incurring debt or high tuition rates. Plus, it’s going to help contractors meet critical labor demands that have plagued the construction industry. This school will have a considerable impact.”

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