Enzweiler’s Covington Campus to Train Workers for In-Demand Trade Jobs


Written by Kenton Hornbeck, LINK nky reporter

Construction trade jobs are in high demand within Northern Kentucky.

In order to meet that demand, the Erlanger-based Enzweiler Building Institute, one of the largest post-secondary apprenticeship training programs in the country, has stepped up to the plate.

The skilled trade industry will need to hire 430,000 workers in the next year to meet increasing demand, according to Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade organization.

The Enzweiler Building Institute plans to lease 8,000 square feet at the location last occupied by Check Exchange and Rent to Own from Latonia Commerce LLC, the group of investors who bought the plaza earlier this year. The plaza is the strip center adjacent to and north of the former Value City and Burlington Coat Factory big box stores.

The “Covington Campus” of the Enzweiler Building Institute’s four primary goals are:

  • Target chronic unemployment by “skilling up” Covington’s workforce
  • Improve the residents of the city’s urban core accessibility to skills training
  • 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

“For several years we have seen the number of skilled workers in the construction trades drop while demand was increasing,” Covington Economic Director Tom West said. “Investment in this program demonstrates how important it is for Covington residents to develop the skills needed to both improve their future and fuel the economic momentum that will continue through the decade or so as we build out Covington’s Central Riverfront.”

Scheduled to begin in 2022, the “Covington Campus” will offer programs focused on carpentry, welding, electricity, HVAC, plumbing, and an Intro to Trades program for high school students.

Program certificates will take one to four years to obtain with tuition ranging from $2,625 to $3,775 per academic year, depending upon the program and what year a student is in. Scholarships will be available, and “KEES scholarships” (based on high school grades, issued through the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority) can be used for select programs. Twenty-five percent of the spots will be reserved for Covington residents and/or students. The school is located along the TANK bus route, while also being within walking distance of many Covington high school students.

“The efforts we undertake to deliver skilled construction tradespeople will benefit immensely from the new campus, access to public transit, and proximity to our urban core,” said Brian Miller, executive vice president of the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky. “Neighboring public and parochial high schools are paramount in our ability to attract and retain younger students and help them to onboard into a wonderful career with real livable wage potential in the construction trades.”

The Covington city commission approved financial support for the school of $200,000 spread over five years, with $60,000 to be awarded in the first year. The money will come from a fund set up to spur economic activity in the city.

Photo: The Enzweiler Building Institute (EBI) teaches a variety of skilled construction trades. (Photo courtesy of the EBI)


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