Marshville town manager Franklin Deese recently reached out to South Piedmont Community College (SPCC) to discuss potential opportunities to collaborate with Monroe-Union County Economic Development and the college. These opportunities focused on incorporating the Monroe Expressway, business and professional development classes offered by the college.

Together, Deese and Dr. Maria Lander, dean of the School of Applied Science and Technology, formed the Construction Academy Internship.

The program provides construction students enrolled at SPCC with a hands-on, paid internship in which they can gain experience and learn a variety of skills through renovating an existing building in Marshville.

“We’re not trying to get something for nothing,” said Deese. “I think in terms of partnership where all parties benefit. It’s win-win.”

Dr. Lander said: “This type of partnership is really where the community college can make a difference in aiding the community.”

Students enrolling in the Construction Academy class will have instruction coupled with hands-on work that includes demolition, framing, electrical, and plumbing. Full scholarships are available for students to aid in the cost of the classes, so for many students, they can take classes for free and gain valuable experience, while getting paid.

An old dry cleaners building has been selected for the renovation partnership. Although a decision has not been made as to what the building will be once renovations are completed, it will likely serve the community in a multi-purpose fashion, including outfitting the building with data lines to allow for computers and internet connection.

Classes begin on Jan. 11, with limited seating. To enroll, call 704-290-5223 or visit the website at