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Free Homebuilding Academy Pumping Out Much Needed Labor

By Dominic Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) - An eight-week program aimed at easing the labor shortage for Colorado construction companies is drawing cross country attention.

If there's one thing Alexis Monserrate has its vision. That's why she came here all the way from New York for the Colorado Homebuilding Academy.

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"In eight weeks they really got me market-ready. Learning everything from how to read a tape measure to using power tools. It also gave me the confidence to apply for jobs like this," she told CBS4's Dominic Garcia.

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CBS4's Dominic Garcia speaks with Alexis Monserrate. (credit: CBS)

The school is located in north Denver and has room for students to practice what they learn and get the hands on experience they need.

When they finish, they also get their own set of tools. Monserrate says one of the best parts is the program is free.

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She now works with Basement Finishing Colorado and says she continues to learn more and more every day.

"The team, they bring all different perspectives so I really appreciate that."

Leslie Soell, Co-Owner of Basement Finishing Colorado says it's been hard to find good employees in Colorado's booming construction market.

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"Finding good people has been a little bit challenging. At one point we were trying to hire two different positions and weren't having luck finding people," she told CBS4.

Monserrate is the first female they've hired and says the skills she learned at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy set a great base.

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"We were both just thrilled to have someone who had a little bit of experience but was still somewhat an entry level position so we could train them," said Soell.

They say she has a bright future with the company.

As for Monserrate, she has her sights set on being a project manager.

LINK: Colorado Homebuilding Academy

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

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