Meet the instructors of PWSC's Construction Academy

by Vicki Heisser  |   

The PWSC Construction Academy is underway with classes being offered this month. These credit classes will introduce basic framing, cabinet installation, trim carpentry, installing flooring, tilework, and basic rough plumbing systems used in residential and small facility improvements and repairs. These courses cover skills that a certified State of Alaska Handyman needs to perform.  Our instructors this year are Abe Horschel and Curtis Bateman. With both instructors bringing years of experience to the program we took some time to find more about them. 

Instructor Abe Horschel has spent his whole life living in Alaska. He shares, I was “born and raised in rural Alaska outside of Delta Junction. I grew up without electricity, phone, or TV. At a young age I learned how to use carpentry tools and to build things. After graduating from high school, I started work as a wildland firefighter during the summers. From 1994 to 2009, I traveled throughout the United States learning valuable skills working within the Incident Command (ICS) system in regard to work ethic, accountability, command structure, risk management, training, and government operating procedures. This educational experience was beneficial. It helped me when I started my general construction contracting business in 2009.”  In 2012, Horschel and his family moved to Valdez where they continue to live and work. 

Unlike Horschel, instructor Curtis Bateman has not always called Alaska home. Before moving to Valdez three years ago, Bateman and his wife were living in Fallon, Nevada. With 21 years of experience, Bateman has done a lot in the construction industry.  “I went through a carpenter's apprenticeship in Salt Lake City. When I left it, I was building a high school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then I got the opportunity to go to work for a gold mine in Nevada. I worked there until I retired. I worked for them for about 26 years.”

After moving to Valdez with his wife, Bateman took a job as a line driver with Crowley until the opportunity to work with PWSC’s Construction Academy came along. “I applied for this job because I want to help students gain the skills and technical knowledge that they will need for careers in construction.”

Both Bateman and Horschel are excited to be teaching their students and providing the foundation that will better prepare them to join an ever-expanding and technologically advanced workforce. 

The construction program is partially funded by a Department of Labor grant and additional support is provided by the Chugach Alaska Corporation and the Valdez Native Tribe to create training opportunities for descendants and shareholders. 

If you are interested in career and technical education opportunities at PWSC, please contact us at 907-834-1600.


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