Q&A with Joseph Montoya, Instructor, Building Sciences and Construction Technologies

Joseph Montoya is a long-time construction and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training instructor. He emphasizes safety in the classroom and on the job. Classes are offered on the main campus as well as through dual credit at Santa Fe’s Early College Opportunities High School. Contact Joseph at joseph.montoya7@sfcc.edu. Learn more about the program at sfcc.edu.

SFCC recently aligned its Building Sciences and Construction Technologies curriculum with the National Center for Construction Education and Research. “There is an ongoing need for a local construction workers to have the most up-to-date, industry-recognized skills for building schools, offices, hospitals and homes, said Camilla Bustamante, Ph.D., M.P.H., Dean of the School of Trades, Advanced Technologies and Sustainability. “We provide the training for those who work in this arena and who will support maintaining the aging facilities in our community.”

Instructor Joseph Montoya is enthusiastic about getting the word out that graduates can earn credentials that are recognized in the state and the nation — even internationally.

Q: What makes SFCC’s Building Sciences and Construction Technologies Program special?

Our program is recognized by the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the industry standard for training, assessment, certification and career development. The only way to get an NCCER Accredited and Training Educational Facility is to have a sponsor in place and a certified instructor. Our sponsor is Associated General Contractors of America and I am a certified instructor.

Q: Why is the NCCER affiliation important?

NCCER’s is a competency-based, written and hands-on curriculum. Once students pass the competency in an area, they have portable credentials. They get an NCCER card that is acknowledged all over the world and can show that card
to an employer or an employer can go on to the NCCER’s national registry and see all of that individual’s credentials. In many states, NCCER certifications are required to work in the construction field. NCCER also drives initiatives to enhance career, recruitment and workforce development efforts.

Q: What experience do you bring to the classroom?

I’ve been in the industry for 36 years. I started out as a
laborer and then got my contractor’s license. I’ve worked in construction in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. For many years, I knew “how” to do the work, but it’s when I started taking apprenticeship courses that I finally knew “why” building and construction was done in a particular way. I am certified in 15 areas. I’m also recognized as a Master Trainer, which means I can certify instructors to teach in specific areas.

Q: How did you get involved in teaching? What do you love about it?
One of my instructors saw that I loved the classes and asked if I would be interested in teaching. At first I thought, I can’t be a teacher. But I had taught my brothers and others how to build, so I decided to give it a shot. I found out that I love teaching. Because I worked for a long time in residential construction, I learned every aspect of building. I would always take pride in seeing my name associated with a home. Now, I take even more pride in seeing my students succeed. Whenever I run into a former student, I realize that their experiences in the classroom were life-changing. It’s a great feeling to know that.