Christina is a National Center for Construction Education and Research-certified master trainer.
By NEFBA Staff
Christina Thomas came to NEFBA with a background in education and the financial industry. Working her way through college while at Bank of America in Orange Park, Thomas earned an associate’s degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville, then a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in educational leadership from Saint Leo University.
Before joining NEFBA, Thomas served more than 10 years in Clay County Schools as a teacher and a district-level academic program coach in the career and technical education division. She is a National Center for Construction Education and Research-certified master trainer with experience coordinating high school vocational programs including carpentry and HVCR.
As the training director, Thomas is responsible for the coordination of the Apprenticeship Program’s business and instructional needs.
“When I first started with NEFBA two years ago, we had about 190 apprentices,” she said. “This past training year, we had 330 apprentices. I anticipate having around 350 this year. We attribute this growth to a restructuring of marketing on social media and through high school outreach events, as well as an increase in the demand for skilled construction professionals.”
Thomas serves on 10 advisory boards at schools and youth-based service programs in the area. “My team and I participated in more than 30 high school events this past year including mock interviews, nail driving contests, career fairs, and resumé building workshops,” she said.
Keiser University is NEFBA’s primary educational partner for a successful apprentice training. Lisamarie Winslow, Keiser’s Jacksonville campus president, shares the school’s Southside campus with the program, hosting evening courses.
This year’s class was the first in nearly two decades to graduate with journeyman trades level certificates from NCCER. In August 2016, NEFBA became the accredited training sponsor for all of Clay County high school trades programs with no cost to the school district.
“It is an exciting time for the Apprenticeship Program,” said NEFBA President Chris Dostie. “Thanks largely to the efforts of Christina and her staff, the program has grown in the past couple of years. We are focused on helping provide skilled construction personnel to meet the area demand for new homes, and we are proud to be part of the solution.”
Thomas is a longtime resident of Clay County. She graduated from Middleburg High School and now lives in Fleming Island. She and her husband, Shawn, recently celebrated their 17-year wedding anniversary. The couple has a 14-year-old daughter, Lana, who will be starting high school in the fall.