Students to get ‘real world’ training in help build Habitat for Humanity home

Students get skilled trade experience while helping with housing shortage problem.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Springfield Foundation has awarded a grant to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton for a partnership with the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center (CTC) to build a habitat home and train students in that trade.

“We see this project as the intersection of many issues facing our community. Safe, affordable housing is challenging for many people. One family will have their life changed forever because of this partnership and their ability to purchase a home,” said Dave Mauch, Habitat’s development director. “There is also a shortage of skilled trade labor. This project will allow students to get hands-on experience and better prepare them to enter the workforce upon graduation.”

The partnership will take place during the 2024-25 school year, but a construction timeline not developed yet. Habitat’s construction team will work with the CTC team to build a Habitat house at their facility where students will get “hands-on” experience of building a house.

Once the house is mostly done, it will be transported off-site and moved to its permanent location, which is not yet known at this time. It will then be completed at the new location and sold to a Habitat partner family, who will be buying the house from Habitat with a 0% interest mortgage rate payment, “making the purchase affordable and saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars off the cost of buying a home.”

Earlier this week, a team from both Habitat and CTC traveled to Carroll to check out a home build partnership at Eastland-Fairfield Career Technical Center to learn from their example about how the organizations can work together and be successful.

“What we heard from the instructors there is that students are ‘much better prepared’ to enter the workforce because of the project and the opportunity to get the hands-on experience that the project is providing,” Mauch said.

Mauch said they started having conversations with Patrick and the CTC team about a year ago when Springfield-Clark CTC Superintendent Michelle Patrick reached out to Habitat.

“She had been at a statewide Career Center Conference and heard about Career Center Trade Schools partnering with other Habitat affiliates in Ohio. She wondered if we could replicate the project in Clark County,” he said.

They met and talked about what the partnership would look like, both “willing and excited” about the possibility, but knew the challenge would be funding the project. They didn’t know where the funding would come from, so the project and partnership were put on hold while they tried to figure it out.

In spring of last year, Mauch attended a grant training seminar by the Springfield Foundation, which encouraged him to submit a proposal.

“When I put the grant paperwork in with the Springfield Foundation, I identified the project as an opportunity to teach students skilled labor techniques and better prepare them for opportunities in the workforce upon graduation (skilled trade workforce development),” Mauch said.

“The project also allows CTC to serve the community and help someone achieve safe and affordable housing. We see a lot of ‘wins’ coming out of this partnership. Students are better prepared to enter the workforce and someone can achieve safe and affordable housing and become a first-time homebuyer,” he added.

The Foundation provided $20,000 in grant funding to the project, with a majority of the funding provided through the Robert M. Farish Family Building Trades Fund, which a field of interest fund dedicated to providing educational and training opportunities in the building trades, said grants manager Lori Boegershausen.

Farish was born in South Vienna, moved to Springfield, graduated from Springfield High School and later lived in New Carlisle, Boegershausen said. He was a World War II veteran and a co-owner of The Robert Farish Company, General Contracts.

“Mr. Farish left a gift of $200,000 in his will to the Springfield Foundation, to establish a fund to provide education and training in the building trades for residents of Clark County,” she said.

Habitat found out last November the project was funded by the Springfield Foundation, and Mauch let Patrick know they secured the funding and could move forward.

In summer of last year, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton’s state affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio, secured funding for workforce development training. Mauch reached out to their director to also help with the project, who encouraged him to put in a proposal for additional funding to complete the project, but they are still waiting to see if they are approved for the funding.

‘Whether we get the additional funding from Habitat for Humanity of Ohio or not, we are committed to the project and to raising the dollars needed for the partnership,” Mauch said.

Patrick said they are “excited to explore” this partnership with Habitat to build homes.

“It not only addresses the need for housing in our area, but provides CTC students with real-world, hands-on experience that fuels their passion for the construction industry and makes them stand-out candidates for employers,” she said.

With this project, Mauch said they hope to gain more community support and make this an annual partnership.

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