Moraine Park Technical College and Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge counties kicked off a very special project on Monday, Sept. 9, as the two organizations joined forces to build a duplex for two deserving West Bend families.
Students from Moraine Park’s Building Trades Construction Worker and Electricity programs will be working alongside Habitat crew volunteers throughout the 2013-14 school year to help build the new home, located just off the corner of Highway 33 and Municipal Drive in West Bend. The students will do everything from staking out the building to wiring the house for electricity. All tasks will give them valuable experience in their trades.
Education isn’t the only thing they are getting, according to Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Russ Wanta.
“You’re changing lives and changing them for the better,” Wanta said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “I know years from now you will share with others what you are doing here. You’ll share it with your wife, your children and your grandchildren. You can tell them how you changed lives.”
Wanta isn’t the only one who thinks this is an exceptional opportunity for the students. Moraine Park Building Trades Construction Worker Instructor Don Enders, who is leading the construction portion of the project, said this opportunity is one that students don’t always get to experience but one he hopes will continue into the future.
“My students are gaining valuable hands-on experience through helping with this build, but equally important is the opportunity they have to positively impact their community,” Enders said. “Thank you to Habitat for Humanity and its partners for making this project possible.”
In total, six Building Trades students will be working on the structural portions of the build. Once the outside structure is complete and construction continues inside, students from the Electricity program, led by Moraine Park Instructor Mike Melaney, will be joining them to complete the electrical work within the home.
This Habitat-Moraine Park partnership is also part of Moraine Park’s service-learning initiative combining community service with classroom instruction. Service-learning aims to give students real-world, hands-on experience in their field while promoting the idea of giving back to the communities they live and learn in.
For more information about Moraine Park’s Building Trades Construction Worker and Electricity programs, visit morainepark.edu/programs. For details on service-learning, visit morainepark.edu/servicelearning. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge counties, visit http://hfhwashco.org/.