Local students helping build area homes

A vocational program through the Impact Institute and Ivy Tech is teaching students valuable trade skills while helping meet housing demands.

Posted: Dec. 4, 2017 4:55 PM
Updated: Dec. 5, 2017 9:48 AM

New housing seems to be going up all the time, but you wouldn't expect high schoolers to be helping with the job.

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13 different schools in Northeast Indiana have teamed up with Ivy Tech and the Impact Institute to help provide vocational training .
Three homes in the Noble Hawk addition have been built by local students, including the Innigers.

Fred Inniger remembers hearing about how the students would be involved, saying,  "Before we did it, we didn't know, we were kind of concerned, but totally pleased with out we were involved with it and they did a wonderful job."

Fred's wife Vicki had the same feelings, saying "I was just very pleased. Apprehensive at first because of their ages, but like Fred has said already, with the professionals involved with them too, I was just very pleased at the whole process and how smoothly it went for us."

These students aren't just helping meet the housing demand, they're also helping with the labor shortage as well according to Jim Walmsley, the Director of the Impact Institute.

"The community and business and industry as a whole really loves what it is that we do because we are trying to help provide that workforce to them that currently they're struggling to find," said Walmsley.

WFFT Local News asked Boyce Nodine, a senior at DeKalb High School involved in the program "Do you feel like helping build this home is giving you valuable skills that you can hopefully take and use after high school?" His Reponse: "Absolutely. Go get a job where ever I want to. Have the skills I need."

Students also like seeing the reaction of the new homeowners according to Daymian Hartman, another DeKalb High School senior.

"To see how people are, especially to see how excited they are when the house is done and a bunch of teenagers like us built their house," said Hartman.

Nodine plans to take his skills he is learning on the job site with him after high school is over. He said, "I plan on continuing my career in building houses for people and helping the community."

So even though this type of education is non-traditional, it'll still help give young people a chance to learn new skills.

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