They arrive early in the morning and labour in the cold with hammers and work gloves. They’re fresh faced, young and full of optimism. They are the participants of Milton District High School’s Construction Technology Specialist High Skills Major program, a co-operative education program that provides grade 11 and 12 students with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the construction industry and earn two high school credits.
Since September of this year, MDHS students have been helping Habitat Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin to build the bungalow unit of their 13 town home build project, located just off of Plains Road East in Burlington. The new complex will provide a hand up to hard working local families.
One student, Ryan Eggers, emphasizes the value of this experience that the MDHS build program is having on his life this semester.
“It’s been a really cool experience…with Habitat it’s totally different…Starting a house with people you know and friends is great.. I would definitely recommend this program [to other high school students]..”
Hands-on-learning is a valuable way of learning practical skills that students can use in their future lives and careers. As Chris Jones, a teacher at Milton District High School and one of the supervising teachers for the pilot program states, the MDHS students have displayed tremendous enthusiasm during this program.
“Each semester is two periods… every student who graduates from this has a special seal on their diploma… the kids love it…we’ve got some fantastic students…they show up early…that’s a testimony to how much they love it…”
This home building development is one of two builds that are currently under construction by the local Habitat affiliate; the other being a two-family duplex that is nearing completion in Milton. These multiplex builds are a part of a broader effort to build more homes in the community than ever before for hard working families in need of a safe and affordable place to live.
In 2016, the affiliate plans to start construction on Queensway Drive in Burlington, assisting up to 21 additional families, and another renovation project in Mississauga. Plans are also in the works for an additional project in Georgetown.
Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin is thankful for the strong contributions of the MDHS and looks forward to helping their students build a positive foundation for their future careers as they help us strengthen affordable housing in the community.
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Updated: July 2, 2021