Construction Students at Hawaii Use Skills to Help the Homeless

Construction Students at Hawaii Use Skills to Help the Homeless

Job Corps trains young people for high-demand jobs. During the training, students often get the opportunity to practice their skills and help the community at the same time. Hawaii students in the building construction technologies (BCT) program were asked to repair two residential units at Weinberg Village, a transitional housing program for homeless families with minor children.

Holly Holowach, director of Weinberg Village, has been a Job Corps supporter for 20 years. When she found herself short staffed and overwhelmed with several residential units needing repair, she contacted Job Corps for help.

Hawaii Job Corps BCT instructor Lonnie Brown and his students used their construction skills to renovate two residential units. They demolished the kitchen and then installed new cabinets, sinks, countertops, and plumbing.

“They did very good work,” says Holly, “and were always polite and well mannered. They were able to complete more work than I expected and even repaired a broken bench. Because of Job Corps’ efforts, Weinberg Village can provide transitional housing for two more families.”

Students also repaired the front steps to one unit.

“This was a great hands-on experience opportunity for our students,” explains the instructor, “while providing a service for our community partner and homeless neighbors.

Following the project, children at the village sent a card to the Job Corps students thanking them for all they had done.

Not only did this make the Hawaii construction students feel good, the project gave them an opportunity to sharpen their skills and prepare for their new careers.