The Future Builders program marked the beginning of House #10 with a special ground breaking ceremony on September 14 at the new home site. Over 40 people attended the ribbon cutting and ground breaking ceremony complete with golden shovels.
Rep. Lynn Kessler, PA School Superintendent Dr. Jane Pryne, North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center Director Jacob Jackson, Mayor Gary Braun, PA School Board President Steve Baxter, County Commissioner Steve Tharinger, Vice President of the PA School Board Lonnie Linn, North Peninsula Building Association President Tracy Gudgel and Executive Officer FaLeana Wech were among the dignitaries in attendance. Their collective comments were of praise for the progress the Future Builders program has made over the years and the commitment of those involved.
Construction Superintendent Dan Peacock and Classroom Instructor Dave Peterson introduced the 2009-2010 students.
The program was created when the building industry in Clallam County experienced a shortage of skilled workers. A dedicated group of individuals from the North Peninsula Building Association set out to create a program where students would be introduced to all phases of home building by participating in the construction of a new single family home. In partnership with the Port Angeles School District, North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center and Peninsula College, the Future Builders program was born.
The students are provided an introduction into each phase of construction, from excavation to final preparation to sell the home. As students progress thru the program, they have an opportunity to be in personal contact with professional contractors and trades people providing a hands-on education experience. Classroom instruction is provided by NOPSC and students leave the program with an overall knowledge that could land them an entry level job locally.
Over 150 students have passed through the classroom and contributed to the construction of some of the finest homes built in the area. Taking pride in their craft, members of North Peninsula Building Association have volunteered countless hours of their personal time to teach their trade.
The program benefits the community: as the homes are built and then sold, profits from the sale are divided between grants for teachers in the tech trades for needed equipment and supplies and scholarships for students wanting to further their education in the building trades. To date over $180,000 has been awarded to students and teachers.
A non-profit Foundation was established shortly after the program took root. The Foundation receives money from the sale of the house for the grants and scholarships. It can also receive contributions from local individuals and companies that are interested in investing in the future of our younger generation.
The mission to provide a skilled labor pool continues. The program is accepting and actively seeking students. To date, the class has only 5 students from the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center.
Students can contact the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center (NOPSC) at 360.565.1533. The NOPSC provides an opportunity for students between the ages of 16 and 21 to receive career training as part of their public education with no cost to the student. Students can also contact Cindy Lauderback, Coordinator of High School Programs, at 417-6341 or Bob Lawrence, Director of Work Force Education at 417-6344 at the Peninsula College.