BOSTON (CBS) – Educating a skilled workforce has become an important focus for vocational schools around the country.
Madison Park High School in Boston is in the middle of an ambitious project this school year: building a house! Students aren’t only learning the basics of construction; they’re getting ready for the 21st century economy.
The students are enthusiastic: “I really enjoy building creating something out of nothing,” one student says.
“I love working with my hands,” adds another.
At 16 North Avenue in Roxbury, there’s a house being built with great care and great generosity – all supplies and equipment were donated
“Working on this house is pretty amazing because we’re doing this and it’s going to be here for a long time,” said senior Jazeel Mendes.
Madison Park students like Jazeel, in partnership with non-profit YouthBuild Boston, overseen by the carpenters union, broke ground in September, and will finish the project in June.
Jazeel’s headed to Union College on a full scholarship to study construction management.
The project’s been hard work and meaningful for Jazeel.
“Imagine like 20, 30 years from now coming by with my kids,” he says, “and oh – I had a part in that – that’s something that will forever be in my heart. That’s exciting.”
This program is all about jobs – taking 11th and 12th grade students out of the classroom and giving them real world work experience.
It’s given senior Carl Beaubeof experience, confidence and a sense that what he’s doing here is more than a just another assignment to be completed
“I want to join the union when I leave high school and this gives me a step ahead of the competition out there,” he says. “It’s like when you built a little bird house when you were little and you get that great feeling that a bird actually lives in there and now it’s on a bigger scale – people will actually live in there and you’re leaving a mark on the neighborhood.”
Instructor Vinny Fanuele says amid the hammers and saws what he’s really teaching is character.
“It’s good to work, it’s good to be a decent citizen and that’s my training – that’s my best thing,” he says. “It’s a lot of work building a house – but after starting a house this year I will push to build a house as long as I’m at Madison Park – what we’re doing here is big.”
The house on North Avenue will be for a first time moderate income buyer in the City of Boston and will be energy-star rated.
The house is about halfway done – we plan to go back and show you the completed house in June.
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