Students help Habitat for Humanity of the Tri-State on demolition project

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SOUTH POINT, Ohio — Nine students with Collins Career Technical Center worked with Habitat for Humanity of the Tri-State officials on Monday to begin the demolition of an abandoned home near South Point, Ohio.
Seniors from the heavy equipment operators class at the public vocational high school at Getaway worked along Habitat’s construction supervisor to tear down an abandoned structure located at 20 Township Road 1027.

“Our partnership with Collins Career Technical Center was created to give students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and job training while benefiting future Habitat homeowners,” said David Michael, executive director and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of the Tri-State.

Vincent Kearins, PICTURED ABOVE 17, attends Ironton High School and says the experience is part of his career journey. “I have always wanted to be a heavy equipment operator,” he said. “I worked all through the summer in Teays Valley running equipment. It’s really something I enjoy.” The class instructor Nick Tabor says the project goes toward community service hours required in the program to graduate. “This is a great opportunity to get real life experience while helping the community at the same time,” he said.

Tabor said the students would be tearing down the structure using the school’s mini-excavator and skid-steer loaders during the job. “We separate the materials into a usable and non-usable piles before it’s all hauled off,” he said. Once the structure is demolished and removed, the property will be prepared for the construction of a future Habitat home, according to Michael.

“This partnership also saves Habitat the expense of paying for the demolition work, as well as ridding the community of a vacant, abandoned property,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed working with CCTC students for many years now, and we appreciate all of the energy and hard work they put forth for our organization.”

Michael Staton, an associate director with Collins Career Technical Center, said the school’s carpentry and electricity classes have worked with Habitat over the years. “This is the first time our heavy equipment students have had this type of opportunity,” Staton said. “We are excited about it and we all have a common goal, which is to help the community and give our students hands-on experience that they need prior to graduation and entering the workforce.”

The group of seniors working on the project is expected to graduate from the program in May 2021. “They will be able to find very good-paying jobs in the construction industry, and we are also working with the operating engineers in the state of Ohio so that our program closely mirrors their apprenticeship program,” he said. “There are local contractors everywhere looking for workers with these skills. The need for operators is there and these jobs pay on average from $25 to $35 an hour. This type of partnership is a win-win for everyone involved.”

By FRED PACE The Herald-Dispatch 8 hrs ago

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