Program Challenges, Rewards & Needed Assistance (comments from instructor Allen Thompson)

It’s challenging to providing meaningful learning experiences every day for all students. Some of my students can work well independently and can handle more advanced projects while some of my students have trouble mastering the basics and need more help. It’s challenging to keep them all engaged from day to day.

Many of my students come from difficult situations. They have no role models or anyone successful in their life. It is very rewarding to me when I can see these students learn new skills, mature, and find a goal during their time with me. The best part is seeing them leave here confident, capable, and with a good job!

The Saginaw Home Builders have been a major key in the success and continued growth of the program. They offer my students work based learning, industry contacts, volunteer opportunities, mentoring, and more. They attend my committee meetings regularly and are always looking for ways to help the students out anyway they can. If we need something, all I have to do is ask and Michelle Revette and the HBA members help find a way to make it happen. On that note, Steve Zeitz has been a tremendous supporter of our program. Last year he came in our lab and built play houses with the students. The play houses were raffled off at the Home and Garden show and the money was used for the HBA educational fund.

Editor’s Note: The HBA of Michigan created Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation, a 501 (C) (3) that works daily to create awareness of the good paying opportunities available today. Through the hard work of Dawn Crandall, they have created an amazing statewide network of school counselors, students, construction-trades teachers, veterans, the Department of Corrections, Junior Achievement, MI Bright Future, Michigan Community Action and others. Visit them at www.skilledtobuildmichigan.comfor additional information. l