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Posted by: Steve Kimmel 6 months ago

Shown in the photo above are several Huntington North High School students that are participating in the construction trades. Front row, center, is Tiffanney Drummond, director, Huntington County Community Learning Center, and back row, third from right is the director the construction trades class, Dave Harvey.

Trade jobs are vital to our economy, community and country’s growth. This type of work requires immense training and talent.

Raise your hand if you have needed work on your home or property and struggled to find a skilled tradesperson. Our hands are also raised. We at Pathfinder have a community rehabilitation property we purchased to save and remodel, and our rehab team is a small team. Securing additional contractors has been less than easy. We believe wholeheartedly we need to foster the growth of the next generation of tradespeople so the struggles we currently face are not a prolonged problem.

Tiffanney Drummond, the Huntington County Community Learning Center director, and Huntington North High School share this same passion for trade development. Through what is an exciting partnership, students from HNHS/HCCLC are getting hands-on trade experience working on Pathfinder’s community rehab property on Condit Street.

This partnership has opened the door to willing contractors to work with us to take these students through several steps to rehabilitate a house. The students get to work through demolition and rebuilding parts of the house. They also have the opportunity to observe or help on some HVAC, plumbing, drywall and electrical projects.

These students gain real-world skills you can’t get in just a classroom. In addition to the six high school credits they earn in their school’s construction program, they can also earn nine dual college credits from Ivy Tech Community College for Intro to Construction and Intro to Carpentry 1 & 2. Additionally they will earn an OSHA 10 certification and can earn National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) certifications.

Drummond, director of Career & Technical Education and the Learning Center states, “Our goal for our students is that they gain real-world, hands-on experience in construction so they leave our program with an understanding of what they would like to do next in their career.”

Pathfinder is thrilled to be able to partner with the school system, and get these students on a project. A project that also is helping restore a house in not-so-great condition, boosting neighborhood curb appeal and property values.

Drummond goes on to share, “Our long-term vision for the program is to continue to collaborate with our community partners so that our students gain relevant experience and can also help our community. We would love to build a house from scratch one day!”

This partnership is an exciting step forward in the community mission. Students expand their education with hands-on experience, a worn-down home in our community gets restored and trade employers have fresh young minds to hire and continue teaching.