Construction academy founded to help Windsor students build hands-on skills

Construction academy founded to help Windsor students build hands-on skills

High school students in Windsor will soon be able to use their hands-on skills outside of the classroom while helping create affordable housing.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board announced a partnership with the Windsor Construction Association, the Ontario Masonry Training Centre, St. Clair College and Habitat for Humanity to create a Construction Academy.

"Besides being an excellent way for students to learn a variety of skills that can lead to careers in any number of highly sought-after trades, they will be doing something meaningful for the betterment of communities right across the province," explained the board's executive superintendent of innovation and experiential learning Dan Fister.

Hours of experience towards apprenticeship 

The new program will be available for students in Grades 11 and 12 and will include construction technology and masonry training at labs in area high schools, up to 1,000 hours of work experience towards construction apprenticeships and a Special High Skills Major red seal OSSD diploma.

Students will also have access to paid summer co-op opportunities and could build prefabricated homes that will be used by Habitat for Humanity across the province. 

The organization's manager of operations Pamela Breault, described the partnership with the Construction Academy as a "match made in heaven" for Windsor-Essex.

"We'll be able to help even more people throughout Ontario achieve their dreams of homeownership, and students will receive invaluable hands-on experience, and the satisfaction of knowing they have helped someone less fortunate," she added.