Overview & Goals
Here at Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, we know that vocational skills are just as much a path to financial stability and security as anything else. It’s in this spirit that we’re excited to provide opportunities for construction curriculum and hands on experiential learning for local high school students. This program is designed to provide hands-on education in valuable technical skills – ultimately leading to an opportunity for gainful employment, while engaging them in the social aspect of building affordable housing and bettering their community one project at a time.
Youth Construction Academy
Through partnerships with The Villages Charter High School, Leesburg High School , South Lake High, and Eustis High School students in the Construction Science Program start their construction curriculum developing the competencies essential to the construction industry, including the skills and knowledge related to safety practices, proper use of hand and power tools, plan reading, and basic rough carpentry and framing. By the time the students advance into upper level courses, they are ready to get out on a Habitat job site and put into practice the skills they have mastered in school.
Upper level students in the program meet on the construction site four days a week throughout the school year as part of a dedicated class period on the active site, under experienced supervision, and begin practicing the skills and processes involved in building a house.
Over the course of a year, students from each partner school will have helped build a home – taking the project from raw land to roofing and been a major part of that progression.
Through this partnership, these young adults are able to see the vast options that are available to them in all of the associated trades as well as appreciate what goes into the home-building process. At the end, they will receive a certificate of completion that will allow them to show future trade schools or industry employers that they have completed a recognized training program.
Numerous community supporters and businesses come together to invest in the students learning process and help underwrite the cost of construction of the homes. This unique program has a double impact: their contributions help ensure we deliver the most engaging and productive hands-on experience for the students, and a well built affordable home for a family in need.
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Click below to view photos, building plans, community investors and more information on each school:
Inmate Construction Academy
Video by Lake Sheriff from YouTube
In partnership with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office we have established the Inmate Construction Academy where select Lake County inmates have the opportunity to be part of a work training program that offers hands on experience in the construction industry. During the program inmates who have opted to be a part of the work training program join an active Habitat job site up to four days a week to develop competencies essential to the construction industry. Their curriculum covers much of the same skills as what our Youth Construction Academy students learn -lessons on safety practices, the proper use of hand and power tools, rough carpentry and framing, exposure to trades such as plumbing and electrical, and much more. Through this partnership, the inmates are able to work on building employable skills that will assist their reintegration into society down the road while also choosing to give back to their community during their time in jail. As they graduate from the program, they will receive a certificate of completion reflecting the number of hours spent in the training program as well as the competencies they mastered. At minimum the Inmate Construction Academy builds one home a year for a low-income family in our community.