GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Choosing a career path is not an easy thing to do, especially while still in high school. But as Kris Schuller shows us students in the Green Bay Area School District are learning about construction by building and renovating homes.
In an 80-year-old duplex on Quincy Street a restoration is underway as high school students hang drywall, bringing new life to a once mistreated home.
“In this case, this was a condemned house that is now being made livable again and is going to be put back into use,” said Brian Frerk, instructor of the Bridges Construction And Renovation Program.
These students are enrolled in the school district’s program.
“We got to stay on task and keep things rolling here,” said Frerk.
Started six years ago – to expose students to potential careers in the construction industry.
“It’s a program to allow high school students to get some experience, some hands-on real work experience – in the construction field,” said Frerk.
This program is popular, 27 students applied for 12 open slots. One of those students is Nick Peters.
“It’s just a really fun course, really fun teachers, really fun people,” said Peters, a senior.
Peters is like many students in the program. Spending part of their school day on a jobsite, either at this restoration on Quincy Street or on this new home construction build underway on Shawano Avenue – and the rest of the day taking courses virtually.
“I really like hands-on activity. I learn more easier than schoolwork, paper and all that,” Peters said.
And he and his classmates are thinking seriously about a construction career path.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’m really considering it,” said Peters.
“Maybe in the future just go for it. If I don’t want to go to college it’s another option I could do,” said another student Carlos Garcia.
Frerk says jobs are out there and more are expected to open up.
“Eventually when the older guys start to retire there’s going to be and already is a huge shortage of people to work in the trades,” said Frerk.
A problem which Frerk says this program can help address – one construction project at a time.
The students earn high school and college credit while enrolled. The work on both homes is conducted in partnership with Neighborworks Green Bay.