District 211's construction program offers real-world experience

  • Students and staff from Township District 211's Building Construction Program show off their work at an open house in Elgin.

    Students and staff from Township District 211's Building Construction Program show off their work at an open house in Elgin. Courtesy of Debbie Szwast

 
Submitted by Debbie Szwast
Updated 10/22/2021 9:22 AM

Members from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters presented students from Township High School District 211's Building Construction Program with 150 Carhart jackets at an open house showcasing the program's home construction project in Elgin.

The donation was part of an ongoing partnership between Township High School District 211's Building Construction Program and industry associations the Residential Construction Employers Council and Residential Home Builders Alliance.

 

"RHBA and RCEC have been instrumental in educating our students on real-world applications in the construction industry," said Chris Gunsteen, construction instructor at Palatine High School, who also sits on the RHBA board.

"In addition to offering financial support, members have advocated our program by providing hands-on blueprint reading classes, attending career fairs to talk to students about job opportunities in construction and real estate, and even offering internships for students."

In response to a growing labor shortage, RCEC and RHBA began their partnership with Township High School District 211's Building Construction Program several years ago in an effort to groom the next generation of construction professionals.

"There's a real need in the industry right now for skilled laborers," said Cathy Kirin, RCEC executive director. "Too often, guidance counselors, and even parents, steer students in the direction of college. But many young adults have a passion for activities like welding, plumbing, carpentry and electrical. The Building Construction Program gives them the base they need while we strive to engage them at the next level."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"When we partner with Township High School District 211, we feel we have a leg up on the next generation coming into the trades," said Noelle D'Ambrosio of Monarch Construction.

"By attending the job fairs and communicating with the students and parents, we help them understand the trade apprentice programs and what is expected of them on a real job site. It's great to interact with these kids and to see how excited they are to get on a job site."

Students enrolled in Township High School District 211's Building Construction Program receive both instructional and hands-on opportunities in constructing homes.

The district has offered this academic program for more than three decades, providing students with the foundational skills necessary to enter an area of architecture, construction or building trades post-graduation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Since 2001, the program has served nine communities through the development and sale of more than 40 homes, including the current home at 15N455 Berner Drive in Elgin.

The largest high school district in Illinois, Township District 211 includes five high schools -- Conant, Fremd, Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Schaumburg.

Participation in the Building Construction Program has grown over the past several years, and Gunsteen hopes that trend will continue, bolstered by the partnerships with RCEC and RHBA.

For more information on RCEC, visit rcecusa.org. For details about RHBA, visit ResidentialHomeBuildersAlliance.com.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.