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Wednesday April 19th, 2017

Posted at 11:04am

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The Catholic School Board has launched a new Construction Academy for Grade 11 and 12 students.

The new academy will provide those students with a c=variety of modern building technology skills while they help break the cycle of poverty by contributing to the creation of affordable housing throughout Ontario.

Partnering with Habitat for Humanity, as well as the Windsor Construction Association, the Windsor Essex Homebuilders’ Association, the Ontario Masonry Training Centre and St. Clair College, the WECDSB announced plans today for the new academy at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School. It will also incorporate the masonry program at F.J. Brennan Catholic High School.

“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,” said Executive Superintendent of Innovation and Experiential Learning Dan Fister, “and that’s in keeping with our mission as a faith-based education community.”

Under the new academy model, students will spend part of their time learning in the construction technology lab at St. Joseph’s, and part of their time in the masonry lab at F.J. Brennan, which was opened in 2015.

Students will earn college dual credits, gain advanced standing in programs at St. Clair College, have access to paid summer co-op opportunities, and participate in valuable experiential learning, including a plan which could see them partner with Habitat for Humanity to build pre-fabricated modules for the affordable ranch-style homes they build right across Ontario. Plans are also in the works with both the homebuilders’ association and the construction association to determine other construction sector co-op placements.

“This is really a match made in heaven,” said Pamela Breault, Operations Manager of Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex. “We’ll be able to help even more people throughout Ontario achieve their dreams of home ownership, and students will receive invaluable hands-on experience, and the satisfaction of knowing they have helped someone less fortunate.”

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