Carpentry students at NWTC are learning so much more than a new trade

Author: Kris Schuller
Source: WFRV

Mar. 1, 2018

When Beau Court signed up for the carpentry program at NWTC he had no idea what he'd be building.

“We had to level the site, frame floors, frame walls, insulate drywall, roofs, everything really,” said Court.

But here he is putting a fresh coat of paint on one of three modular homes, constructed for the Happily Ever After animal shelter in Marion.

“Not only do we learn how to do the carpentry side of it, but we get to give back to the community,” said Court.

“Whatever we do in this lab here or whatever we do outside of this lab is for a non-profit,” said carpentry instructor Jeff Schlag.

Schlag is in charge of the 30-week program, aimed at teaching students a variety of skills.

“We learn everything from the framing end of it - to the finishing end of it,” said Schlag.

But for many years he has also made it a point to do projects that benefit non-profits. From a playhouse, to gazebos, to these modular homes.

“It's a constant thing and these guys know that and they get right behind it and really enjoy doing it,” Schlag said.

“The partnership with NWTC has just been phenomenal,” said Marcus Reitz.

Reitz is the communications director for Happily Ever After shelter. He says NWTC is providing all the labor and many of the materials needed to build the three modular homes that will allow people to stay overnight at his facility.

“Really excited about all the opportunity a project like this opens up,” Reitz said.

“When we walked into this lab day one it was gravel, there was nothing here. Now there are three buildings that we get to bring out and put up for a group of people that does really great things,” said student Matt Sherman.

Homes built by students - eager to give back - here at NWTC.

Carpentry students at NWTC are learning so much more than a new trade. As Kris Schuller reports they are also learning about giving back by supporting area non-profits.

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Since our founding in 2006, we have seen great progress in the companion animal welfare world. Needless killing in shelters continues to decline. Organizations across the country are moving toward a no-kill measure. The agreed upon no-kill measure has been defined as a 90% live release rate. Our view is that 90% isn't enough. We are determined to see the day when the remaining 10% receive continued care and love too.

Innovative solutions are produced when killing is removed from the equation.
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