It was great to be part of a very special celebration on Wednesday with staff and students from our Electricity program. What were we celebrating? Their outstanding partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Fox Cities. Over the course of the last 10 years, the staff and about 120 students in this educational program have done the electrical wiring for 100 Habitat homes built here in the region and the celebration today was held at the 100th home.
This is one of the best win-win partnerships I’ve ever seen. Habitat for Humanity does a remarkable job building or renovating homes for people in need in our communities and each of those projects requires electrical expertise. Our Electricity program needs to provide realistic experiences for students to learn this important trade, allowing them to get started working in the construction industry. So both organizations have needs and opportunities that have come together in an important and impactful way to benefit the many families who will own these homes.
We heard from Jackie Hintz, a Habitat for Humanity board member, as well as a current student, Ben Swanson. Ben’s story was one of finding an occupation you love and can enjoy each day. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northern Michigan University and worked for three years in that field on the east coast (in an occupation he just didn’t enjoy). Somehow he and his wife found their way to Appleton and to Fox Valley Technical College. He has loved this program, and is already working for Suburban Electric and looking forward to a great career in commercial construction.
How do we help more young people find their passion in life and connect to careers like this with tremendous opportunity and potential? In this case, I guess it’s one house at a time. Hats off to our partners at Habitat for Humanity and to our instructional staff Pat Jensen, Greg Koshollek, and Todd Llewellyn for achieving this milestone and providing a tremendous learning opportunity for students.