One of these efforts is a partnership between Ocean County Vocational-Technical School (OCVTS) and Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity. In September, OCVTS launched a 10-month accelerated program to train 16 adult students in all aspects of new home construction.
Along with classroom instruction, the students’ hands-on project, implemented under rigorous supervision, is the construction of a two-story house for a Berkeley Township family.
“This was one of those perfect partnership opportunities that demonstrate county vocational-technical schools’ strong relationships within their communities and their ability to react quickly,” said OCVTS Superintendent William Hoey.
“It was very obvious after Sandy that we were going to need more trained construction professionals in this region for a long time to come. At the same time, Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity saw a shift in the focus of their traditional mission of building new dwellings to repairing existing homes,” Hoey said.
“Our Ocean County officials, OCVTS and Habitat all worked together to create a program that is providing young adults with technical skills that will enable them to land good jobs, while building a home for a very deserving Berkeley Township family,” he said.
The full-time construction training program includes classroom instruction and hands-on work in areas such as job safety, use of tools and equipment, blueprint reading, framing, sheathing, roofing, siding, sheetrock, trim and doors and windows.
Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity’s network of supporters and donors provided many of the building supplies and other services related to the construction of the house.
As part of their agreement, homeowner Diane Mussella and her two sons will contribute at least 300 sweat-equity hours towards the building of their new house.
At the ground-breaking ceremony in September, Ms. Mussella said she felt blessed to be chosen to receive a Habitat home, and was also excited about the partnership with OCVTS: Her sons will get to know some new role models in the young adults who are working on the project.
Pictured at top: Diane Mussella (second from right) and her sons, Richard and Brendan, join the OCVTS adult new home construction trades class on the site of their future home in Berkeley Township. They are joined by Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari (left) and Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato (right).